Prepreg is a molding or reinforcing material, mainly glass cloth or paper, infused with synthetic resin. Both unidirectional and fabric prepreg can be made by utilizing the process of hot melt. In this process, the supplementary materials and resins are permitted to interact in the prepreg machine. The resin is infused in the fiber, and the outcome is the final prepreg which is twisted on a core. Usually, prepregs are used by fabricators who are adept in vacuum bagging and hand layup. There are many benefits of prepreg, namely lesser void content, convenient usage, regulation of thickness of the laminate, good resistance to fatigue, good resistance to corrosion and environment, a process that is clean, regulation of fiber volume fraction, better quality, conformity, extremely low coefficient thermal expansion, high particular strength and modulus and increased characteristics of vibration damping. Prepregs are applied in aerospace components, aircraft interiors, cargo liners, and aircraft flooring. They are also applied in tooling, ballistic panels, and automotive parts and components. Growing demand for fuel-efficient cars that are lightweight and increasing global production of aircraft that are commercial is driving the need for prepreg. The hindrance to the market growth is the low shelf life and high production costs.
Emerging trends in prepreg market
There is extensive use of prepreg in the aerospace industry. As prepregs experience thermal expansion that is low, they respond well to maximum temperatures. During the flight, manufacturers must consider far-reaching changes in temperature.
Prepregs are growingly used in wind turbines. Prepreg permits the industrial impregnation of fibers, followed by establishing impregnated fibers to shapes that are complex. The most extensively utilized technology to make wind blades, mainly the longer edges, is the technology of resin infusion.
Due to the covid-19, there was a gap in the manufacturing activities of prepreg. Failure of other material and chemical manufacturing divisions has eventually influenced the demand for prepregs in 2020. The prepreg manufacturing process was abandoned as there was a holistic diminishing of fabric and resin manufacturing schemes. The clampdown of many factories and plants worldwide has confined the global supply chain, and the manufacturing schemes, product sales, and delivery schedules have been impacted negatively.
In the prepreg market, the APAC region has the largest share. The dominance of the region can be due to growing demand for the defense and aerospace sector, construction and infrastructure projects, wind energy sector, increasing production in automotive, increasing production of sporting goods, and growing manufacturing of electronics.
The Solvay group of Belgium and Hexcel corporation of the US acquire many organic and inorganic strategies to grow their foothold in the prepreg fabrication.
The strategic position of leading market participants
In the global prepreg market, the most significant final user by volume and value will be commercial aerospace. The growth in commercial aerospace is because of the growing demand for materials that are lightweight in the new aircraft programs like Airbus A350 and Boeing 787.
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