Biocomposites are the composite materials that are formed by a matrix and a reinforcement of natural fibers. Reinforcement includes plant fibers such as flax, hemp, fibers from recycled wood and waste paper, by-products from food crops, and others. However, its properties can be influenced by various factors such as fiber architecture, fiber matrix-interface, and others. Hence, right selection of reinforcing fibers and matrix polymers are of utmost importance for the desired properties as per the application.
On the basis of type, the global biocomposites market is categorized into structural and non-structural. Structural is expected to be the dominate the market during the forecast period as this type has exceptional load-bearing properties. This increases its demand in construction and automotive industries, thus fuelling the market growth.
Based on fiber type, the global biocomposites market is bifurcated into wood-plastic composites and natural fiber composites. Wood-plastic composites are expected to hold the larger share in the market during the forecast period, which can be attributed to its superior properties, over other types, such as, resistance to moisture, low maintenance, and long shelf life.
Based on application, the biocomposites market is categorized into packaging, construction, automotive, consumer goods, aerospace, medical, and others. Among these, construction held the largest share in the market. The growing demand for bio-based composites from both residential as well as commercial sectors owing to their superior properties, over other types, such as moisture resistance, low maintenance, light-weight products is driving its demand in the industry.
Traditionally, plastic or synthetic composites were highly used in various end-use industries. However, owing to the environmental impacts of synthetic composites (carbon fiber and glass fiber) such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollution, and landfill issues, researchers and scientists shifted toward development of biocomposites derived from natural sources, thus forming the major biocomposites market trend.
The major growth drivers identified in the biocomposites market are the increasing need of environment friendly products and utilization of agricultural waste. Due to increasing environment concerns across the globe, the needs of green composites are increasing in the market. Along with that, the depleting natural resources such as crude oil which is the major component of non-bio composites is also contributing towards the increasing demand of these composites, resulting in market growth.
Glass fiber and carbon fibers are the major substitutes available in the market, to these bio-based composites. Glass fiber, owing to its superior physical properties, such as easy availability, and durability, derives its demand in many industries such as aerospace, automobile, and telecommunication. Carbon fiber also has increased demand in aerospace, military, automotive, and recreational application. Hence, availability of alternatives forms the major restraint in the biocomposites market.
Traditionally, the demand for bio-based composites in military aviation was limited to the replacement of the metal parts of aircraft. However, due to their high mechanical, thermal, and chemical strength, these materials now constitute a majority of airframe structure of a military aircraft. Wood-plastic composites are the majorly used materials in military aircraft. Hence, growing application of bi-based composites in military aviation is aviation is expected to serve as a lucrative opportunity for the biocomposites market.
Insights by geography
APAC is expected to be the fastest growing region in the biocomposites market during the forecast period. This is attributed to the increasing demand from construction industries for the bio-based products in the region. Increased penetration of bio-based composites in the transportation end-use industry and technological advancements in the mass production of these have also contributed to the high growth of the market in this region.
Some of the major players operating in the global biocomposites market are Trex Company, Inc., Tecnaro GmbH, Universal Forest Products Inc., Fiberon LLC, Meshlin Composites ZRT, Alpas SRL, MCG Bio Composites LLC, Jelu-Werk J. Ehrler GmbH & Co. Kg, FlexForm Technologies, and Green Bay Decking LLC.