Marine Composites Market Size Forecast to Reach $4.2 Billion by 2026

January 31 22:04 2022
Marine Composites Market Size Forecast to Reach $4.2 Billion by 2026
Marine Composites Market
Increasing Demand for High-speed Boats Driving the Growth of Marine Composites Market.

The Marine Composites Market globally is forecast to reach US$4.2 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 5.5% during 2021-2026. The shipbuilding industry’s incredible demand for corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and high-strength components is expected to spur marine composites market growth. Also, the surge in demand for high-speed and fuel-efficient boats is projected to further expand the market. Composites have been widely used in the marine industry because of their excellent resistance quality. Various structural elements of ships and boats such as decks, hulls, hatch covers, bulkheads are created using lightweight composites. Glass fiber reinforced plastics, carbon fiber reinforced plastics, and aramid fiber are the marine composites, commonly used for manufacturing boats and ships structural elements. The high-quality properties of marine composites as compared to different alternatives are expected to propel the growth of the target market in the forecast period globally. However, the high raw material cost used in this industry may hinder the growth of the market.

COVID-19 Impact

While factors like increased production of powerboats and cruise ships are driving the growth of this market, on the other hand, an unfavorable environment due to COVID-19 disrupted the marine composites ecosystem badly. Due to the pandemic, the market is facing severe disruptions like supply chain breaks, factory shutdown, lack of access to raw materials, etc. Boat production came to a halt, courtesy of Covid-19.

Amid all these COVID-19 negative impacts, however, it is projected, the marine composites market is going to bounce back, gradually picking up the pace in the long term. Many international governing bodies have carried out an assessment of the impact of Covid-19 disruption on the marine supply chain. According to a recent review report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the marine supply chain is expected to witness growth, expanding at 4.8 % in 2021.

The target market is projected to see an upward trend in the boat demand by implementing factors such as increasing penetration of fiberglass boats in the USA, increasing boating participants in the maritime hub, and increasing the HNWI (high net worth individuals) population. It is expected, the USA’s fiberglass boat is likely to propel the marine composites market towards growth in the forecast period.

Marine Composite Market – By Composite Type

Owing to its excellent properties and large-scale applications required for the marine industry, Polymer matrix composite dominated the market in 2020. Polymer matrix composite offers excellent impact resistance, corrosion resistance, and lightweight property, which makes it suitable for use in ship manufacturing. Also, due to its great design flexibility property, polymer matrix composite has made good inroads in the marine industry. Furthermore, polymer matrix composite has low manufacturing costs and can be manufactured easily as compared to Metal Matrix Composite and Ceramic Matrix Composite. Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) is projected to witness decent growth, owing to its quality properties such as fire resistance, radiation resistance, higher transverse stiffness, and no moisture absorption. Ceramic Matrix Composite is estimated to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period.

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Marine Composite Market – By Fiber Type

Based on fiber type, the glass fiber reinforced plastics, otherwise known as glass fiber, dominated the marine composites market in 2020. This is due to its lower prices and better properties than those of carbon fiber composites. Also, glass fiber reinforced plastic is lightweight, which makes it suitable for manufacturing boats and various marine vessels, globally. The non-magnetic property of glass fiber reinforced plastics makes it suitable for manufacturing naval ships, which is further expected to drive the marine composites market growth. Carbon fiber reinforced plastics, otherwise known as carbon fiber, are expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period, owing to their advanced properties suitable for high-speed boats. Carbon fiber reinforced plastics are mostly used in the hull of boats, masts, structural frames, and keels. Its high-cost price as compared to glass fiber is what keeps market players from utilizing carbon fiber. However, the current development in the production process in line with the surging manufacturing of carbon fiber reinforced plastics will drop the prices to a decent limit. Owing to its usage in the manufacturing of bow and kneel sections of sailboats, Aramid fiber is also poised to witness decent growth over the forecast period. Aramid fiber has good shock absorption properties and corrosion resistance which makes it suitable to use in multiple marine applications. Due to poor physical properties, Natural fiber is expected to struggle to make a mark in the marine composites market in the next five years.

Marine Composite Market – By Resin Type

Polyester resin held the largest share in the marine composites market in 2020. Polyester resin demonstrates excellent thermal, mechanical, and electrical properties. Furthermore, the cost of polyester resin is generally low as compared to the epoxy, and vinyl ester resins. Polyester resin is widely used in marine components such as boat hulls and yachts and is expected to maintain steady growth in the forecast period. Epoxy resin is likely to witness decent growth during the forecast period. Quality properties like excellent adhesiveness, robust fatigue resistance, excellent chemical resistance, and weight reduction make epoxy resin a good option in the marine composites market. Boat manufacturers are keen to produce lightweight boats to make them high-speed and racing enabled, leading to increased demand for epoxy resins.

