The global honeycomb core materials market is projected to grow at an accelerated pace over the upcoming period on account of rising demand for lightweight, high strength materials across various end-use industries such as aerospace and defense, automotive, and building & construction industry.
Growing product utilization in the manufacturing of ‘honeycomb sandwich structured panels’ is further expected to boost the market growth over the forecast period. Honeycomb core sandwich structured panel’s exhibit tremendous compression and structural strength and have emerged as an effective lightweight alternative to plywood, wood panels, and aluminum sheets.
Rising demand for lightweight, fuel-efficient cars is driving automotive manufacturers to adopt newer materials with lightweight, high strength properties. Honeycomb cores enable the manufacturers to considerably reduce the weight of the vehicle without compromising on the strength. The product is being utilized to produce a variety of automotive components including interior body panels, floors, chassis components, diffusers, spoilers.
The building and construction sector is generating a healthy demand for honeycomb core materials. The product is finding growing acceptance as a backing material to provide a flat, stiff, stable structure metal, glass, stone, and other such decorative surfaces. Furthermore, the product is being used as a component in a variety of applications such as wall cladding, ceilings, and canopies, and other interiors materials to reduce the weight of the overall structure.
Honeycomb core materials imitate the design of natural beehive. The general structure of honeycomb core materials comprises a layer containing hexagonal hollow cells sandwiched between thin vertical walls made up of cardboard, paper or metal sheets. The product is commonly used in applications involving flat or slightly curved surfaces due to their superior specific strength.
The major drawback of honeycomb core materials is its price. The product is very expensive thereby, restraining the widespread acceptance of the product across the end-use industries. Furthermore, honeycomb cores made from aluminum are susceptible to stress corrosion cracking in a highly corrosive environment thereby, limiting the product application in the marine industry.
The honeycomb core materials market be segmented based on product type and end-use industry. The product type segment consists of paper, Nomex, aluminum, thermoplastic and others. The paper segment led the global honeycomb core materials market in terms of volume in 2018. Paper honeycomb cores are finding applications in the furniture, automotive, and packaging industry. The product used in the furniture industry as an insert in furniture panels and reduces the overall weight of the assembly. Additionally, in packaging applications, paper honeycomb cores are utilized in various packaging components to provide superior protection to household appliances and industrial equipment, and other fragile products during transportation.
The Nomex honeycomb core materials segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period. The product is witnessing widespread application in the automotive and marine industry owing to its high strength to weight ratio, stiffness, and corrosion resistance properties. Furthermore, the product is being utilized in heat shield applications owing to superior thermal insulation properties.
Based on the end-use industry, the seamless pipes market can be further divided into aerospace and defense, automotive, building & construction, packaging, and others. The aerospace and defense industry segment has emerged as the leading end-use segment for honeycomb core materials. The aerospace-grade honeycomb core materials are progressively replacing the traditional materials including laminated panels and aluminum sheets on account of their lightweight and high strength attributes. The product is finding growing adoption in the production of a variety of aerospace components such as helicopter blades, fuselage components, aircraft flooring, and, antennas.
The Europe region is expected to be the largest consumer for the product, with a majority of demand derived by well-established aerospace and automotive industry in the region. Airbus SE world's second-biggest aerospace and Defense Company is witnessing a steady inflow order from Asian and Middle East-based airlines. Additionally, the region is at the forefront in demand for lightweight fuel-efficient cars. As a result, the region is expected to lead the demand for honeycomb core materials over the upcoming period.
The Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing market for the product, with a majority of demand derived by China, Japan, and India. As of now, the market penetration for the honeycomb core materials in the region is relatively low on account of low awareness and high cost of the product. However, the growing adoption of paper honeycomb core materials in the rapidly growing packaging industry within the region is expected to propel the product demand over the forecast period. Furthermore, the region dominates the global shipbuilding industry, as a result, the growing product adoption in the shipbuilding industry is positively affecting the future market growth.
The global honeycomb core materials market is characterized by a large number of multinational players. The industry players are focusing on developing highly customized products to meet with specific demands of the various end-use sectors. Additionally, the industry players are undertaking collaboration and joint venture initiatives to develop newer, improved products.
The leading players in the global honeycomb core materials market include DuPont, Toray TCAC Holding B.V., Hexcel Corporation, Euro-Composites, Argosy International Inc., EconCore N.V., and Honicel Group among others. The industry players collaborating with end-users to develop highly customized products catering to their specific needs.
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The mining industry accounts for a vital share of the global economy and is responsible for supplying key raw materials for several applications and end-use industries, thus being a key sector of focus amidst the ongoing pandemic outbreak. Mining industries in China are expected to return to normal operations by Q3 of 2020 as enterprises indicated towards the returning of their workers soon. Moreover, Iron ore producers are known to be the least impacted. Major players such as BHP and Vale reported experiencing no major influence on their operations due to the COVID-19 virus. The iron ore prices reached above USD 90 per ton amidst the pandemic situation which may negatively impact the end-use industries. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.