The global aerospace plastics market stood nearly 57 kilotons in 2014. It is estimated to grow at over 10 percent CAGR from 2016 to 2024 (forecast period). Regulatory policies coupled with robust fiscal aid should be the key market propeller. The market will also be driven by usage in airplanes, alternatives for steel & aluminium, and expansion in the aviation industry.
The aviation industry is likely to observe high growth across Middle Eastern nations; like Qatar, U.A.E., and Saudi Arabia. Higher air traffic in defense & commercial sectors has contributed sales for the North American market. Strict policies on petro-based products can hamper feedstock (high-grade plastics, etc.) availability.
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Moreover, adoption of carbon fibers in other applications may limit the availability of raw materials. Airplane manufacturers have begun employing a blend of thermoplastic & metal composites to lower fuel emissions and ensure passenger convenience. The aerospace plastics market is fragmented by applications, polymers, end-users, and geographies.
Applications comprise wings & rotor blades, airframe & fuselage, and cabin areas. Airframe & fuselage was the biggest segment in 2013. Demand for aerospace plastics in wings & rotor blades surpassed 7, 900 tons in 2014. ‘Plastics adoption’ in wings makes the latter quite resistant to metal fatigue. Demand for cabin area applications would grow at over 5 percent CAGR till 2024.
Polymers are polyether ketone ketone (PEKK), polyether ether ketone (PEEK), and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). PEKK was nearly USD 74.5 million in 2014. It has high ‘glass transition temperature’ & ‘mechanical load.’ PMMA generated around USD 168 million in 2014. It is used in flight decks & cockpits owing to its lightweight features.
Aerospace plastics do not rust and can function better than other materials. This characteristic bodes well for the aerospace plastics market and drives its incomes. End-users consist of military aircrafts, general aviation, and commercial & freighter aircrafts. Commercial & freighter was the biggest segment in 2013. Military aircrafts are likely to experience the fastest growth.
Geographical regions encompass Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and rest of the world. Europe dominated the global market in 2013. This region and Asia Pacific may be lucrative in the near future.