The global lightweight materials market size was estimated at USD 113.78 billion in 2016 and is expected to register a CAGR of 8.9% from 2016 to 2024. Rising awareness about fuel emissions has led to automobile manufacturers turning to products that can reduce the weight of vehicles. This is anticipated to drive the global market.
The market is driven by increasing demand for vehicles in North America. Growth in this region is driven by countries such as U.S. and Canada, primarily owing to strong presence of major auto manufacturers. Presence of renewable energy equipment manufacturers in this region also is anticipated to drive the regional market.
Soaring fuel prices, implementation of emission standards, and financial implications of note adhering to these standards is expected to boost demand for lightweight materials in the automotive sector. Need to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from vehicles are high on the list of priorities for automobile manufacturers around the world. Governments are constantly working to curb growing pollution levels resulting from vehicular emissions.
Aluminum, advanced high-strength steel, titanium, magnesium, polymers and composites, and other materials are used to meet the industry’s safety and emission goals. Automotive manufacturers have started working on multi-material designs involving lightweight materials to boost fuel efficiency of vehicles. Use of polymers and composites in vehicle design is expected to pick up on account of added lightweight advantage provided by these materials.
On the basis of product, the industry can be segmented into aluminum, high strength steel, titanium, magnesium, polymers and composites, and others. Polymers and composites dominated overall consumption of lightweight materials and the trend is likely to continue over the forecast period. Demand for these materials is expected to grow as they have the potential to reduce vehicular weight by 50.0% and improve fuel efficiency by around 35.0%.
After the introduction of the Hall-Heroult process of obtaining quality aluminum from alumina, aluminum has been used widely in various applications. The age hardening property of aluminum alloys, along with strength provided by aluminum, has propelled its demand automotive and aviation applications. Aluminum is an important material in aviation, majorly used for the manufacturing of structural parts. Such distinct properties of the material and its usage in various end-use industries is likely to drive segment growth.
High strength steel is majorly used as a direct substitute to traditional steel in lightweight applications. The strength and ductility of high strength steel is higher than traditional variants, which makes it suitable for various applications. It is largely preferred in the automotive sector and has the ability to reduce vehicular weight by around 25.0%. The recycle value of high strength steel is boosting its demand, which is likely to drive the segment over the forecast period.
Titanium offers increased strength and is widely used in a variety of applications. Easy accessibility and abundant availability are rendering it an important lightweight material. However, due to its high cost it is used in niche applications where superior strength and durability are desired.
Magnesium alloys provide lightweight advantage up to 25.0%, along with improvement in fuel efficiency of up to 1.0%. They are mainly being used in automotive and other applications such as mobile electronics. The recyclability feature of magnesium is responsible for its growth over the forecast period.
Automotive, aviation, energy, and others are the four application areas in the lightweight materials market. In 2015, the automotive segment dominated the overall market in terms of revenue, with an 86.0% share. Rising awareness about fuel emissions has led to manufacturers using lighter components in vehicle design to improve mileage. Major products used in this application are aluminum, polymers and composites, and high strength steel.
Use of these materials directly impacts driving dynamics, agility, and fuel consumption. Moreover, need for reduction in carbon dioxide emission is pushing OEMs to opt for lighter components to manufacture automobiles.
The others application segment includes transportation and defense. These applications majorly use titanium and magnesium, as they possess special properties of reflecting electromagnetic radiation. Demand is expected to increase on account of rising R&D on new materials for defense applications.
In terms of region, Asia Pacific led the market in 2015 and is anticipated to show the same trend over the foreseeable future. This is primarily owing to presence of a booming automotive sector in developing countries.
Countries such as India and China are spearheading the regional market, thanks to high demand for passenger vehicles. Rising awareness about renewable energy is expected to boost product demand in energy applications. High defense budgets in this region is expected to boost demand for titanium and magnesium.
Product demand in North America is centred on high strength steel on account of similar properties as traditional steel. However, polymers and composites are expected to grow rapidly in the region on account of widespread acceptance in the automotive and energy sectors. Titanium and magnesium are majorly used in niche applications where generally small amounts are preferred. Aluminium consumption in this region is driven by growing application in the automotive and aviation sectors.
The competitive landscape in the market is moderately competitive, with presence of leading companies such as Cytec Solvay Group; SABIC Industries; Alcoa Inc.; and Toray Industries Inc. Companies are investing in improving quality of products used in end-use industries.
The number of polymers and composite manufacturers is increasing on account of growing application in automotive and aviation sectors. The rapidly expanding wind energy equipment industry has attracted many players as they have started adding materials used in manufacturing blades to their product portfolio.
Some of the key companies present in the industry are Cytec Solvay Group; SABIC; Formosa Plastics; Alcoa Inc.; Allegheny Technology Incorporated; Aleris International; and Covestro LLC. The market is fragmented in nature and is therefore marked by rising number of mergers and acquisitions
This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2013 to 2024. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global lightweight materials market report on the basis of product, application, and region:
Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2013 - 2024)
High Strength Steel
Polymers & Composites
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2013 - 2024)
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2013 - 2024)
Middle East & Africa
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