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Market size and future development trend of composite utility poles
 August 31, 2022
Future global utility pole market
 
According to Research Dive's utility pole market analysis, the global market will exceed $57,052.3 million by 2026, up from $44,688 million in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 3.0%. North America is expected to grow significantly by 2026, reaching $16,167.4 million. By 2026, Asia Pacific is expected to reach USD 23,020.6 million. They are also the two largest regions in the fiberglass products global market. The utility poles market is primarily driven by technological advancements in composite utility poles and increasing energy consumption across the globe.
 
 
At present, the poles used in the world are divided into the following categories according to the material: steel poles, wooden poles, concrete poles and composite materials reinforcement poles. Among them, the development of composite utility poles has created important investment opportunities for the growth of the utility pole market. This is because composite materials are corrosion-resistant, durable, lightweight, and resistant to heavy loads. These composite materials with excellent properties and cost-effective materials will drive the market growth in the coming years. 
 
The composites market is expected to grow from USD 1,128.4 million in 2018 to USD 1,554.7 million in 2026, growing at a rate of 4.0% over the forecast period. The fastest growing region is Asia Pacific. According to statistics, as early as 2018, the electric pole market in the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 39.1% of the world, and will continue to maintain its dominant position in the future. This is due to the relatively high population density in the Asia-Pacific region, especially the existence of countries with large populations such as India and China.
 
Advantages of composite materials as utility poles
 
1. Composites will not corrode
Composites do not corrode like steel. Some of the poles will be made of carbon fiber or glass fiber materials. These poles can be installed with complete confidence that they will not rust. This makes them ideal for coastal areas exposed to Aral Sea winds.

2. Composites do not require regular maintenance
Both steel and wood utility poles require regular maintenance. For obvious reasons, wood requires more maintenance than steel. However, composite utility poles require no maintenance at all. After installation, only a routine inspection is required. Composite utility poles also do not require recoating.

3. The composite material repels insects
Wooden utility poles are vulnerable to a long list of natural disasters. One such hazard is pest infestation. Everything from termites to wood-boring beetles can cause problems with wooden utility poles. Switch to a composite rod and the problem is solved. Of course, in our country, wooden poles have basically been eliminated.
 
 
4. Lightweight composite materials
Power poles made of composite materials, especially those made of E-glass fibers, are much lighter than steel and wood poles. This is important in terms of installation. Imagine trying to install new poles in a remote rural area with no roads. Getting the poles in place became a logistical nightmare. Composite rods, on the other hand, can be handled by hand and assembled on site. Because composite poles are very light, they are also easy to install in dense urban environments without the need for heavy cranes and other large equipment. A pole can be installed in a few hours without major disruption.

5. Composites are strong
Finally, composite utility poles will better withstand nature's extreme climates. For example, they are better able to withstand strong winds and the heavy loads that such winds generate. Composite utility poles stand up where wooden poles can break.
 
 
At present, the world-renowned composite utility pole manufacturers include the composite utility pole of Japan Energy Power and the PU composite utility pole produced by BASF of Germany. For example, the Japan Energy Power composite utility pole, the pole is made of glass fiber roving 2400 and epoxy resin composite material, and the outer shell is thermoplastic, which is an innovative external protective layer. Climbing can be done using conventional rock climbing and safety equipment. The surface layer also ensures that the load-bearing thermoset is protected from UV radiation and external influences. Its poles have a life expectancy of 80 years and are made using modern manufacturing techniques with continuous fibers and fully automated processes. The polyurethane composite utility poles produced by BASF are extremely hard and flexible. The wind resistance is 2.5 times higher than that of ordinary utility poles. The weight (250kg) is less than a quarter of that of comparable concrete poles (1,100kg), making it easy for manual handling and erection. The service life is as long as 50 years, and it can stand upright in natural disasters such as ice and snow, strong wind, and rolling wood.

At present, in the composite utility pole, the resin part is still dominated by polyurethane thermosetting resin. In order to ensure the strength of the cross arm of the composite material, the generally selected resin system is polyurethane resin, including two-component polyurethane resin and modified two-component polyurethane resin. This is because the polyurethane resin has strong molecular polarity and high bonding strength with the fiber interface, which improves the shear strength of the composite material, and has small micro-cracks at the interface of the composite material. In addition, the scientific fiber selection and distribution make the overall performance of the product high. For example, the flexural strength of fiber glass matt reinforced two-component polyurethane resin is 1200Mpa, while the flexural strength of glass fiber reinforced two-component epoxy resin is 600Mpa, the difference is obvious. Moreover, the current polyurethane composite utility pole forming process is generally based on pultrusion or winding. Glass fiber materials that can be used include direct yarn 2400/4800, chopped strand mat 300/450, woven roving 600, etc.
 
The prospect of basalt fiber composite material in utility pole market
 
There is a huge demand for electric poles in my country. However, coastal cities in my country are greatly affected by severe weather such as typhoons. Traditional poles are inferior to fiber-reinforced resin-based composite poles in terms of corrosion resistance, stiffness and strength. In the typhoons over the years, the traditional poles have been seriously damaged, while the composite poles are safe, so the fiber composite poles will account for an increasing share of the national grid. my country's mountainous area accounts for more than 70% of the total land area, and the low cost of transportation and installation of composite poles is unmatched by traditional poles. In 2020, the output of concrete poles in my country will reach nearly 16.3 million. If 10% of the power grid adopts composite poles, the market share of composite poles in my country will be about 1.6 million per year, and 10% of composite poles use basalt. Fiber composite materials, the market for basalt fiber composite poles can reach 160,000 per year. The market potential is huge.
 
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