The global aerospace plastics market was valued at approximately 57 kilotons in 2014 and it is projected to grow at an approximate CAGR of over 10% over the forecast period of 2016 to 2024. Government regulations coupled with strong financial support are expected to remain a key driving factor for market growth over the forecast period.
The market is expected to be driven by factors such as growing aviation sector, substitute for aluminum and steel and easy adoption in aircraft design. Aviation sector is expected to witness a significant growth in the Middle East countries such as Dubai, Qatar, and Saudi.
Restraints in the aerospace plastic market are owing to high fabrication cost, toxicity issues, and safety related issues. Severe regulations for petro based products and growing carbon fibers are expected to restrict the availability of high grade plastics.
Development of bio-based products such as reduced tendency on thermoplastic is expected to boost demand significantly over the next eight years. Instead of steel aerospace, plastics manufacturers have started implementing thermoplastic coupled with metal to ensure passengers comfort and to reduce fuel emission.
Aerospace plastics are approximately 50% lighter than aluminum. The primary scope of thermoplastic is to reduce the overall weight of aircraft and to improve the fuel efficiency.
A wide range of polymers is used in aerospace plastics such as poly ether ether ketone (PEEK), poly ether ketone ketone (PEKK), poly methyl metha crylate (PMMA).
PEKK market was valued approximately at USD 74.5 million in 2014 and this polymer possesses high mechanical load and high glass transition temperature. PEKK polymers are used in the empennage. PEEK operating temperature goes up to 450 °F.
PMMA market was valued approximately at USD 168 million in 2014 and this polymer possesses long term mechanical performance along with weather, temperature, and chemicals. PMMA polymers are used in cockpit and flight decks. PMMA polymers are finding wide application scope in windows of flight decks and cockpits because of its light weight properties.
Polymers exhibit the superior properties such as good electrical insulation, high mechanical and thermal stability, high chemical resistance, inherent flame resistance and low degree of thermal expansion. Aerospace plastics can be operated better than the other materials and they do not corrode.
Increasing in application scope in end use industries such as airframe, fuselage, rotor blades and wings, empennage, cockpit and flight decks and cabin areas is expected to boost demand significantly in the next eight years.
Cabin areas demand are anticipated to grow at an approximate CAGR of over 5% over the forecast period. Polycarbonate, decorative vinyl and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) are used for making cabin areas.
Military aircraft demand is expected to reach approximately 5700 tons by 2024. Integrated plastic circuits which can withstand high temperatures are used in military aircraft.
New designs maximizing the structural benefits and technological advancement in new plastic composites are increasing the volume of plastic and flexibility of designs. Planes and jets are used for commercial purpose and it is increasing the growth opportunity in the aerospace industry.
North America is expected to witness a significant growth of 3% in terms of traffic and capacity over the forecast period. Defense aircraft and commercial aircraft market are also increasing demand for the aerospace industry. In 2014, the overall revenue of aerospace plastic industry has contributed over 36% in this region.
Asia Pacific is also anticipated to have significant growth over the forecast period owing to increase the number of suppliers and the government supports. In 2014, the overall revenue of aerospace plastic industry has contributed over 9% in this region.
The growth of the aviation sector is expected to drive the market in the Middle East and African countries. New development and easy adoption of aircraft design technologies are increasing the demand in this region.
Some of the key players in the market include Mitsubishi Rayon Heavy Industries Limited, Toray Carbon Fibers, Hexcel Corporation, Toho Tenax Co. Ltd., Hyosung Corporation, Cytec Industries Inc., Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), HITCO Carbon Composites, Zoltek Companies Inc., Evonik Industries AG, Tech Tool Plastic Inc., and Kaman Aerospace Corporation.
Leading market player Zodiac Aerospace and Hexcel Corporation coupled together and implemented L3 passenger seats for airline industry in 2014.
Research Support Specialist, USA