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Report on Thermoset Resins and Other Reinforced Thermoplastics announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue. US Reinforced Plastics Market

Material substitution to remain key driver of US demand through 2013

Reinforced plastics demand is projected to increase 2.8 percent annually to 3.6 billion pounds in 2013. Material substitution will remain the driving force behind advances. Higher performance requirements, combined with resin, reinforcement and processing improvements, will broaden applications and enhance competitiveness with steel and aluminum. Price increases for reinforced plastics are expected to moderate following the significant price spikes experienced between 2004 and 2006, which resulted from escalating petroleum and natural gas prices.

Reinforced thermoplastics to outpace thermosets

Thermoset resins, primarily unsaturated polyester, will continue to account for nearly 60 percent of all reinforced plastics demand in 2013. Slightly faster growth, however, is anticipated for thermoplastics due to their better aesthetics and easier processing. Glass fibers, due to their low cost and good performance, will continue to be the dominant reinforcement material in 2013, but carbon fiber demand is expected to increase nearly ten percent annually through 2013. Nanomaterials are also expected to emerge commercially, presenting excellent opportunities. US demand for reinforced thermosets is projected to expand 2.8 percent yearly to 2.1 billion pounds in 2013 driven by their low cost and performance attributes such as strength and corrosion resistance. Product innovations and improved sheet molding compounds will also spur growth. Niche opportunities are expected in areas such as wind turbine blades and pedestrian and vehicular bridge decking. Unsaturated polyester will remain the leading resin, accounting for 88 percent of all thermosets in 2013. Opportunities for reinforced epoxy are anticipated in military and commercial aircraft and aerospace applications, as well as windmill blades. Reinforced thermoplastics demand is forecast to grow 2.9 percent annually to 1.5 billion pounds in 2013 due to their competitive cost, high performance capabilities, processing advantages and better design capabilities. Polypropylene will remain the leading thermoplastic and present above average growth based on its low cost, stiffness and dimensional stability, particularly in motor vehicle uses. Good growth is also expected for nylon and thermoplastic polyester, mainly in motor vehicle applications.

Motor vehicle applications to exhibit fastest growth

Construction and motor vehicles will together account for 60 percent of total reinforced plastics demand in 2013. Motor vehicle applications will exhibit the fastest growth, driven by rebounding motor vehicle production levels. Construction uses will be stimulated by the low cost, durability and corrosion resistance of reinforced thermoset polyester in products such as tanks, pipe and bathroom components. The producer durable equipment market will be stimulated by heightened demand for business equipment and other electrical and electronic products due to rapid technology changes.


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