Industrial Chain Of Chinese Carbon-Based Composite Materials

Industrial Chain Of Chinese Carbon-Based Composite Materials

  1. Industrial chain of carbon-based composite materials
  2. Upstream analysis
    1. Carbon fiber
    2. Silicon carbide
    3. Propylene
  3. Midstream analysis
  4. Downstream analysis
    1. Photovoltaic power generation
    2. Semiconductors development
    3. Auto industry

Carbon-based composites are a general term for composite materials formed with carbon fiber as a reinforcement and resin. According to different matrix materials, it can be divided into carbon-carbon composite materials, carbon fiber reinforced resin-based materials, carbon fiber-reinforced metal composite matrix and other materials.

The carbon-carbon composite matrix is carbon, almost all of which is elemental carbon. It has excellent high temperature resistance and strong tensile strength of carbon fiber. It was mainly used in the field of national defense and military industry in the early days, and has expanded to the civilian field in recent years.

Early single crystal furnace thermal field system materials mainly used high-purity, high-strength isostatic graphite materials. Since 2020, the diameter of the Czochralski monocrystalline silicon furnace has reached 36 inches, and it can hold 700-800KG of silicon material at a time, which puts forward higher requirements for the size and strength of the carbon crucible.

Carbon-based composite materials refer to composite materials formed by chemical vapor deposition or liquid phase impregnation with carbon fiber as reinforcement, carbon or silicon carbide as matrix, and other processes. The development status of China’s carbon-based materials industry has great advantages, with urgent market demand and increasing capacity.

With the continuous advancement of industrial upgrading and cost reduction in the photovoltaic and semiconductor industries, it is expected that carbon-based composite materials will replace graphite materials and become the main material for crystalline silicon manufacturing thermal field system components. Except for crystalline silicon, there is polysilicon. And in China, polysilicon manufacturers have had mature silicon manufacturing technology.

Industrial chain of carbon-based composite materials

Industrial chain of carbon-based composite materials

The upstream of carbon-based composite materials in China includes carbon, carbon fiber, silicon carbide, methane, propylene, etc. The midstream includes carbon/carbon composite products and carbon/ceramic composite products. Downstream application in photovoltaic power station, semiconductor, automobile industry, aerospace, chemical industry, etc.

Upstream analysis

Carbon fiber

The carbon fiber industry is an emerging industry with broad development prospects in the lightweight market and irreplaceable advantages in national defense, aerospace and other sectors. The size of China’s carbon fiber market has maintained a growing trend, from US$482 million in 2016 to US$1.588 billion in 2021, with an average annual compound growth rate of 26.9%.

The new energy strategy will greatly stimulate the development of renewable or new energy such as wind power, photovoltaics, and hydrogen energy. With the continuous development and growth of various downstream application fields, the scale of China’s carbon fiber market will further increase.

Silicon carbide

In 2021, three 6-inch SiC wafer production lines will be put into operation in China. At present, there are at least seven 6-inch SiC wafer manufacturing lines (including pilot lines), and about 10 SiC production lines are under construction. In terms of GaN RF production lines, there are currently five 4-inch GaN-on-SiC production lines, and about five GaN RF production lines are under construction.


In recent years, driven by downstream demand, China’s propylene production capacity has continued to expand rapidly. In 2021, China’s propylene production will be 42.97 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 19.03%, and it is expected to reach 45.3 million tons in 2022.

Midstream analysis of carbon-based composite materials

Midstream analysis

Carbon-based composite material is a kind of carbon-based material, which refers to the general term of composite materials with carbon as the matrix. With the continuous enhancement of China’s scientific research capabilities, the preparation methods of carbon-based composite materials have made progress, and the output of carbon-based composite materials is on the rise.

In 2020, China’s carbon-based composite material output will be 482,700 tons, a year-on-year increase of 9.5%, and it is expected to reach 570,900 tons in 2022.

In recent years, the application penetration rate of carbon-based composite materials in photovoltaic thermal fields has been increasing. In 2021, the penetration rate of carbon-based composite materials in the photovoltaic thermal field will reach 65%, and it is expected to increase to 100% in 2025.

From the perspective of regional distribution of carbon-based material enterprises, Guangdong Province currently ranks first in China with 72 carbon-based material-related enterprises, Jiangsu and Anhui rank second and third, and the number of carbon-based material-related enterprises is 70 and 40 respectively.

In addition, Shandong, Zhejiang, Shanxi, Hunan, Beijing, Shanghai, and Liaoning rank among the top ten, ranking 4th to 10th in order. On the whole, the carbon-based material industry is mainly concentrated in Guangdong.

Downstream analysis

Photovoltaic power generation

In recent years, the world’s carbon neutrality goal has been clear, and photovoltaics are expected to lead the rapid development of renewable energy. Driven by the dual drive of coping with the energy crisis and strengthening environmental protection, the photovoltaic industry has received strong support from countries all over the world, showing a trend of rapid and upward development as a whole.

In the first three quarters of 2022, China’s photovoltaic power generation will add 52.6 million kilowatts of grid-connected capacity, including 17.27 million kilowatts of centralized photovoltaic power plants and 35.33 million kilowatts of distributed photovoltaic power plants.

Semiconductors development

Semiconductors development

Due to the high added value and high certification threshold of semiconductor silicon wafers, the demand for application of new materials to reduce costs is lower than that of the photovoltaic industry, and the substitution rate of carbon-based composite materials in the semiconductor industry is also low.

China is currently the semiconductor materials market with the largest demand in the world. From 2017 to 2021, the scale of China’s integrated circuit market has grown from RMB 541.1 billion to RMB 1,045.8 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of about 17.9%. The scale of China’s semiconductor market continues to rise. According to forecasts, the scale of China’s integrated circuit market will reach 1,139.7 billion RMB in 2022.

Auto industry

The brake materials of modern vehicles such as automobiles and high-speed trains have experienced the development from cast iron, synthetic materials, powder metallurgy materials to carbon-carbon composite materials and carbon-ceramic composite materials.

As of the end of September 2022, the number of motor vehicles in the country is 315 million. There are 82 cities in the country with more than 1 million cars, an increase of 6 cities year-on-year, 38 cities with more than 2 million cars, and 21 cities with more than 3 million cars.


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