Polyimide fibers have been in mass production since 1955. Polyimide fibers have a high heat-resistance and enjoy diverse roles in applications demanding rugged organic materials, e.g. high temperature fuel cells and displays. In addition, polyimide fibers are a class of polymers notable for chemical, wear and radiation resistance. Polyimide fibers can be prepared by various means. Polyimide fibers are commercially prepared by a chemical reaction between a dianhydride and a diamine or a reaction between a dianhydride and a diisocyanate. Polyimide fibers are also inherently resistant to flame combustion and do not usually need to be mixed with flame retardants. Thermoset polyimide fibers exhibit high tensile strength and low creep. In addition, molded polyimide parts have very good heat resistance. Normal operating temperatures for such parts and laminates range from cryogenic to those exceeding 500 °F (260 °C). According to the composition of their main chain, polyimide fibers can be: alphatic, semi aromatic and aromatic. According to the type of interactions between the main chains, polyimide fibers can be: thermosetting or pseudothermoplastic.
Polyimide fibers are flexible, lightweight and resistant to heat and chemicals. Polyimide fibers have applications in the electronics industry for flexible cables, as an insulating film on magnet wire and for medical tubing. High-temperature polyimide fiber composites are also used in non-loading structural components in aircrafts, weapon systems, and space vehicles. The appeal of polyimide fibers is attributable to their unique combination of high-thermal stability, good chemical and solvent resistance, as well as excellent retention of mechanical properties at high temperature. In coal-fired power plants, cement plants or waste incinerators, polyimide fibers are used to filter hot gases.
The growth in end user industries will drive the consumption of polyimide fibers. Automotive, aviation (particularly new commercial aircraft) and food service industries are expected to be the largest consumers of polyimide fibers. In addition, rapid economic growth and urbanization will boost the demand for polyimide fibers in emerging economies. However, availability of polyester substitutes could hamper the growth of this market.
North America and Europe are the largest markets for polyimide fibers. U.S. is the major hub for polyimide manufacturers in North America and the major market players are headquartered in U.S. Within Europe, most of the major market players are situated in countries such as Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region for the polyimide fibers market. Consumption of polyimide fibers in Asian countries other than Japan, including India, China, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan, has been growing rapidly in recent years despite the global economic recession. Asia-Pacific manufacturers are primarily based in Japan, China and India. China’s growing domestic economy, and its major role as a global supplier of durable goods, will fuel the growth of the market for polyimide fibers.
Research and development is the key part of polyimide fibers market. The manufacturing companies must invest for future advancements and technology modifications of polyimide fibers to replace metals and match the new demands coming from numerous end user industries. The key players in the polyimide fiber market are BASF SE (Germany), Formosa Group (Taiwan), Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.), Li Peng Enterprise Co. (China), Royal DSM N.V. (The Netherlands), Shenma Industrial Co. Ltd. (China), Ascend Performance Materials Inc. (U.S.), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.), Invista (U.S) and Radici Group (Italy) among others.
Key geographies evaluated in this report are:
Key features of this report