Global Aerospace Composites Market: Development of fuel-efficient aircraft propelling the market growth.

Published Date: 16/05/2021

The global aerospace composites market size is projected to grow from USD 22.5 billion in 2020 to USD 48.9 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 11.7 % during the forecast period. The market is growing due to the superior performance properties of aerospace composites and their ability to survive in harsh conditions.

In the optimistic scenario, post-2021, when aerospace companies start operating at full capacities with no travel restrictions and interruption in the supply chain, the demand for composite materials from the aerospace & defence industry would surge. Composite materials are used extensively as sandwich structures in interior and exterior applications in the aerospace industry. The low weight and high tensile strength of composites increase fuel efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, and allow OEMs to comply with the stringent environmental regulations in Europe and North America. The newer advances aircrafts such as Airbus A350 XWB, Boeing Dream liner 787 consists of 50% weight of airframe made with composites materials.

The decrease in the number of aircraft deliveries would directly have an impact on the aerospace composites market. Since more than 80% of the consumption of composites material is in commercial aircraft, the decrease in demand for composite due to the reduced number of aircraft orders would negatively impact the market. For instance, the grounding of Boeing 737MAX resulting from accidents suffered by the Malaysian and Ethiopian Airlines, recently, resulted in the cancellation of its orders. In the first quarter of 2020, Airbus and Boeing delivered 122 and 50 commercial aircraft globally, which is 22% and 66% less as compared with the first quarter of 2019.

The main raw materials used for the production of carbon fibre composites are polymeric resins and carbon fibres. The cost of carbon fibres is directly proportional to the cost of precursor raw materials from which they are obtained. Carbon fibres are currently obtained from polyacrylonitrile (PAN), whose cost in aerospace applications is approximately USD 90 per kilogram. The development of low-cost and high-yield precursors for making aerospace grade carbon fibres would significantly reduce the cost of carbon fibres. These low-cost precursors for carbon fibres would bring down the cost of aerospace-grade carbon fibres. The reduction in the cost of carbon fibres would reduce the cost of carbon fibre aerospace composites, thereby driving the market.

The key players for the global aerospace composites market are Owen Corning (U.S.), Solvay Group (Belgium), Teijin Limited (Japan), Royal Ten Cate (Netherlands), Toray Industries, Ltd. (Japan), Hexcel Corporation (U.S.), SGL Group (Germany), Kaman(U.S.), Koninklijke Ten Cate BV (Netherlands), and General Electric (U.S.).

Europe accounted for the largest share in the global aerospace composites market, in terms of value, due to high demand from aerospace and defence companies present in the region. Countries such as France, Germany, and the UK are major aircraft component manufacturers. In 2019, Europe accounted for more than 50% of commercial aircraft production worldwide. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the European aerospace industry is severely affected. This is expected to reduce the demand for aerospace composites until the production facilities of aircraft start operating at full capacities.