The global cylinders industry has witnessed a gradual shift from the type I steel cylinders to an increased usage of composite cylinders in various segments, with the composite cylinders market experiencing growth in support of an end product market reaching $1,223 million by 2015. Composites consumption in the cylinders market is expected to witness a double-digit growth rate from 2010-2015, with growing application segments and regional shift. Lucintel, a global management consulting and market research firm, has published “Growth Opportunities in Global Composite Cylinders Market 2010-2015: Trends, Forecast and Market Share Analysis.”

In the last five years, production of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) rose by more than 20%, and the growth rate is expected to be the same in the next few years. Composite cylinders, though comparable in price to traditional counterparts, have a promising future because of weight savings, capacity advantage and other performance benefits. Metal cylinders can explode when coming in contact with hazardous materials, fire or toxic fumes, but composite cylinders rupture rather than explode.

Composite cylinders are also finding use in the transportation industry. Lightweight composite cylinders provide easy portability to ambulatory patients, fire fighters, and SCUBA divers, as well as increases in the fuel efficiency of NGVs.

According to the report, the availability of substitute materials for composite cylinders does not provide a ceiling on industry profitability since composite products are continually growing, as compared to alternate products, on a cost/performance basis.

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