The global aerospace plastics market was worth US$6.2 bln in 2011 and is expected to reach US$10.5 bln in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2012 to 2018. In terms of volume, the aerospace plastic consumption was 40.5 kilo tons in 2011 and is expected to reach 87.8 kilo tons in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 11.7% from 2012 to 2018, as per a study by Transparency Market Research. Steady growth in the aviation industry, excellent strength to weight ratio, and increased adoption of aerospace plastics in aircraft designs are largely augmenting the growth of the aerospace plastics market. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and Greenpeace regulations that are imposed upon the production of aerospace plastics are acting as a challenge for the growth of this market. These conventions primarily monitor the percentage of greenhouse gases emitted during the production of aerospace plastics. Furthermore, the high cost of raw materials, namely PAN (Polyacrylonitrile), utilized in manufacturing the aerospace plastics are acting as a restraint for this market. The commercial aircrafts end-user segment accounted for 72% of market share in 2011 followed by military aircrafts, rotary aircrafts, and general aviation planes end-user segments. Aerospace plastics market is categorized into six application segments. Fuselage was the key application segment that accounted for over 28% of market share in 2011. Wings, empennage, flight deck and cabin areas are a few other key application segments estimated and analyzed in this study. In terms of volume, Europe dominated the global aerospace plastics market that accounted for more than 43% of the overall market in 2011. In Europe, Germany, France, the UK and Spain were the key regional markets and together accounted for more than 75% of the European market. Europe is expected to dominate the aerospace plastics market for the next five years, owing to the supportive government policies and rising investments seen in Europe over the past three years. Some of the European public bodies such as ONERA, CNES, and CNRT are inventing new materials that are in turn attracting aircraft manufacturers in this region. The U.S. aerospace plastics market had grown at a steady rate even during economic slowdown, primarily due to reasonable demand in the airlines industry. Increased air traffic and substantial rise in the military budget have provided adequate growth impetus for the North American aerospace plastics market. Asia Pacific is expected to drive the aerospace plastics market chiefly due to low labor overheads and huge investments. In Asia Pacific, the military aircrafts end-user segment is expected to grow, owing to adequate financial support provided by the government. Some of the key players supplying aerospace plastics include Hexcel Corporation, Mitsubishi Rayon, SGL Carbon, Toho Tenax, Toray Group and Zoltek Companies Inc. The report provides an overview of these companies followed by their financial revenue, business strategies and recent developments. The Indian aerospace industry - both civil and military - stands is on the threshold of catapulting itself into the global arena. Indian aerospace composites market is expected to grow in double digits per year through 2018. Composites are mainly used for developing military aircrafts, helicopters, UAVs and applications in Space sector. Once dominated by public sector, the military aerospace manufacturing industry is now opened for private sector. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is the leading manufacturer of aircrafts and helicopters for Indian armed forces. Taking into consideration of the progress of new projects, five years down the line, HAL will have the Advanced Light Helicopter, Light Combat Helicopter, Light Utility Helicopter, Intermediate Jet Trainer and Light Combat Aircraft fully certified and will start produce at full capacity. All these aircrafts/helicopters use composites and expect to drive the demand for composites materials in Indian aerospace industry.
As per Freedonia, aerospace markets will remain the leading outlet for high performance composites in 2016 and will be by far the fastest-growing. While composites have long been used in military aircraft and helicopters, they are beginning to penetrate the commercial airliner segment on a large scale as well. The production ramp up of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has more than 50% composite content, will drive the bulk of the increases in high performance composite demand. Rising production of other composite-intensive airliners, such as the Airbus A380 and A350 XWB, will also benefit demand. Outside of aerospace applications, another strong area of growth for high performance composites is the burgeoning wind energy market. Much slower growth is expected for defense and safety applications -- due to a reduction of combat forces in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and the highly mature sporting goods market. The motor vehicle market, which holds perhaps the greatest potential for high performance composites, will see only moderate gains in demand, as their use continues to be restrained by high cost and slow production speeds. Among product types, carbon fiber composites will continue to account for the largest portion of demand, totaling 83% of the high performance market in 2016. Carbon fiber composites will benefit from robust growth in the aerospace market as well as their versatility, good balance of mechanical properties, and moderate cost compared with other high performance composites. S-glass fiber composites -- the least costly of all advanced composites -- will also see double-digit gains in demand, fueled by opportunities in aerospace, wind energy, and pressure vessel markets. As per Zeus Industrial Products, Inc, Plastics are used in aerospace applications for a variety of reasons. While cost savings are a key reason, there are many areas where the unique properties of plastics make them the only suitable materials for the application:
Typical market sectors for plastics applications in the aerospace industry, include