Las Colinas, Texas -- Composites consumption in passenger railcars saw double-digit growth during 2004-2009, and is expected to grow at a similar pace for the next five years (2010-2015), surpassing a value of $732 million by 2015, according to market research and consultancy group Lucintel.
Lucintel has analysed the rail composites market, and published a report, "Opportunities for Composites in the Worldwide Passenger Railway Market 2010- 2015."
According to the group, composites consumption in the passenger rail industry is driven by growth in the overall passenger rail market, and by increases in composites penetration in passenger railcar models.
From its early adoption in high-speed train sets, composites have gained increasing market penetration across a range of applications in the passenger rail industry says Lucintel. Composites provide several advantages over traditional materials, but their initial cost "has been a key challenge," for their faster growth in the passenger rail industry.
Unlike in the aerospace industry, the passenger rail industry is highly dominated by glass-fibre composites because of their cost advantages, the report notes. Glass/polyester composites accounted for the majority of the composite materials consumed, with usage of glass/phenolic composites confined to fire-risk applications that are driven by better fire, smoke, and toxicity properties.
In 2009, Europe was the dominant consumer of composites in the passenger rail industry, and is expected to maintain robust growth over the forecast period. Increased spending in railways by key Asian economies is also likely to provide significant opportunities for composite materials suppliers and moulders, as other equipment manufacturers evolve region-centric strategies to cater to the growing demands in Asia.
Lucintel's report analyses key drivers and challenges shaping the global rail composites marketplace. The report, which provides insights into current and future opportunities in the rail composites market, looks at market size, market share, regional analysis, trends and forecasts (2010-2015), industry leaders and market share analysis, composite materials consumption from both an end-product and raw material perspective, and growth opportunities in the composites passenger rail market.