The global sheet moulding compound market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% during 2014-2019 according to a new report form management consulting and market research firm Lucintel.
Sheet moulding compound or sheet moulding composite is a ready to mould glass-fibre reinforced polyester material primarily used in compression moulding. The sheet is provided in rolls weighing up to 1000kg.
The major driver of the sheet moulding compound market is the increasing focus on lightweight materials in the automotive industry to achieve fuel efficiency.
The demand for sheet moulding compound is driven by the growth in end user applications, such as transportation, electrical & electronics, and construction industry. Asia Pacific is the largest consumer of the global sheet moulding compound market, driven by growth in China and India.
The transportation industry is expected to remain the largest segment in terms of both value and volume during the forecast period. The major driving force behind the growth of the market is the increasing penetration of sheet muolding compound materials in the automotive industry to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle in order to achieve better fuel efficiency.
IDI Composites International, Premix, Menzolit, Magna, Polynt, and Continental Structural Plastics are some of the major producers of sheet moulding compound materials for various applications.
Further development of sheet moulding compounds and examples of use
A new form of moulded compounds called Structural Thermosets are now becoming more popular. The new high performance composites are distinguished from standard sheet and bulk moulding compounds (SMC and BMC) by the use of more specialised resins combined with higher levels of reinforcement (glass, carbon, aramid, etc.). The resulting fiber reinforced composite material satisfies unique performance requirements, which can improve the design, manufacture, and durability of a broad range of products.
DPS Electronics in Bozeman, Montana, US designs and manufactures electronics for the railway industry, specialising in advanced solutions for head of train and end of train telemetry.
The DPS 2020-He ETD specifically monitors the train’s brake line pressure and relays that and other critical information back to the locomotive making this unit an essential piece of equipment for the safe operation of a train.
Material selection for the 2020-HeETD was exceptionally important as it is constantly exposed to the elements and many other factors that can break down a poorly constructed unit – including extreme cold and vibration. Another factor critical to material selection was weight. In some instances Carmen walks the length of the train carrying the end of train device to link it to the head of train device, so weight is a major safety issue.
The original DPS 2020 was made from aluminum, when developing the new 2020-He ETD, DPS wanted something that would give them an even lighter unit that would match or exceed the durability of their old unit – they found both in IDI Composites’ Structural Thermoset Compounds.