Light weight, high reliability, superior aerodynamic performance, stealth, and all weather operation are important requirements of aerospace structures such as spacecraft, commercial aircraft, business aircraft, and specific military aircraft. Composite materials are the ideal choice of materials that meet the demands of the aerospace industry. Recent advancements and developments in composite technology, which uses fiber reinforced polymer composites, have positively affected the aviation sector.
Fiber-reinforced polymer composites are technically advanced materials, which are resistant to fatigue and corrosion. They are also light in weight. Polymer composites provide high strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios. Thus, aerospace engineers and aircraft designers increasingly prefer polymer composite materials over other composite materials, as these make aircraft much stronger, lighter, and more fuel efficient.
Unfolding superior properties and advantages of strong and stiff reinforcements such as carbon fiber along with recent advancements in polymer research to manufacture high performance resins as matrix materials have helped overcome the challenges presented by the complex designs of modern aircraft. Advanced polymer composites are employed on a large scale in R&D initiations by major OEMs. Governments across the world are also increasingly funding the development of military fighter aircraft, general aviation, helicopters, satellites, launch vehicles, and missiles. This highlights the immense potential of polymer composite materials in the aerospace industry.
Based on fiber, the aerospace polymer composites market can be segmented into carbon, glass, ceramic, and aramid. In terms of matrix, the market can be bifurcated into thermoplastic (PPS, PEEK) and thermosets (epoxies, phenolic, polyesters, and polyimides). Based on aircraft type, the aerospace polymer composites market can be segregated into general aviation, defense aircraft, space, and helicopters. In terms of structure, the market can be classified into laminate composites and sandwich composites. Based on application, the aerospace polymer composites market can be split into interior and exterior.
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Increased military expenditure across major economies such as U.S., China, Western Europe and UAE, is one of the major drivers for aerospace polymer composites market. And also the robust growth of aerospace industry due to increasing demand for air transportation are expected to drive the growth of aerospace polymer composites market in coming years. Technological advancements and significant investments in R&D by OEMs for the manufacture of aerospace structural parts are expected to boost the aerospace polymer composites market.
In terms of geography, North America holds large share of the global aerospace polymer composites market due to the presence of major aircraft fleet such as AIRBUS, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin. Growth of the fleet is anticipated to directly increase the consumption of aerospace polymer composites. Asia Pacific and Europe are also key regions of the market. The aerospace polymer composites market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand significantly during the forecast period owing to the expansion in the aerospace industry and rise in demand for various types of aircraft in countries such as India and China. Latin America and Middle East & Africa are estimated to account for relatively small share of the global aerospace polymer composites market.
Key players operating in the global aerospace polymer composites market include AIRBUS, BOEING, Hexcel, and ATC Aerospace.
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