A study, recently conducted by the strategic consulting and market research firm, BlueWeave Consulting, revealed that in 2020, the global aerospace materials market was valued at USD 15,769.3 million, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.45% during the forecast period (2021-2027). The market is predicted to reach a valuation of USD 20,974.8 million by 2027. The market's growth is fueled by factors such as the rising demand for lighter and more efficient aircraft, as well as the growing demand for civil aircraft. Reduced defense spending in developing economies, as well as a restricted range of material alternatives due to complex requirements are some of the barriers faced by the market. Besides, the industry is anticipated to benefit shortly from the high demand for aircraft.
The global aerospace materials market is divided into two categories: material type and aircraft type. By material type, the market can be bifurcated into a composite, steel, titanium, aluminum, and others, whereas by aircraft type, the market can be segregated as civil aircraft, military aircraft, and others.
Composite materials are a combination of two or more materials of different physical and chemicals properties. Composite materials have been an essential part of the aerospace industry since the 1950s. The Boeing 707 passenger jet was built in the 1950s using a composite material known as fiberglass. In the 1960s, Rolls-Royce developed the compressor blades of the RB211 jet engine using carbon fiber, another composite material. Boeing, a global giant in the aerospace industry, uses composite materials in aircraft production with Boeing 787 Dreamliner having a 50% fraction of composite materials. In the aerospace industry, advanced composite materials with a combination of high-strength stiff fibers embedded in a common matrix material are being increasingly used. A major advantage of composite material is that it significantly reduces the weight of aircraft, which eventually results in better performance and less fuel consumption. Apart from weight loss and better fuel consumption efficiency, composite materials have higher strength at a lower weight, high impact resistance, high thermal stability, high fatigue/corrosion resistance, and ease of assembling.
Superalloys are a group of nickel, cobalt, and iron-nickel alloys used in jet engines. Superalloys have superior heat-resistant properties than the traditional alloys of aluminum and titanium. These materials can retain their stiffness, strength, toughness, and dimensional stability at much-elevated temperatures than normal metal alloys. Apart from these, superalloys possess high resistance to corrosion & oxidation, even at high temperatures. Nickel-based superalloys are the most common types of superalloys used in the aerospace industry owing to their excellent performance for a long duration even at 800-10000C. Superalloys are generally used for engine components such as high-pressure turbine blades, discs, combustion chambers, afterburners, and thrust reversers in both aircraft and spacecraft. All these factors are contributing to the increasing use of composite materials & superalloys in structural applications and components of spacecraft & aircraft. The same factors are expected to drive the growth of the global aerospace materials market during the forecast period.
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Large aircraft require high quality and quantity of fuel, and with the increase in the weight of the aircraft, the fuel consumption-ability of an aircraft goes down. For example, an Airbus A321neo, which has a capacity of 32,940 liters of fuel, burns 0.683 liter per second, which turns out to be almost 2,500 liters per hour. Boeing 787 Dreamliner consumes 18 liters per passenger per hour and it carries 300 passengers. Per hour fuel consumption of Boeing 787 Dreamliner stands at about 5,400 liters. With such high fuel consumption, aircraft release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and contribute towards global warming with about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions coming from traveling. Air travel consists ofaround 1 gigaton of CO2 to the Earth’s atmosphere each year. Flights produced 915 million tons of CO2 in 2019 with aviation being responsible for around 12% of total CO2 produced by all transportation sources and the international civil aviation organization has set a target to reduce aviation emissions by 50% by 2050.
The high fuel consumption of aircraft is majorly due to the heavyweight of the aircraft. A 20% weight loss for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner can increase the fuel efficiency of aircraft by 10-12%. Aluminum, steel, and titanium are heavy metals that are used extensively in aircraft manufacturing. The use of these materials significantly increases the weight of the aircraft which leads to reduced fuel performance by the aircraft. Apart from adding weight, titanium's inherent behavior is unstable, making it delicate and prone to damage. Titanium, which is known for its high strength-to-weight ratios and innate corrosion resistance characteristics can become as fragile as glass if a minimum of three oxygen atoms is merged in with its 1,000 natural atoms. As companies look to reduce the carbon emission of their aircraft, weight loss is one of the ways out for them, but the high weight of metals like aluminum, titanium, and steel, along with the unstable innate behavior of titanium presents a big challenge for the global aerospace material industry.
Civil Aircraft segment is the largest in the Aircraft Type
The civil aircraft segment accounted for the largest market share of 58.27% in 2020, with a market value of USD 9,189.0 million. It is expected to have a CAGR of 4.16% during the forecast period. Factors such as rising air passenger numbers, low airfares, and increased acceptance of the airway as a mode of transportation have boosted aircraft manufacturing investments, propelling the aircraft market to grow over the forecast period. The military aircraft segment is expected to develop significantly during the forecast era, owing to rising military and defense expenditure in countries such as China, India, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia.
Global Aerospace MaterialsMarket: Regional Insights
Based on region, the global aerospace materials market has been segmented into- North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. North America and Europe dominate the aerospace materials industry. North America and Europe have the highest business demand and general aviation fleets, while Asia-Pacific and Latin America are projected to remain more or less stagnant over the forecast period. The United States is the world's largest consumer of Aerospace materials. The region is expected to grow as a result of a large number of mergers, as well as acquisitions and expansions by some major players. North America accounted for the largest market share of 38.11% in 2020, with a market value of USD 6,008.9 million. It is expected to register a CAGR of 3.87% during the forecast period.
Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak
COVID-19 triggered a domino effect for the global aerospace materials market, starting with lockdowns and ending with the collapse of the aerospace materials industry and a severely disrupted supply chain for the global aerospace materials market. Global aircraft manufacturing giants, Airbus and Boeing delivered 42% fewer jet deliveries in 2020 compared to 2019 owing to the effects of COVID-19 across the supply chain. As a result, aerospace materials' availability was severely affected. Additionally, China, a major producer of aluminum, titanium, and graphite, went under lockdown, which resulted in smelters being shut down or operating at reduced capacity. As a result, prices were expected to soar to new heights but the demand for materials took a massive hit as well, and the prices of all materials were affected differently.
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