Global Aramid Fiber Market, in the recent years, has depicted a significant growth rate, which can be attributed to the rise in demand for materials that are strong and durable but light weight and require least maintenance. Aramid fibers, being characterized by properties like high tenacity, solvent resistance, low flammability, non-conductivity and high resistance to cuts and abrasions, suitably fit the profile of the materials that major industry verticals demand. Subject to their exceptional properties, these fibers find diverse application in manufacturing protective and heat resistant clothing, body armors, conveyer belts, asbestos replacement, sporting goods, ropes and cables, and oil and gas pipes. In consequence, this widespread application spectrum has had a major impact on aramid fiber industry size, which has been projected to depict a CAGR of 8% over 2017-2024.
U.S. aramid fiber market size, by application, 2013 - 2024 (USD Million)
Due to the extensive deployment of aramid fibers in the manufacturing of various defense related components, it would be precise to state that the defense sector has been a major end-use domain for the aramid fiber market. These fibers possess excellent strength to weight ratio – that is to say, despite being extremely light weight, they are rather comfortable to wear, and are able to protect the body even against firing from sub machine guns. With the rise of warfare and terrorist incidents worldwide, numerous countries have increased their defense investments, which has had a direct impact on the revenue graph of aramid fiber market. Technological advancements in the aramid fiber industry and superior structural integrity of aramid fibers have made it possible for most of the ballistic shielding products such as body armor, bulletproof headgears and vests and armored cars to be made from aramid fibers. Pertaining to their high flame resistance property, these fibers are also used to manufacture fireproof suits, gloves and helmets for firefighters. Thus, safety concerns for industrial and defense personnel has propelled the demand for safety equipment developed from aramid fibers, which has driven aramid fiber industry size from safety equipment applications. In fact, in 2016, safety equipment accounted for 35% of the overall aramid fiber market share, and are expected to contribute massively toward the growth of this business vertical in the years ahead.
It is pivotal to mention that aramid fiber market has witnessed a huge rise in prominence through the product’s deployment in the transport sector, given how quickly and efficiently these fibers have replaced asbestos in car tire reinforcement and brake lining manufacturing. Aramid fiber industry also thrives through the product’s application in the development of fiber-reinforced concrete and thermoplastic pipes that are used in the construction of undersea pipelines for the oil industry. Aramid fibers prolong the lifespan of such pipelines, reducing maintenance costs. With their low stretch property, high strength and abrasion resistant qualities, aramid fibers are also preferred for manufacturing ropes and cables that are used in high strength requirement jobs such as mooring ships.
The extensive use of aramid fibers in sporting goods is another factor driving the growth of aramid fiber market. For instance, leading sports goods manufacturer Reebok has joined forces with one of the key players of the aramid fiber industry and has used aramid fiber in its CrossFit gear. The strategically engineered product has been used in the main abrasion zones of CrossFit apparels and footwear such as knees, elbows and rear, so that athletes have to worry less about their gear and concentrate more on their workout.
North America is projected to witness the maximum growth in aramid fiber industry in the forecast period, subject to the increased defense spending of USA. In 2015, the defense budget allocated by the U.S. House of Representatives amounted to USD 585 billion, which accounted for 54% of the entire federal discretionary spending. Unrefutably, this has been one of key driving forces of North America aramid fiber market size, which was pegged at USD 700 million in 2016.
Key players such as DowDuPont, Tejin Aramid, Yantai Tayho, JSC Kamenskvolokno, W. Barnet GmbH, Kolon Industries, and Hyosung apparently account for more than 60% of aramid fiber market share. Most companies in this highly consolidated aramid fiber industry are increasingly investing in R&D programs as a means to produce more effective high-performance aramid fibers. As a result of running these expensive R&D programs, aramid fiber products are often subjected to steep price hikes which can work as a deterrent for growth of the aramid fiber market. Nonetheless, with the increasing demand of highly effective protective gears and corrosion and abrasion resistive material, the aramid fiber industry will continue to expand in the forecast period. Estimates in fact, claim aramid fiber market size to cross a valuation of USD 5 billion by 2024.