The thermosetting composite material types SMC and BMC are both utilized in a variety of applications.
A composite material known as sheet molding compound (SMC) is commonly created by mixing glass fibers, polyester resin, and a variety of fillers and additives. The finished product is then molded into sheets, from which a variety of parts and components can be made. High strength, rigidity, and durability, as well as resistance to heat, chemicals, and UV rays, are all characteristics of SMC.
Similar to SMC, bulk molding compound (BMC) is used more frequently for intricate, smaller pieces. In order to create BMC, glass fibers, polyester resin, and a number of fillers and additives are mixed together. The resultant material is then molded under high pressure and temperature. BMC is well-known for its outstanding dimensional stability, as well as for being heat-, chemical-, and UV-resistant.
Applications for SMC and BMC include the automotive, aerospace, electrical, and building industries. They are notably well-liked in the automobile sector, where they are utilized to create light, strong components that aid in enhancing fuel economy and lowering emissions. Their high dielectric strength is a significant benefit in electrical applications like switchgear and transformers.
The Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) and Bulk Molding Compound (BMC) Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8 from 2023 to 2030. In the upcoming years, rising demand from the automotive sector is anticipated to fuel growth in the market for SMC and BMC. In order to produce lightweight, high-strength parts for cars that are in great demand due to the requirement for higher fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, SMC and BMC are employed widely.
The rising demand for electrical and electronic components, the expanding construction sector, and the expanding usage of composite materials in the aerospace sector are further drivers boosting the SMC and BMC markets. The availability of raw resources, rules controlling the use of composite materials, and the development of new technologies are all anticipated to have an impact on the industry.
IDI Composites International, A. Schulman, Inc., Royal DSM, Menzolit GmbH, Continental Structural Plastics, and Core Molding Technologies are a few of the major competitors in the SMC and BMC industries.
IDI Composites International
A new range of low-density sheet molding compounds (SMC) from IDI Composites International has been introduced. These compounds are intended to retain excellent strength and stiffness while reducing the weight of automobile parts. The new SMC formulations, which include glass and carbon fibers, provide weight reductions of up to 30% when compared to standard SMC.
A new range of bio-based resins for use in composite materials has been introduced, according to Royal DSM. The new resins provide a more environmentally friendly option to conventional petroleum-based resins since they are produced from renewable feedstocks. The new polymers will be used by the corporation in a variety of industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and electrical.
The Czech Republic and Germany's production facilities of Menzolit GmbH have been expanded. The company's ability to produce sheet molding compounds (SMC) and bulk molding compounds (BMC) is anticipated to improve as a result of the expansion, which will also allow it to better serve clients in the automotive and electrical sectors.
Continental Structural Plastics
A new range of composite materials created to satisfy the demands of the electric car industry has been introduced, according to a statement from Continental Structural Plastics. The novel materials, which are designed to be utilized in the construction of battery enclosures, structural elements, and other parts for electric cars, have excellent levels of strength, stiffness, and thermal stability.
“The market for SMC and BMC is anticipated to expand significantly over the next few years as a result of rising demand from the electrical, aerospace, and automotive sectors. The availability of raw resources, rules controlling the use of composite materials, and the development of new technologies are all anticipated to have an impact on the industry.”
Growing Demand from the Automotive Industry
The largest end-use market for SMC and BMC is the automotive industry, and the market is anticipated to develop as a result of the increased need for lightweight, high-strength materials in this industry.
Increasing Use of Composites in Aerospace
Another important end-use sector for SMC and BMC is the aerospace sector, where the growing usage of composites in aircraft construction is anticipated to fuel market expansion.
Advancements in Technology
By broadening the scope of uses for these materials, new technologies including low-density SMC and BMC, bio-based resins, and carbon fiber composites are predicted to propel market expansion.
Growing Demand from Emerging Economies
The market is anticipated to increase as a result of the rising demand for SMC and BMC from growing economies like China, India, and Brazil as well as the expansion of these nations' construction and automotive sectors.
Regulatory Support for Lightweight Materials
Government rules intended to lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase fuel economy are anticipated to encourage the automotive sector to employ lightweight materials, such as SMC and BMC, which will enhance the market's expansion.
Solution: Manufacturers have two options for cutting costs: they either spend in R&D to discover more affordable raw materials and production methods, or they can seek ways to reorganize their workflow.
Solution: Manufacturers may try to inform customers about the advantages of SMC and BMC and offer assistance and training to make it easier for them to design and make parts out of these materials.
Solution: To guarantee a steady supply of raw materials, manufacturers might endeavor to create alternate raw materials or create more sustainable supply chains.
Solution: Manufacturers may utilize cutting-edge testing and quality control procedures to remain on top of requirements and maintain compliance.
Solution: By creating innovative formulas and composites that offer distinctive performance properties or cost benefits over rival materials, manufacturers may distinguish their products from the competition.
Expansion into New Industries
Although the major end-use markets for SMC and BMC are now the automotive and aerospace sectors, there is potential for these materials to be employed in a wider range of sectors, including consumer products, sporting goods, and renewable energy.
Development of Sustainable Materials
By creating novel formulas and composites that employ bio-based resins and other sustainable ingredients, SMC and BMC producers may take advantage of the rising demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products.
Advancement in Technology
There is potential for innovation and market expansion due to the development of new technologies like low-density SMC and BMC as well as the incorporation of sensors and other electronics into composite materials.
For producers, the expanding market for SMC and BMC in developing nations like China, India, and Brazil offers a sizable opportunity for expansion.
Customization and Flexibility
Manufacturers can satisfy the specific requirements of their clients and develop new applications and markets thanks to the great degree of customization and flexibility offered by SMC and BMC in terms of design and production.
In conclusion, the SMC and BMC market is anticipated to expand steadily in the years to come, supported by a number of important factors, such as rising demand from the automotive and aerospace sectors, technological advancements, rising demand from emerging economies, and regulatory support for lightweight materials. Even though the market faces difficulties like high material and production costs, a lack of knowledge and experience, and competition from substitute materials, there are also many chances for growth, such as entering new markets, developing sustainable materials, advancing technology, and being flexible and customizable. In general, the SMC and BMC industry is a dynamic, quickly-evolving sector of the economy that offers a wealth of opportunities for producers who can innovate and adjust to shifting consumer wants and market trends.