The global aerospace and defense materials market size was estimated at USD 20.74 billion in 2019 and is projected to register a CAGR of 4.0% over the forecast period. The rise in the replacement of aging aircraft has led to a boost in new aircraft manufacturing, which in turn is expected to drive the growth of the market. The market is expected to witness increasing demand for lightweight materials in an attempt to improve the cost-efficiency and environmental performance of aircraft. Hence, high strength, lightweight fiber-reinforced composites are gaining prominence in aircraft manufacturing, to increase fuel efficiency, decrease emissions, and reduce material usage, thereby allowing the installation of new functions.
The U.S. is expected to dominate the market for aerospace & defense materials, owing to the presence of established aircraft manufacturers, such as Boeing, United Technologies, and Lockheed Martin in the region. The technological ability to produce high-quality products is primarily expected to drive growth over the forecast period.
The market is expected to benefit from the strong demand for aircraft in the foreseeable future. The worldwide number of commercial and cargo fleets is expected to double over the forecast period. The huge surge in passenger and freight traffic is anticipated to further contribute significantly to the increase in aircraft production and demand for the materials.
The aerospace and defense industry has been a long-term promoting factor for the development and application of advanced materials. Leading manufacturers are increasingly adopting a variety of advanced materials, such as carbon fiber composites and titanium alloys. These materials play an important role in reducing the overall weight and increasing the fuel efficiency of an aircraft.
The market players often enter into long-term supply contracts with aircraft manufacturers. The material manufacturers provide highly customized solutions to the component and aircraft manufacturers. Aircraft manufacturers are often involved in monitoring the materials throughout the value chain from design to component manufacturing, in order to ensure quality.
Aluminum accounted for 46.6% of the aerospace and defense materials market in terms of volume, owing to the rising preference for aluminum alloys. The material is preferably used in the production of aerostructure components on account of its exceptional properties including heat and corrosion resistance. The growing use of aluminum in internal fittings of aircraft to reduce weight and fuel consumption is anticipated to aid the demand.
Steel is used in combination with a number of other metals, including carbon, chromium, and nickel, in variable grades offering enhanced hardness, yield strength, and corrosion resistance. Stainless steel offers ease of welding, aircraft manufacturers prefer it for the production of fasteners and rivets, which aid in elevating airspeed and reduce the chances of damage or accidents.
Titanium is expected to exhibit the fastest CAGR of 4.8% in terms of revenue, over the forecast period, owing to the exceptional compatibility of the product with composites. Its lightweight, high strength, and excellent corrosion resistance properties are expected to aid the demand for the manufacturing of critical aircraft components.
Copper alloys, including Beryllium copper and Nickel-Aluminum-Bronze, are widely used in aerospace engineering for manufacturing critical aircraft components where high strength, corrosion resistance, and good ductility is required. These are mostly used in applications involving abrasive wear, heavy loads, and corrosion, including strut bearings, landing gear components, and main pistons.
Aerostructure is expected to exhibit the fastest revenue-based CAGR of 4.7% from 2020 to 2027, on account of the burgeoning use of composites including CFRP and honeycomb materials in non-critical structural components. Aluminum and composites are widely used in the structure owing to their lightweight characteristics as well as improved rigidity.
Aircraft components including bearings, fasteners, bushings, as well as fueling and refueling system contribute to the core functions of an aircraft. Increasing the use of composites in aerostructure is expected to aid the demand for titanium for manufacturing these components. Titanium and its alloys are preferred over aluminum owing to their superior corrosion resistance.
Plastics are preferably used for cabin interiors, owing to its sturdiness and ability to meet stringent requirements. The seats in cabin areas include a wide range of plastic moldings for products such as trim strips, decorative closeouts, armrests, and food trays. Polycarbonate and decorative vinyl are preferred for these applications, whereas decorative plastic laminates are used for surfaces that are in direct contact with crew and passengers.