Marine Composite Market – By Application

Cruise ship led the marine composites market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 6.04% during the forecast period. There has been an increased demand for cruise ships owing to the growing leisure market and marine tourism activities. According to a report by The Cruise Lines International Association, in 2021, the number of travelers to cruise on the cruise ships is estimated to go beyond the figure of 32 million passengers, recorded in the year 2020. This increasing number of passengers is projected to boost the production of more cruise ships. Furthermore, CLIA Cruise Lines is anticipating to launch 19 new cruise ships in 2021, taking the total to 270 Cruise ships, projected to be operational by year-end. This way, the marine composites market is poised to witness insurmountable growth in the forecast period.

The powerboat application segment is expected to occupy a significant market share during the forecast period, due to the increased demand for marine composites for racing boats and yachts. Powerboats usually have a higher power-to-weight ratio that allows improved handling and higher speed. Since, marine composites have relevant properties, including high strength and low weight, it makes these composites more suitable to use in high-speed boats. Marine composites are used to manufacture ramps and superstructures of cruise ships. Also, these composites offer high-level flexible design property to the manufacturers to create critical components with precision, which in turn is anticipated to augment the marine composites market globally.

Marine Composite Market – By Geography

The Asia Pacific region dominated the marine composites market in 2020 with a share of 38%. China, South Korea, and India are most likely to have a strong contribution to the marine composites market in the next five years. The increasing boat and yacht manufacturing, owing to leisure activity in these countries is projected to augment the target market. The North American region is also expected to witness significant growth, in terms of value during the forecast period. This is mainly due to increasing recreation boating activities in this region. Furthermore, North America has some of the highest revenue-generating companies in the cruise ship business globally. Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises are two of the major companies which drive the cruise sector in the region. The shipbuilding sector in Canada is also projected to drive the marine composites market as the top shipbuilding company, Quebec shipbuilding is estimated to invest more in ice breakers manufacturing in the forecast period. The market in Europe, which is another large region associated with the marine composites market, is expected to drive growth in a moderate manner. European shipbuilding has a dynamic presence in the region due to the manufacturing of robust boats, submarines, and various naval vessels, which is expected to contribute immensely to the marine composites market in the forecast period.

Marine Composite Market Drivers

Increasing demand for high-speed boats

Due to increasing recreational activities, demand for high-speed boats is increasing globally, which, in turn, is expected to drive the growth of the marine composites market. Lightweight composites are heavily used in making multiple parts of ships which includes ventilation ducts, bulkheads, funnels, decks. Special efforts have been made for composite propellers development. When used in propellers, the composite offers multiple benefits such as reduced weight, lower cost, and better noise damping. Cumulatively, all these factors lower the propeller weight by 18.0–25.0% and also lower the life-cycle expenditure by 25.0%, thereby increasing the demand for lightweight marine composites.

Increasing technological innovations

Increasing technological innovations is another key factor driving the marine composites market. With technological advancement in the composite, market players are able to grow new and sustainable items. To have a stronghold in the market, many players are focusing on variables, such as design flexibility, minimized assembly cost, expanded material quality to increase more share in the marine composites industry. This way, the marine composites market is expected to evolve in the coming years.

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Marine Composite Market Challenges

High-cost price of carbon fiber

The major challenge expected to face in the marine composites is the high-cost price of carbon fiber reinforced plastics. Low weight and other advanced properties make carbon fiber desirable, but its high cost is what restricts its frequent use. At present, the cost of carbon fiber is around USD 20-30/kg, which is much higher as compared to glass fiber reinforced plastics. Thus, the high price of carbon fiber is limiting its demand growth.

High cost of raw materials

Commercial factors hugely affect the current competitive composites world. Operating cost (OPEX) and capital cost (CAPEX) are two of the most common commercial factors that govern the commercial decisions and make the marine composite market a highly capital-intensive sector. The cost of marine composite raw materials is the major chunk of the total cost. These factors discourage potential players from entering the marine composite market.

Marine Composite Market Industry Outlook

Investment in R&D activities, acquisitions and technology launches are key strategies adopted by players in the marine composites market. Major players in the marine composites market include:

Toray Industries, Inc.
Cytec Industries (Solvay S.A)
Teijin Limited
Hexcel Corporation
SGL Group
E. I. DuPont Nemours & Co.
Zoltek Corporation
Mitsubishi Rayon Co.
Gurit Holding
3A Composites
Hyosung, among others.

Acquisitions/Product Launches

Italian firm Moi Composites launched the world’s first 3D-printed fiberglass boat at the 2020 Genoa Boat Show held in October 2020. The MAMBO (Motor Additive Manufacturing Boat) is manufactured with parts made up of fiberglass and vinyl ester resin.

Key Takeaways

Increase in demand for high-speed boats due to the increased recreational activities are boosting the growth of the marine composites market.

Increasing footfalls in the tourism industry is expected to increase the demand for cruise ships, which, in turn, will uplift the marine composites market. According to the report titled State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report 2021 by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), 58% of international tourists, who are yet to travel by Cruise Ships, are likely to cruise in the coming years.

Asia Pacific region is projected to witness further growth in the marine composites market during the forecast period. Under the joint venture of cruise company Carnival Corporation and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), China market is expected to get the first cruise ship built in China, projected to be delivered in 2023.

Marine composite market is expected to recover from COVID-19 impact with a slow, but steady growth during the forecast period.

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