Composites Industry Overview
Learn about this dynamic growing industry that's helping to shape the bright future of manufacturing in the US, providing jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Composites by the Numbers
The composites industry is an economic force that fuels the American economy. Annually, this industry contributes $22.2 billion to the US economy. By 2022, the end-product market for composites is expected to reach $113.2 billion.
In 2017, the glass fiber market reached 2.5 billion pounds in terms of volume of composites materials produced.
Each year, four billion pounds of composite materials are sold for use in different automotive applications.
In 2017, the global demand for carbon fiber was approximately 75,000 metric tons.
Demand for aerospace carbon fiber is expected to reach 22,100 tons (~44.2 million lbs) by 2020.
2017 marked a fifth successive year of growth, reaching an estimated 1.1 tons of composites materials produced in Europe.
Where Composites Are Used
Composite materials continue to fuel the growth of new applications in markets such as infrastructure, construction, industrial, transportation, and sports and recreation.
Composites are used all over the world to construct and repair a wide range of infrastructure applications, from buildings and bridges to roads and railways. These applications last longer because they are high-strength, will not rust or corrode, and provide long-term resistance with little maintenance required.
Composite materials are used in building and construction projects all over the world. Designers and builders increasingly rely on composites because of their many benefits, including durability, design flexibility, corrosion resistance, strength, light weight and low maintenance. Composite materials are used more and more to make commercial and residential buildings sustainable because they consume less energy and perform more efficiently.
Composites have become the material of choice for a host of industrial applications from pipe to tank to grating and equipment needs. Composites are ideal, whether the challenge is corrosive materials that must be contained, or installations that have to withstand natural elements underground or extreme environmental conditions. Composites’ anti-corrosive properties stand up to harsh environments and have fastbecome a key factor in successful industrial applications, especially where safety is of major concern.
Composites allow designers and engineers to completely rethink parts across virtually every transportation system from automotive to aerospace. Composites offer a host of advantages including their flexibility, light weight, durability, resistance to corrosion, and how easily they bond with non-composite materials.
Sports & Rec.
From bikes to hockey sticks, boats to bobsleds, composite materials help athletes optimize performance and safety. Lightweight and super strong, composites can be used to make premium quality sports equipment and products that protect athletes, and improve the pools, facilities and buildings that host the games themselves. According to a 2017 Composites World report, composites are found in products used in seven of the 10 most popular outdoor sports and recreational activities.
Want to Learn More?
Visit Discover Composites, ACMA's resource for end-users who have an interest in composites.