Pultrusion, a process that is used for manufacturing composite materials, impregnates reinforced materials such as fibers, woven fabrics, and branded strands with resins. This infusion is either done by pulling the reinforcement through a bath or by injecting the resin into an injection chamber, which is connected to the dye. Thermosetting polymers used for this process include polyester, polyurethane, vinylester, and epoxy.
Pultrusion technology has also been successfully incorporating the use of thermoplastic matrices such as polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Significant development in materials and technologies used for manufacturing composite materials has taken place since the introduction of the pultrusion technology in 1944. This can be ascribed to the proactive investment of various manufacturers in R&D activities to develop innovative technologies for construction, aerospace, tourism & sports, electrical power, and automotive industries.
Of late, manufacturers of plastics have been experimenting with many applications that traditionally use metals. Pultrusion is a typical example of the benefits of such experimentation. Hence, polymer pultruded products are replacing materials such as steel and aluminum in construction, transportation, and infrastructure industries. Attainment of flexible design patterns through the usage of various thermosetting and thermoplastic raw materials is another major factor driving the pultrusion market.
Increase in demand for lightweight materials and rise in demand for durable products for corrosive environments, such as rebar and gratings applications, are the key factors augmenting the pultrusion market. Furthermore, upcoming technological advancements, industrial developments, and innovative techniques developed for the use of pultrusion are anticipated to influence market growth.
The pultrusion market has been witnessing strong growth since the last few years owing to the high demand from end-user industries in the U.S., Germany, France, China, and Japan. However, factors such as lack of recyclability and high cost of raw materials vis-à-vis that for traditional materials may hamper market growth.
Based on fiber type, the pultrusion market can be segmented into glass fiber, carbon fiber, and others. The glass fiber segment dominates the pultrusion market as it offers properties such as corrosion resistance, incombustibility, and product appearance. Carbon fibers are widely used in commercial applications such as rebars and structural components in the aerospace & defense industry.
Based on resin type, the pultrusion market can be divided into polyester, vinyl ester, polyurethane, and other resins. Resin provides resistance to the environment (i.e. corrosion resistance, UV resistance, impact resistance, etc.), while glass provides strength in addition to safety from fire.
Based on application, the pultrusion market can be segregated into industrial, housing, civil engineering, consumer, and others. Pultruded products are being used in different applications due to the physical and mechanical properties such as light weight, high mechanical strength, heat resistance, chemical stability, thermal stability, recyclability, dimensional stability, and good optical clarity.
In terms of geography, the pultrusion market can be classified into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Currently, Asia Pacific is the largest consumer of pultruded parts; China and Japan are the major countries in terms of consumption. Urbanization and rapid industrialization have boosted the construction & infrastructure sector in Asia Pacific. This has been augmenting the demand for pultruded structural parts in the region.
Additionally, Asia Pacific and North America are the most active markets in terms of strategic initiatives, owing to their emerging market demand. Expansion in end-user industries, rise in local manufacturing, and increase in number of domestic players in the vertical market segment (for instance, industrial applications) are some of the factors driving the pultrusion market.
Key players operating in the pultrusion market include Strongwell Corporation, Exel Composites, Bedford Reinforced Plastics, Jiangsu Jiuding New Material Co., Faigle Kunstsoffe GmbH, and Diversified Structural Composites.
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