The global aerospace composites market is anticipated to witness substantial growth in coming years owing to increasing use of carbon fiber composites in wings of aircrafts. Aerospace composites are composite materials that are used to manufacture various internal and external parts of an aircraft. They reduce an aircraft’s weight while maintaining its strength and durability than conventional materials. In addition, they are flexible enough to be molded into any shape with ease and hence, can be used to make components for an aircraft’s interior as well.
They offer improved strength to weight ratio, high stiffness, chemical resistance, and low thermal expansion. In addition, use of composite materials in commercial aircrafts can reduce weight of an airframe, which results in reduced fuel consumption and operational expenses. Reduction in maintenance and assembly costs is expected to fuel demand for carbon fiber in aerospace sector in the coming years. Increasing knowledge and development of composite materials is expected to increase their use in primary structure of aircrafts, such as wings and fuselages. Moreover, growing adoption of composite materials to develop mechanically strong and aesthetic interior parts of aircraft, such as eat frames, lavatories, cabin components, and storage bins, can propel market growth in the forthcoming years.
High cost of composite materials used for aircrafts can hamper market growth in the coming years. However, growth of aviation sector in developing countries is likely to create lucrative opportunities for the market.
The market can be segregated on the basis of fiber type, resin type, aircraft type, and application. Ceramic, carbon, and glass are the varied fiber types in the market. On the basis of resin type, the market can be classified into polyester, epoxy, phenolic, thermoplastic, and ceramic and metal matrix. The product is extensively employed for exterior and interior applications. Business aviation, commercial aviation, civil helicopters, military aircraft, and helicopters are the major aircraft types in the market.
North America is a leading region in the market attributed to presence of strong market players, such as Owens Corning and Hexcel Corporation. These companies are expected to adopt advanced business strategies, such as mergers and acquisitions to expand their product portfolio. For instance, Hexcel Corporation acquired ARC Technologies Inc., a leading supplier of microwave absorbing composite materials for aerospace applications. United States is a key contributor to market growth owing to rising demand for aerospace composites, which can be attributed to presence of giant manufacturers, such as Boeing and General Electric (GE).
Europe is expected to account for a significant share in the market owing to presence of aircraft manufacturers, such as ArianeGroup, European Satellite Navigation Industries, and Airbus SE. France is contributing significantly to regional market growth due to increasing production of aircrafts, which can be attributed to growth of tourism sector in the region. Growing need for high load carrying capacity in commercial aircraft can further stimulate market growth in the coming years. For instance, Airbus launched its new cabin brand “Airspace by Airbus”, which is inspiring, relaxing, and functional intended to provide advanced travel experience to passengers. The new aircraft A330neo launched under this new brand offers spacious and contemporary lavatories, larger overhead storage bins, and unobstructed under seat foot space. The company delivered its first A350-900 ultra-long range aircraft offering fuel carrying capacity of 165,000 liters in order to launch customer Singapore Airlines. TenCate Advanced Composites is expected to supply thermoplastic composite materials for this aircraft offering high strength, durability, and reduced weight.
Asia Pacific is likely to emerge highly lucrative owing to rising disposable income and growing middle class population in developing countries, such as India and China. Moreover, growing preference for air travel among consumers and robust growth of the aviation market in these countries are likely to boost regional market growth. Growing passenger traffic is anticipated to propel demand for commercial aircrafts, which could, in turn, boost market growth in the forthcoming years. For instance, Indigo ordered 430 A320neo family jets to expand its business and is expected to upgrade 125 of its existing orders for the bigger model. Similarly, SpiceJet is in talks with Airbus to purchase A330neo planes.
Some of the leading companies operating in the aerospace composites market are Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Hexcel Corporation, Materion Aerospace Metal Composites, Quantum Composites, and Renegade Materials Corporation.
Research Support Specialist, USA