UK Composites Industry Competitiveness and Opportunities

BEIS, Innovate UK, High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC) and Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) have produced a study of the UK market for fibre reinforced polymer composites (FRPs). This will be used by BEIS to inform future policymaking, and also by industrial companies and representative sector bodies to inform their wider communities.

Fibre reinforced polymer composites (FRPs) are now used widely in a variety of engineering applications. They are an extremely broad and versatile class of material, encompassing a wide range of fibre and matrix combinations that provide a multiplicity of component design and manufacturing options. Their high strength and stiffness, coupled with light weight, leads to their use whenever structural efficiency is at a premium. The UK has played a major role in the emergence and global adoption of FRPs over the last 60 years, with much of the underpinning theoretical and experimental understanding created by UK scientists, and with UK industry being the first to commercialise the production of carbon fibres.

The study was undertaken by means of a collaboration between Lucintel LLC and Optimat Ltd, both of whom have considerable experience of conducting independent market studies in the advanced materials and industrial domain. The bulk of the work was carried out during 2020 and it comprised of face-to-face interviews with more than 100 organisations across the spectrum of the UK FRP industrial base, supplemented by significant secondary research and analysis.

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