Aerospace Plastics Market is set to carve out a profitable roadmap in the years ahead, subject to the numerous benefits that plastics offer, such as corrosion endurance, light weight, and impact resistance. The use of plastics for manufacturing aircraft components has multiplied four times since the last 45 years. These plastics are extensively used to manufacture aircraft components, right from bottles to major parts of the aircraft body, owing to which aerospace plastics industry is anticipated to hit USD 15.74 billion by 2022, growing at CAGR of 12% over 2015-2022. This market is quite consolidated, for the top four players accounted for more than 67% of the total revenue share in 2014. Companies that manufacture aircraft composites have also been making efforts to ante up the product development, innovation, and regional expansion to diversify their business across the globe. For instance, Toray Industries, the world leader in global aerospace plastic market, recently announced its plans of consolidating its operations in America. As per the company’s officials, this move is expected to strengthen the presence of the company in the U.S., innovate better products, and ensure overall consumer satisfaction.
Asia Pacific aerospace plastics market share, by application, 2014
Toray Industries supplies raw materials as well as finished goods to reputed aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus. Other major participants operating in aerospace plastics market include HITCO Carbon Composites, Tech-Tool Plastics, Hexcel, Toho Tenax, Saudi Basic Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Premium Aerotec Zoltek, Cytec Industries, Hyosung Corp, Kaman Corp, and Ensinger. Despite being fairly consolidated, aerospace plastics industry is quite competitive.
Plastic materials have been widely used since the early 19th century, however, their utilization in the manufacturing process of aircraft components was brought about only post the Second World War. Having begun their journey into the aircraft manufacturing space as a substitute for rubber, plastics came to be extensively used in the construction of helicopters and airplanes in the years ahead. Today, they are one of the most durable, strong, and dependable material used for manufacturing navigation and structural elements in commercial and military aircrafts, thereby propelling global aerospace plastics market.
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is one of the main products used to make aircraft elements. It possesses the properties of high strength, light weight, circumvention of radar detection, subject to which this material is extensively used in military applications. This will spur aerospace plastics market from military aircrafts. Military applications are touted to be a major revenue generating segment across various geographies, as is evident from the statistics.
APAC aerospace plastics market, having held more than 13% of the global revenue in 2014, will register huge gains over 2015-2022, pertaining to the high demand for commercial and military aircrafts across countries such as India and China. In fact, China is heavily involved in the construction of aircraft 787 – the country manufactures components such as wing-to-body fairing panels, rudders, leading edge for vertical fins, and other components, which will rapidly stimulate APAC aerospace plastics industry.
Speaking of manufacturing capacities, North America is likely to contribute heavily in the construction of aircraft components, especially for the military sector. North America military aircraft plastic consumption has been predicted to surpass 5 kilo tons by 2022. This may possibly be a result of the high funding by the Federal and state governments in the defense & military sectors, which is bound to fuel the regional aerospace plastics market. In addition, the aviation industry outlook has also been on a significant high across this continent, subject to which North America aerospace plastics industry share is expected to exceed USD 5 billion by 2022.
The latest trend in aerospace plastics market is that of utilizing polymers as raw material. Manufacturers have begun to use polymers on a large scale owing to their excellent properties that help enhance fuel economy and reduce the overall weight of the finished component. These polymers are being excessively used for manufacturing commercial aircrafts. Pertaining to this factor, aerospace plastics market size from commercial & freighter aircrafts industry is likely to cross USD 10 billion by 2022, having held a revenue of more than USD 5.6 billion in 2014.
Business and private jets are a thing of the present, especially with the world’s elite wanting to fly across the globe for major business travel or black tie events. With the rising prominence of exclusive private planes and the increasing number of commercial planes by the day, aerospace plastics market from general aviation is likely to observe a fairly modest growth over the next five years, having held more than 10% of the overall demand in 2014.
The usage of plastics for certain applications of aerospace plastics market is characterized by stringent government rules. For instance, manufacturers are required to comply with the Fire, Smoke, & Toxicity regulations prior to using plastics to manufacture flight deck & cockpit components. Nonetheless, compliance aside, the strength and durability of the material will lead to its extensive usage for the deck & cockpit, thereby stimulating aerospace plastics industry from flight & cockpit applications. This sector contributed to more than 15% of the total revenue in 2014 and is anticipated to observe a heavy CAGR over the years to come.
A relatively larger amount of CFRPs are used to manufacture airframes & fuselages, as this application demands the utilization of lightweight material and high efficiency. In 2014, aerospace plastics market size from airframes & fuselages held the maximum revenue – the valuation exceeded USD 2.2 billion. It is expected that aerospace plastics industry size from airframes & fuselages will cross 40 kilo tons by volume by 2022, with a fairly high CAGR estimation over the next few years.
Pertaining to a strict regulatory framework designed for the aviation industry, Europe aerospace plastics market is anticipated to register a significant CAGR over 2015-2022, with a revenue estimation of USD 6.5 billion by 2022. Germany and France are touted to be the key revenue contributors. In fact, France houses numerous institutions that provide aviation training and engineering programs. In addition, most of the French aviation companies pour back more than 15% of their annual earnings back into the company’s research & development activities. Such initiatives undertaken by other European countries will undeniably stimulate Europe aerospace plastics market.
Most of the European airplanes are designed with unique comfort and superior engineering. The continent has also been experiencing a rising demand for airbus aircrafts that require efficient empennage construction. This will bring about a positive change in Europe aerospace plastics market outlook from empennage applications, which is slated to grow significantly over 2015-2022.
The high quality and enhanced sophistication of European airplanes must also be credited to the efficient construction of cabin areas, which demand the utilization of plastics for various elements such as decorative closeouts, food trays, trim strips, and arm rests. In response to this fact, Europe aerospace plastics industry size from cabin area application is projected to be more than USD 1.5 billion by 2022.
Aerospace plastics market trends are heavily influenced by fuel costs, material availability, product costs, and operational expenditure. In today’s times, aircraft manufacturers are struggling to develop lightweight, chemically resistive, and corrosion resistant products for minimizing the constraints of high fuel costs and reduced airline fares. Undoubtedly, plastics are the number one choice of material to manufacture new aircraft components and replace aging components of old airlines. Their increasing usage in commercial, business, and private aircraft vehicles will drive aerospace plastics industry in the years to come.