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The global metal replacement market is estimated to rise at a significant level during the forecast period (2017-2023) on account of the growing demand for metal replacing materials including plastics and composites in applications such as automobile, aerospace and defense industries.
The global market for metal replacement is segmented into type, application and geography. On the basis of type, the metal replacement market can be categorized as engineering plastics and composites. Engineering plastics, also known as technical thermoplastics, possess good mechanical characteristics, high dimensional stability, and chemical resistance. These can be used permanently at temperatures ranging from 100-150◦C. The engineering plastics can be segmented as polycarbonates (PC), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyamides (PA), thermoplastic polyesters (PET and PBT), polyacetals and fluoropolymers. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is expected to witness considerable growth, in terms of volume, during the forecast period, followed by polyamides and polycarbonates. The acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) segment is expected to witness growth in demand as they are corrosion and thermal resistant, and cost-effective. Composites have unique properties such as high strength-to-weight ratio, thermal resistance, sound corrosion resistance, and impact resistance, that makes them ideal for use in end-use industries such as aerospace and defense, construction, and automotive. The composite segment can be further categorized as Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) and Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastics (GFRP). The composite segment is estimated to grow during the forecast period due to the growth in the carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) market.
On the basis of end-use industry, the metal replacement market has been segmented into automotive, aerospace and defense, construction, and healthcare. The automotive industry exhibits the maximum demand in the global metal replacement market, in value terms, on account of increasing application of metal replacing materials in the manufacture of vehicle body parts. Increasing automobile production coupled with the growing repair and maintenance activities is propelled to further spur the growth of metal replacement market during the forecast period.
There has been a significant rise in the demand of metal replacing materials in the construction industry to replace steel bars for concrete reinforcements and to manufacture sewage systems on account of increasing projects in the housing construction market. This is expected to contribute to the growth of metal replacement in the Asia-Pacific region. China and India is forecasted to contribute significantly to the Asia-Pacific region during the forecast period due to the increasing consumption in the construction and automotive industries.
The slow economic growth in North America and Europe due to economic crisis in 2008 posing an obstruction to the growth of metal replacement market. Therefore, demand projections for metal replacement materials has become a major challenge in these regions.
Major players operating in the global metal replacement market include BASF SE, Celanese Corporation, Covestro AG, E. I. Dupont De Nemours and Company, Jushi Group, LG Chem, Ltd., Owens Corning, SGL Group, Saint-Gobain SA, Solvay SA, and Toray Industries, Inc.