In the global oil and gas industry, composites usage is significantly increasing as the offshore segment moves to greater water depths. Composites’ weight savings, higher strength and corrosion resistance work in conjunction with the application of buoyant tension for the leg structures. To reach such performance, the industry is using composites in applications such as risers, tethers and umbilicals.

Composites Potential and Unmet Needs

In this era of rapid change, companies are looking for transformational growth to keep ahead of their competition. Understanding unmet needs in various segments of the composites industry would provide rapid growth opportunities for industry players. Material suppliers and part fabricators need to work together to drive innovations in the composites industry to meet the end market’s needs. Some of the areas where the composites industry can drive innovation include sustainability, weight reduction, price reduction and cycle time reduction. Developing products to meet unmet needs would boost the composites industry to new height. Reducing the cost of composites products by 30 percent, for example, would increase the composites opportunity in the U.S. from $30 billion to $87 billion in 2018. Composite end products market potential analysis in 2018 at different price points is shown in the graph on page X.

Cost is a major barrier for widespread use of composites in many applications. Cost reduction would help increase the market penetration for composites several fold, thus increasing composites volume significantly.

In short, there are hundreds of opportunities for composites within reach, where concepts have been proven, technological risks have been eliminated, initial customers’ acceptance has been achieved and the industry has significant potential for increasing the market penetration. Some of these opportunities include rebar and window frames in construction, drive shafts and roof panels in automotive, pipes and tethers in oil and gas, and fuselage and wings in aerospace and defense, where market penetration for composites is less than 1 percent. Five to 10 times increase in market penetration in such applications would increase composites demand significantly. Understanding customer unmet needs, demand drivers and success factors would help companies gain competitive advantage and minimize the gap for success.