The global armor materials market is estimated to gain significant traction over the forecast period. The growth of the industry can be attributed to rising demand for vehicle, marine, and aircraft protection applications. Modernization in military programs across several countries in the world is resulting in high demand for armors. Rising concerns of governments across the globe regarding soldier survivability and protection are expected to fuel the demand for advanced armors, which can drive the market during the projected period.
Increasing terrorist activities are resulting in high demand for body armors and vehicle protection. Rising investments in military and defense warfare by various governments in order to strengthen their position in war conditions are likely to augment the market over the forecast period. Growing spending on defense to improve military vehicle performance to prevent external attack coupled with high investments in aircraft security systems is poised to be one of the primary growth stimulants for the industry.
Key materials used for armors include metals, alloys, composites, ceramics, and aramid fibers. The demand for ceramic products is projected to be strong throughout the forecast horizon owing to their high performance and lightweight. Silicon carbide, tungsten carbide, and ceramic-metal composites are the most widely used types of ceramic products.
Ceramic products are used for manufacturing armors for aircraft, land vehicle, military personnel, and gunships. These products have the ability to offer high hardness with low weight and they have controlled micro-structures that ensure better performance and durability. These materials offer design flexibility and have the ability to defeat high-velocity projectiles in war situations. Furthermore, these materials offer superior resistance to stress, which is anticipated to boost the growth of the market.
Synthetic fibers including carbon and kevlar are gaining high demand for armor manufacturing owing to their excellent tensile strength and significant energy absorption rates. Metal and alloys are estimated to gain demand over the coming years on account of their low cost and high impact resistance. Surging demand for metal and alloys in civil and vehicle armors is expected to stoke the growth of the market.
In terms of application, the global armor materials market can be segmented into vehicle, civil, marine, aerospace, and body armors. These materials are extensively used in vehicles. Military vehicles are armored in order to withstand impacts of bullets, shells, missiles, and shrapnel. Furthermore, rising security concerns for civilians including government officers and reporters are likely to fuel the demand for the product. The demand for marine armor is projected to rise over the coming years on account of their benefits including protection against energy and ballistic attacks.
The market in North America is poised to experience healthy growth during the forecast period. The U.S. is anticipated to be at forefront of the regional market owing to military investments that are higher than any other country in the world. In 2017, the country’s military expenditure accounted for over 3.0% of the overall GDP. The U.S. military is one of the leading consumers of armor materials. The market in the U.S. is engaged in manufacturing several products including shields, headwear, and soft and hard bodysuits. Increasing threats of terrorist attacks and war conditions, owing to changing political scenario, are escalating the need for improved security systems. This, in turn, is estimated to foster the growth of the regional market during the forecast period.
Europe is expected to be one of the major markets during the same period on account of high investments in the military and defense sector by several European economies. In 2017, the U.K., Germany, France, and Italy together accounted for over 70.0% of total defense expenditure in the region. As a result, manufacturers of armor materials are likely to target these countries in order to tap the high end-use demand. The U.K. is poised to be a prominent market for the product in the region as the government does the highest investments in the defense sector. The country spent over USD 53 billion in 2016, which is equivalent to about 24.0% of the overall defense spending in Europe. The aforementioned factors are projected to open new growth opportunities for the industry.
The global armor materials market is fragmented and is highly competitive in nature with the presence of numerous manufacturers. Key players in the industry include Saint-Gobain SA; Du Pont; DSM NV; Royal TenCate NV; Alcoa Inc.; Honeywell International Inc.; Saab AB; CoorsTek Inc.; Morgan Advanced Materials; CeramTec GmbH; Tata Steel; AGY Holding Corp.; and PPG Industries Inc.
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