As fuel efficiency and carbon emission norms become tighter, aircraft manufacturers are compelled to use advanced composite materials for optimum return. Lightweight composite materials are ideal in the manufacture of aircraft as they help increase payloads and fuel-carrying capacity. Composite materials are also used by aircraft manufacturers to lower carbon emissions, while currently the aerospace industry accounts for minuscule carbon emissions it is expected to increase in the future. In the defense sector, these features are indispensable to increase mission duration and to increase loiter time for aircrafts. Thus, aircraft manufacturers are on the lookout for advanced composite materials to be brought into use in place of conventional ones.
The aerospace market is one of the most important end-use industry for composite materials. Commercial aircraft, helicopters, general aviation aircraft, military aircraft, business jets, and space craft all require composites in substantial amounts both inside and outside.
Main Regions contributing to the growth of global aerospace composites market
North America stood as the leading regional market in 2015. Fleet expansion activities of airlines, expansion of low-cost carriers, and increased competition among global aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing are reasons for the dominance of the region.
Europe is a significant market for aerospace composites due to the expansion of the domestic aviation industry to counter the competition from high-speed trains and other modes of traveling. Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as a lucrative market for aerospace composites due to a considerable increase in commercial flights and emergence of world’s top aircraft manufacturers in the region.
In Latin America, the increasing number of low-cost carriers and increasing air traffic particularly in emerging economies such as Brazil will boost the growth of aerospace composites market. The presence of one of the world’s top aircraft manufacturer Embraer is also favoring the market’s expansion.
Leading product segment in the aerospace composites market
Carbon fiber composites stood as the leading product segment in 2015 accounting for almost 53% volume share of the global market. The complexity involved in the manufacture of carbon fiber composites results in a robust end product that adds value to the structures that are manufactured from it. While fiber glass composites and aramid fiber composites are relatively easy to manufacture, they do not provide fuel efficiency and low carbon emissions as provided by carbon fiber composites.
Are there factors holding back the market’s growth?
Yes. The high cost of manufacture of composite materials is a major factor restraining the market’s growth. High cost involved in the design and fabrication process and the use of high-quality carbon fibers make for the maximum expenditure incurred in the manufacturing process.