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Basalt Fiber Market by Usage (Composites, Non-Composites)

Technology Feb 15, 2021 at 11:30

Basalt Fiber Market by Usage (Composites, Non-Composites)

End-Use Industry (Construction & Infrastrastructure, Automotive & Transportation, Wind Energy, Electrical & Electronics, Marine) and Region – Global Forecast to 2027

The global basalt fiber market size is projected to grow from USD 286 million in 2022 to USD 517 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 12.5%. The basalt fiber market is growing due to the rise in the demand and applications from automotive & transportation, construction & infrastructure, wind energy, electrical & electronics, and industries. The superior properties of basalt fibers such as thermal stability, heat and sound insulation, vibration resistance, and durability is majorly driving their demand. Their non-corrosiveness is also driving the market. In addition, growing adoption of environmentally and easily recyclable materials acts as a major growth opportunity for the market. However, competition with matured products such as E-glass is restraining the market growth. Factors such as complex manufacturing process and high cost compared to E-glass fibers, and promotion of basalt fiber for greater use are challenging the market growth.

However, owing to COVID-19, the sales of various industries declined, resulting in reduced demand for basalt fiber in 2020.

Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 has negatively affected the demand for basalt fiber across the globe due to decrease in demand from various end-use industries. Construction & infrastructure, and automotive & transportation being the major consumers of basalt fiber has witnessed the most adverse and immediate consequences of the pandemic in 2020. With recovering end-use industries, the demand for basalt fiber is expected to show significant growth during forecasted years.

Drivers: Enhanced physical, mechanical and chemical properties

Basalt fiber is a new alternative to conventionally used fibers such as glass fiber, and to some extent, carbon fiber. The market share, by value and volume, of basalt fiber in end-use industries continues to increase due to its enhanced physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. These are characterized by a superior resistance against low and high temperatures. Basalt fibers show also possess properties like thermal stability, heat and sound insulation, ablation resistance, vibration resistance, and durability compared to other fibers. These properties make basalt fiber superior to carbon fiber and glass fiber. Basalt fiber is also compatible with carbon fiber.

Restraints: Competition with matured products

Basalt fiber is widely used in construction & infrastructure applications. Although basalt fiber has superior properties compared to E-glass fiber and S-glass fiber, it is not used commercially in many applications. There is huge potential for basalt fiber in marine, automotive & transportation, aerospace & defense, sporting goods, and wind applications. However, due to a lack of clarity regarding the applications of basalt fiber, glass fiber is still the favorite material.

Opportunities: Growing adoption of environmentally friendly and recyclable materials

The demand for environmentally friendly and easily recyclable fiber and fiber reinforced composites products is increasing due to new stringent government rules and regulations. Many consumers as well prefer to use recyclable products which do not harm the environment.

Developed countries including Germany, the US, and Japan are focusing on the use of environmentally friendly products instead of petroleum-based products. Europe insists on the use of bio-based materials, encouraging recyclability of vehicle components, or making the automotive manufacturers responsible for disposal at the end of vehicles service life. The Japanese Government has a target of replacing 20% of plastic usage by renewable products by 2020. These regulations are expected to increase the use of natural fiber composites such as basalt fiber in automotive & transportation, construction & infrastructure, electrical & electronics, and other end-use industries.

Challenges:Complex manufacturing process and high cost compared to E-glass fibers

The major reason for basalt fiber industry’s slow growth is the sheer technical complexity in the production of basalt fiber from basalt rock. In the production processes of basalt fiber, very high furnace temperature is required to melt the basalt rock (1,450˚C); which should be maintained within two to three degrees of marginal error. This temperature control of the extrusion bushings is achieved by supplying electricity outside the furnace, which is a difficult process. Developing low-cost technologies is a major challenge for all researchers and key manufacturers of basalt fiber. The composites are only introduced in primary stages due to its complexity of the production process of raw materials and high cost. This further increases the cost of basalt fibers. The basalt fiber cost is higher than the widely used E-glass fibers. Hence, the E-glass fibers are still preferred than basalt fibers due to the cost constraint. It would be possible to meet the growing demand for basalt fiber in the building & construction sector if production of basalt fiber from raw basalt using low electricity (for furnace heating) to melt the basalt rock can be made easier.

In terms of volume, construction & infrastructure industry has the largest market share in the global basalt fiber market.

Basalt fiber has superior chemical, mechanical, and thermal properties. It has the potential for replacing E-glass in several composites, especially when resistance to extreme conditions is required. In order to improve the structural safety and sustainability of the construction, the application of basalt fibers and the composites in the field of civil and transportation infrastructure continues to increase. Basalt fibers have excellent compatibility with the matrix resin and can be hybridized with steel wires, steel bars, or other fibers achieving a prominent hybrid effect that show short- and long-term mechanical properties, fatigue resistance, and high-temperature performance. Apart from the general structural reinforcement by basalt fiber reinforced plastics (BFRP) composites, the BFRP and hybrid FRP also play an important role in other applications such as smart structures, long-span bridges, damage controllable & recoverable structure, and light-weight & sustainable structures, among others.

Continuous form is the largest segment of basalt fiber in terms of value and volume.

Continuous form of basalt fiber dominated the basalt fiber market in the form type segment. continuous basalt fiber is eco-friendly, which makes them suitable for various applications, such as reinforcing nets, pipes, containers, electrical insulation materials, basalt plastic products, and others. Additionally, they offer higher strength than steel which makes them preferred material in the construction industry.

APAC held the largest market share in the basalt fiber market in 2021.

APAC is the major consumer of basalt fiber owing to high demand from China, Japan, Singapore and other countries. The growth of basalt fiber market in APAC is expected to be driven by the increasing consumption of basalt fiber in various industries such as wind energy, construction & infrastructure, electrical & electronics, and automotive. This growth is also because of the increased industrial development in the countries such as China and Japan. Basalt fiber manufacturers in China develop new basalt fiber manufacturing technologies which focus on manufacturing low-cost continuous basalt fiber. The transportation and electrical & electronics sectors in China are the major consumers of basalt fiber which is expected to further strengthen the market position. China also has a huge manufacturing capacity of basalt fiber, which can cater to any sudden increase in demand. Other countries, such as Japan and Singapore, are engaged in research activities for developing commercial applications of basalt fiber. The demand for basalt fiber from the construction & infrastructure industry is expected to increase due to its non-corrosive and high strength properties.