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China occupies a favorable position in the high-potential composite application market
 July 29, 2022
 
Of all glass fiber composites applications, only wind energy, oil utilities (pipes and storage tanks), and electrical and electronic industries have not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the JEC Observer report – Latest Trends in the Global Composites Industry 2021-2026, despite the pandemic, the above sectors continued to perform well in 2020/2021, achieving growth of 18% and 4% respectively.
 
The report published by the JEC Group predicts key future trends in composite materials by application area. For the energy and electrical and electronic industries, future growth drivers include offshore wind, direct roving for pipelines and storage tanks. According to the Global Wind Energy Council's (GWEC) Offshore Wind Report 2022, China has become the world's largest glass fiber wind turbine manufacturing hub, accounting for 60-65% of global production of key components such as turbine nacelles and gearboxes, generators and blades %. GWEC market intelligence predicts that China's offshore wind power capacity will increase by 98 GW from 2022 to 2031, accounting for 31% of the global offshore wind power capacity added during the same period.
 
 
JEC observers highlighted that the construction, marine and consumer goods industries are expected to recover quickly from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mainly driven by key factors such as new construction, renovations and water services (pipes and tanks) in the construction industry. According to JEC Observer, the major share of China's composites market growth in the next few years will come from the construction industry. The China Building Materials Federation pointed out that the Chinese authorities will plan to vigorously promote glass fiber raw materials in the long term.
 
Mature and Emerging Markets
 
In the maritime sector, "coronavirus-proof" recreational projects and sewage treatment tanks have energized the market. According to data firm Research and Markets, China's fiberglass woven cloth for yacht is expected to reach US$15.1 billion in 2027, accounting for 17.8% of the global market, and will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.9% between 2020 and 2027. Overall, the Chinese government has recently introduced a number of incentives related to the yachting industry and maritime activities, and there is a gradual loosening of regulations on the yachting industry in China.
 
JEC observers pointed out that the recovery in transportation and aerospace, severely impacted by the new crown epidemic, took the longest time in composites applications. During the slow recovery, composite materials are mainly used in electric vehicles, hydrogen vehicles and railway equipment. China is now the leading producer of electric vehicles, accounting for nearly 60 percent of global production, according to global data firm LMC Automotive. China is rapidly expanding its annual production of electric vehicles, to more than 8 million by 2028, as Chinese companies race to open new factories. As for the emerging hydrogen vehicle market, the Society of Automotive Engineers of China predicts that, driven by national policies and improved technology and infrastructure, the number of hydrogen vehicles in China will reach 100,000 by 2025.
 
In the aerospace sector, the development of drones and alternative propulsion systems (hydrogen, electric...) is booming, and composite materials will continue to have a place in this field during the recovery process. As a local Chinese fiberglass company, DJI pioneered the drone industry, producing 80% of the world's commercial drones. China is also vigorously cultivating pioneers in the field of passenger aircraft such as EHang, and composite materials have been widely used in this field.
 
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