JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 23

WPC

WPC and natural fibre composites:
market and trends in Europe

By

Dipl.-Phys. Michael Carus,
nova-Institut (Germany)
Dr. rer. nat. Asta Eder,
Asta Eder Composites Consulting
(Austria/Finland)

l

n 2012, 352,000 tonnes
of biocomposites were
produced in the European
Union, including wood and
natural fibre composites. The
most important application
sectors are construction
(decking, siding and fencing)
and automotive interior parts.
Between 10 and 15% of the total European composite market is covered by wood-plastic
composites (WPC) and natural fibre composites (NFC).
The study was conducted by
the nova-Institute (Germany)
in cooperation with Asta Eder
Composites Consulting (Austria/Finland).

Total production of
biocomposites
Table 1 summarizes the
results of the survey, showing
all wood-plastic composites
and natural fibre composites
produced in the European
Union including all sectors,
applications and processing
technologies.

The nova-Institute and Asta Eder Composites Consulting have just released
a market study entitled "Wood-Plastic Composites (WPC) and Natural Fibre
Composites (NFC): European and Global Markets 2012 and Future Trends"
(March 2014) based on a survey conducted in 2013 within the WPC and NFC
industries. This report provides a comprehensive and detailed picture of
the use and amount of wood and natural fibre reinforced composites in the
European bio-based economy. Here is a summary of this study.
Decking and automotive are
the most important application sectors for WPC, followed
by siding and fencing, while
only the automotive sector
is relevant for natural fibre
composites (NFC) today. The
share of WPC and NFC in
the total composite market -
Tab. 1: Production of biocomposites
(WPC and NFC) in the European Union
in 2012 (tonnes) (Source: nova 2014)

Wood-plastic composites 260,000
Decking

174,000

Automotive

60,000

Siding and fencing

16,000

Technical applications

5,000

Furniture

2,500

Consumer

2,500

Natural fibre composites

92,000

Automotive

90,000

Others

2,000

Total volume biocomposites (WPC and NFC)

352,000

Share

15%

Composite production in
European Union, total
volume (Glass, carbon,
WPC and NFC)

2,4
million

including glass, carbon, wood
and natural fibre composites
- is already an impressive 15%.
Even higher shares are to be
expected in the future as NFC
are starting to enter other
markets than just the automotive industry. WPC granulates
for injection moulding are
now produced and offered by
global players, becoming more
attractive for manufacturers of
consumer goods, automotive
and technical parts.
With increasing polymer
prices and expected incentives for bio-based products
(the "bio-based economy"
is one of the lead markets in
Europe), this trend will go
from strength to strength,
resulting in two-digit growth
and increasing market shares
over the coming decade.

Wood-plastic composites
(WPC)
The total volume of WPC
production in Europe was
260,000 tonnes in 2012 (plus
92,000 tonnes of natural fibre
composites for the automotive
industry, see Table 1). The
level of market penetration of
No89 May 2014 /

bio-based composites varies
between regions and from
one application field to the
next. Germany leads the way
in terms of number of players
and production figures:
45% (85,000 tonnes) of the
European WPC production
for decking, fencing and other
construction applications
(190,000 tonnes) was extruded by 20 German companies.
In Europe, the typical production process is the extrusion
of a decking profile based on
a PVC or PE matrix (followed
by PP). Increasing market
penetration by WPC means
that WPC volumes have
risen strongly and Europe is
now a mature WPC market.
This study predicts growth,
especially in the Germanspeaking world, on the back
of a recovery in construction,
particularly renovation, and a
further increase in the WPC
share of the highly competitive
decking market. Variations of
WPC decking models such
as capped embossed solid
profiles or garden fencing are
on the rise across Europe.
The development of the dis-

jec composites magazine 23



JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014

Cover
Edito
Point of view: volume production
Contents
COMPANY & BUSINESS In Brief
MEA
Agenda of Events
APPLICATIONS
Race car
E-helicopter
Pipes
Consumer goods
MARKET
Brazil
U.S.
WPC
FEATURE AERONAUTICS
Integration
CMC
Prepregs
CAE
Design
Equipment
Structure
Interview
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Infusion
Process
TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATIONS
Automotive
Tow placement
Core materials
Index
In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Point of view: volume production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - COMPANY & BUSINESS In Brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Agenda of Events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - MEA
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 11
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Ad1
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Ad2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Race car
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 14
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - E-helicopter
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Pipes
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Consumer goods
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Brazil
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - U.S.
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - WPC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 26
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Integration
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - CMC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Prepregs
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - CAE
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Design
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Equipment
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Structure
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Interview
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Infusion
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 50
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Process
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Automotive
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 58
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Tow placement
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 62
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Core materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 64
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Index
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 68
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