The unidirectional tapes (UD Tapes) market is estimated at USD 145.3 million in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 316.3 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 13.79%. There has been wide acceptance of UD tapes in various industries such as aerospace & defense, automotive, sports & leisure, which is expected to drive the market. The increasing use of UD tapes in primary & secondary structures of commercial aircraft and the high demand for commercial aircraft are driving the UD tapes market in the aerospace industry.
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North America is also the fastest-growing market and is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period, owing to the increasing demand from end-use industries such as aerospace & defense, automotive, and sports & leisure. The useful properties offered by UD tapes, such as high strength, stiffness, and width tolerance, and high rigidity, make it an ideal material for use as reinforcement in the mentioned end-use industries.
Leading global companies are shifting their production facilities, establishing sales offices, and expanding their distribution channel to regions, such as China, India, and Southeast Asia, to ensure sustainable demand and increase their market share. The gradual shift of manufacturing facilities to countries having high demand and lower production cost is positively influencing the market growth.
Major players operating in the UD tapes market include Toray Industries, Inc. (Japan), SABIC (Saudi Arabia), Evonik Industries (Germany), Hexcel Corporation (US), SGL Group (Germany), Teijin Limited (Japan).
Evonik Industries engages in the specialty chemicals business, globally. The company operates through four business segments, namely, resource efficiency, nutrition & care, performance materials, and services. It primarily manufactures specialty chemicals for applications in the animal nutrition, consumer goods, and healthcare sectors. Evonik Industries manufactures UD tape VESTAPE, which offers good mechanical properties, reduced thermal expansion, low shrinkage, and can withstand the highest loading requirements. In February 2017, Evonik Industries introduced endless fiber-reinforced UD tapes under the VESTAPE brand. The company is manufacturing both glass and UD tapes using polyamide 12 and specialty high-temperature polyamides.
SABIC is a diversified chemical company. The company operates through three main segments, namely, chemicals, metals, and agro-nutrients. It has a strong customer base and operates in many countries of Europe, North America, APAC, South America, and the Middle East. UD tapes are manufactured by SABIC’s Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics (FRT) business. It is a SABIC affiliate company based in the Netherlands. The company manufactures UD tapes under UDMAX brand. In March 2018, SABIC introduced UDMAX GPE 46–70 tape, expanding the portfolio of UDMAX UD fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite tape products.
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