Satellite manufacturing consumes bulk quantities of aluminum and aluminum alloys that offer high strength and are lightweight. Satellite structure is expected to withstand the harsh environment, which ensures the material in space remains stiff, owing to which aramid fiber composites are exclusively used for the structure. Aramid fiber composites are also used for the protection of satellites from orbital debris.
The tremendous growth in commercial passenger and freight traffic, coupled with improved trade relations worldwide, leading to high demand for cargo services is expected to drive the demand for aerospace & defense materials for commercial aircraft. The segment accounted for 54.7% of revenue share in 2019. Business and general aviation aircraft encompass jets used for passenger aviation, business jets, recreational airplanes, agricultural aircraft, police aircraft, air ambulance, aerial surveys, and patrol services. The segment is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period and a boost productivity, due to the lesser time required to travel.
Demand for aerospace and defense materials for military aircraft is anticipated to witness sluggish growth in the forthcoming years, owing to a slight decline in military expenditure. However, demand for innovative fighter planes is expected to have a positive impact on the product demand in near future. Other types of aircraft including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and spacecraft require advanced materials as well as robust and temperature-resistant materials that offer resilience. Composites such as carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers are extensively used for manufacturing drones. Titanium alloys and thermal protective tiles are used to strengthen the outer structure and to offer sustainability against extreme temperatures.
North America is expected to witness increased penetration of composites for use in aerostructure owing to the presence of a large aircraft manufacturing industry. The region is expected to cater to around one-third of the global operational fleet, resulting in an increased demand for airframe and other aircraft parts over the forecast period.
The aerospace and defense industry in Europe is expected to expand at a CAGR of 2.9% in terms of volume, a rise in defense spending by the NATO countries. The rise in terrorist threats is also expected to drive the market. Growing passenger traffic, coupled with declining airfares is expected to further aid the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) activities, in turn benefitting the market.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period, owing to the tremendous development in the regional aviation industry. In addition, domestic mass production of China’s COMAC jet from 2021 is expected to boost the product demand over the next eight years. China is anticipated to be the fastest-growing market, owing to the progressing economy, coupled with opportunities related to aircraft maintenance and service. Moreover, government initiatives to increase domestic manufacturing capabilities and overall export to the U.S. are likely to boost the regional demand for aerospace & defense materials.
The market exhibits an increased competitive environment owing to the rising tide in the aircraft manufacturing industry. Emerging players in China, followed by Asia, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America, offering comparatively low-cost material solutions are expected to disrupt the competition to the established players in North America and Europe.
Key players are technology-driven and are focused on targeting markets with long-term growth potential, where they can establish a sustainable competitive advantage. Market participants emphasize on R&D of low-cost materials, which can provide high strength and are lightweight since the end-users are focused on technology as well as cost reduction.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Volume in Kilotons, Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Rest of the World
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Czech Republic, China, Japan, Australia, Brazil, South Africa
Volume forecast, Revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global aerospace and defense materials market report on the basis of product, application, end use, and region:
Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Equipment, System & Support
Construction & Insulation Components
End-use Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Business & General Aviation
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue; USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Rest of the World
b. The global aerospace and defense materials market size was estimated at USD 20,738.3 million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 21,512.5 million in 2020.
b. The global aerospace and defense materials market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 4.0% from 2019 to 2027 to reach USD 28,367.8 in 2027.
b. North America dominated the aerospace and defense materials market with a share of 53.4% in 2019. Rise in replacement of aging aircraft has led to boost in new aircraft manufacturing, which in turn is expected to drive the growth of the market.
b. Some key players operating in the aerospace and defense materials market include Huntsman International, LLC, Toray Composites, America, Inc., Sabic Innovative Plastics, Arconic Inc. (Alcoa Corp.), and Cytec Solvay Group.
b. Key factors driving the aerospace and defense materials market growth include rising demand for lightweight materials in an attempt to improve the cost-efficiency and environmental performance of aircraft.
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