Carbon fiber prepreg is a conventional carbon fiber material that is specially pre-impregnated with catalyzed resins. The resin is mixed with its hardener in the prepreg form. The prepreg form allows carbon fibers to be impregnated on a flat workable surface. The carbon fiber prepreg is required to be stored at very low temperatures to prevent the resin from getting cured before the application. Carbon fiber prepregs should be kept at around –20?C, otherwise they may get cured even before application, and this creates problems especially during processes such as polymer injection molding and extrusion molding.
The manufacturing of prepreg parts involves the application of pressure, resulting in excellent fiber consolidation, further enhancing the structural performance of the composite. Carbon fiber prepreg application requires a composite vacuum pump, vacuum bagging supplies, and high temperature tolerant molds and oven to cure the parts. Presently, carbon fiber prepregs are extensively used due to the rising demand from the aerospace, automobile, and wind turbine industries owing to the properties such as high strength, light weight, and chemical resistance. The commonly employed methods for the synthesis of carbon fiber prepregs are hot melt process and solvent dip process.
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The carbon fiber prepreg market is primarily driven by the increasing demand for fuel efficient vehicles. Furthermore, there is increasing demand for carbon fiber prepregs from various applications such as aerospace and defense. The light weight and excellent strength of carbon fiber prepregs attracts manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, and thereby have become key factors driving the expansion of this market. Moreover, increasing usage of carbon fiber prepregs for the manufacture of sports goods, such as tennis rackets, bicycles, fishing rods, and golf shafts is further propelling the expansion of the market. However, high processing and manufacturing costs of carbon fiber prepregs, along with issues related to their recyclability, are major factors that are expected to restrain the expansion of the carbon fiber prepreg market
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Based on the resin type, the carbon fiber prepreg market can be classified as epoxy, cyanate ester, polyimide and phenolics. In terms of application, global carbon fiber prepreg market is classified into aerospace & defense, automotive, and wind applications. The carbon fiber prepreg market is classified on the basis of manufacturing process as hot melt and solvent dip methods
The global carbon fiber prepreg market has witnessed robust expansion in 2016, and the trend is estimated to continue during the forecast period. North America accounted for a significant share of the carbon fiber prepreg market due to availability of raw material processing and technological advancements in the region. The aerospace industry in North America is a key market and is anticipated to expand further due to fleet expansion activities. The demand for highly fuel efficient vehicles and strong protective coating is increasing in the region. Similarly, in Europe, the carbon fiber prepreg market is expanding. Germany and France are considered as the key countries in Europe. The demand from the aerospace and defense industry fuels the carbon fiber prepreg market in Europe. Asia Pacific, is also considered as a key country for the market of carbon fiber prepreg due to strong demand from China and India.