According to a new technical market research report, "Specialty Fibers: Technologies and Global Markets," from BCC Research (Wellesely, Mass.), the global market for specialty fibers is expected to be worth $5.6 billion in 2007. This is expected to increase to more than $9.2 billion by 2012, a compound average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5 percent.
The market is broken down into applications of carbon fibers, aramid fibers, partially oxidized polyacrylonitrile, polybenzimidazole, and other specialty fibers. Of these, aramid fibers have the largest share of the market. Valued at $3.2 billion in 2007, this segment is expected to be worth $5.1 billion by 2012, a CAGR of 9.8 percent. The second largest segment, carbon fibers, was worth an estimated $1.4 billion in 2007 and will reach $2.5 billion by 2012, for a CAGR of 12.7 percent.
Most other specialty fibers are measured as fractions of these segments and include partially oxidized polyacrylonitrile, high-strength polyethylene, polybenzimidazole, polyphenylene sulfide, polyimide, polymideimide, and Novaloid fibers as well as various metal matrix composite fibers, boron, carbon-silicon carbide, and other ceramic fibers.
Markets for specialty fibers are primarily in the developed nations of North America, Western Europe, and Japan. Combined, these nations account for 76 percent of the global total. Although the rest of the world represents a 24 percent share, it is these emerging markets that will present the most dynamic opportunities during the next 5 years.