With the increasing use of light-weight composite material for the manufacture of automotive components and aircraft bodies, demand for basalt fibers continues to remain high. Basalt fibers are made by melting the crushed basalt rock in a furnace. This production process is an environment-friendly process without the production of any harmful infrared radiations. Basalt fibers have been widely used as an alternative for conventionally used steel and other fiber reinforcements owing to the superior mechanical, thermal and other properties.
Mature Markets to Retain Leadership, though Emerging Markets to Grow Faster
From a regional perspective, Europe is projected to lead the global basalt fiber market both in terms of production and consumption. Russia holds a significant share in the European basalt fiber market. The region has witnessed growing demand for basalt fibers from the automotive industry as there are stringent regulations prevailing in the EU regarding vehicle emissions and greenhouse gas amongst others. Moreover, the rising concern over energy conservation has also led to the growth of renewable wind energy generation industry. Thus, creating traction in the global market. North America is also projected to hold a significant share in the global basalt fiber market expanding at a CAGR of 8.3% over the forecast period. China is projected to grow at a relatively higher CAGR over the forecast period. A number of new players have ventured into the market to cater to the growing demand for basalt fibers in China and across other regions. Latin America and MEA are projected to remain low-volume-high-growth regions over the forecast period.
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In the present scenario, there are only a few manufacturers for basalt fibers in Russia, China, Ukraine, and the U.S. amongst others. However, capacity additions and establishment of new production plants across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific region are expected to increase in the coming years, especially with the ongoing research and development and investments.
Sales revenue of basalt fibers is expected to be nearly US$ (‘000) 62,568.1 in 2018. By the end of the forecast period, the global basalt fiber market is projected to reach a value of US$ (‘000) 120,034.0, recording a CAGR of 8.5%.
Basalt Fibers as an Alternative to Steel Reinforcements Empowers its Market Growth
Basalt fibers have exhibited better mechanical strength, chemical and thermal resistance, insulation and other properties. There has been an increase in the use of basalt fibers as an alternative to steel reinforcements owing to a number of properties such as corrosion resistance and light-weight, which allows mounting without the use of lifting or any other specialized equipment. Basalt fibers also outperform e-glass fiber in composites used for construction. In all the forms i.e. roving, chopped strands, fabrics, etc. basalt fibers have witnessed higher breaking load capacity and better durability and stiffness.
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In addition to these, basalt fibers are available at lower price and there has been a relative ease for raw material procurement. Owing to all the above mentioned benefits, there has been an expected upsurge in demand for basalt fibers over the forecast period.
Another major factor significantly driving the growth of global basalt fiber market is the increase in the use of light-weight composite materials in automotive industry. The stringent regulations, especially, in North America and Europe region regarding vehicle emissions has led the manufacturers to focus on reduction of weight of vehicle. Basalt fibers are used as composites for the manufacture of vehicle and aircraft bodies as well as components such as exhaust mufflers and brake pads amongst others.
The growing government spending for infrastructural and industrial development has led to a rise in the demand for basalt fibers as reinforcement material for the construction of roads, pavements and bridges amongst others.
However, there are a few challenges with respect to the production of basalt fibers. For instance, the quality and exact chemical composition of the basalt rock required for the formation of basalt fibers is available at only specific locations in Eastern Europe. Therefore, though the raw material is available at cheap cost, it has to be imported. Moreover, the initial set up and equipment cost are quite high and require capital investment, thus posing a major challenge for the manufacturers.
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The manufacturers are focusing on developing an alternative low-cost technologies for the production of basalt fibers. As a result, new production plants are projected to come online in the coming years.
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Basalt Fiber Market key Insights Based on Product Type, End-use and Regional Demand Till 2026
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