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How will 5G deployment influence aramid fiber market demand in the future?

Selbyville, Delaware Globally recognized as one of the most crucial industry verticals within the polymers and advanced materials space, global aramid fiber market size is projected to hit a valuation of over US$5 billion by 2024.    

Aramid fibers market are a class of high-strength and heat resistant synthetic fibers. These high-performance materials are characterized by exceptional physical properties including superior resistance to abrasion and organic solvents, low flammability, and excellent fabric integrity at elevated temperatures. Over the past few years, aramid fibers and products made from them have been abundantly used across a range of different applications.

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5G deployment to bring promising opportunities

5G, the next-generation wireless technology, promises a seamless future. It will unlock lightning fast speeds for users and allow a greater number of devices to come online simultaneously without slowing down network. Deployment of the highspeed network will require additional equipment, including new transmitters to relay all the data generated. Many of those transmitters will likely still connect to the internet via optical fiber cables.

Taking into consideration the recent developments as well as 5G deployment efforts, the demand for fiber optic cables is anticipated to grow rapidly in the near future. Aramid and para aramid fibers are widely used in the production of fiber optic cables. Aramid fiber market manufacturers have adopted numerous growth strategies, such as expansion of existing manufacturing facilities and setting up of new ones, in preparation for 5G.

For instance, in July 2018, China-based Yantai Tayho Advanced Materials had invested US$89 million into a para aramid production facility in northwest China. The company had aimed to manufacture 3,000 tons of para aramid fiber yarns to meet the surging demand for optical fiber cables for 5G networks. In the following year, Japan’s Teijin had announced plans to boost the production of para aramid fibers which it manufactures and sells under the name Twaron.

Citing yet another instance, in May 2020, South Korean manufacturer Hyosung Advanced Materials had signed an MoU with the city of Ulsan for investment in the expansion of its aramid facility. As per the deal, the city of Ulsan agreed to offer administrative support to Hyosung regarding the necessary approvals and authorizations.

These trends, along with numerous 5G testing and deployment efforts in China, Japan, South Korea, and India in the forthcoming years will positively influence Asia Pacific (APAC) aramid fiber market forecast.

Immense potential in advanced applications

Numerous instances of explosion of mobile devices, drones, electric vehicles, and other technologies over the years have pushed the demand for lightweight materials to power them. Researchers at Texas A&M University and the University of Houston developed a new supercapacitor electrode in June 2020 using aramid nanofiber and graphene oxide. The new supercapacitor electrode is much stronger and more versatile than conventionally used carbon electrodes.

The aramid nanofiber provides exceptional mechanical strength that enhances the electrode’s versatility for a range of applications, including the military. The research was funded by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The development of more accurate modeling methods will enable the discovery of new, more effective nano-architecture solutions that can provide higher energy and longer battery life with a lighter weight.

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Key growth restraints and COVID-19 impact

High costs associated with the production of aramid fibers could turn out to be a major factor restricting their demand in the future. Also, lack of availability or raw materials due to the recent coronavirus outbreak and subsequent disruptions in manufacturing and supply chains have affected global aramid fiber industry forecast up to certain extent.

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