The global lightweight materials market size was valued at USD 113.8 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9% from 2017 to 2024. A large number of automotive manufacturers are switching to products that reduce the weight of the vehicles owing to the increased awareness pertaining to fuel emissions, which in turn is anticipated to drive the global market. The increased demand for vehicles in North America is expected to augment the market growth over the forecast period. The growth in this region is driven on account of the strong presence of major auto manufacturers in countries such as the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, the presence of renewable energy equipment manufacturers is expected to drive the market in this region.
Europe is one of the dominant regions. The presence of major car manufacturers coupled with growing innovation on lightweight materials used in aviation is expected to boost the product demand in this region. The growing emphasis on renewable energy is expected to boost the application of lightweight materials in the energy sector.
MEA is anticipated to be one of the fastest growing regions. The demand for lightweight materials is driven by growing end-use industries in this region. The rise in a number of manufacturers in this region is expected to augment the demand for lightweight materials in this region over the forecast period.
Governments are constantly working to curb growing pollution levels resulting from vehicular emissions. In addition, soaring fuel prices, implementation of emission standards, and financial implications of note adhering to these standards are expected to boost the demand for lightweight materials in the automotive sector over the forecast period.
The aluminum, high-strength steel, and polymers &composites are widely used to meet the industry's safety and emission goals. Automotive manufacturers have started working on multi-material designs involving lightweight materials to boost the fuel efficiency of vehicles. Use of polymers and composites in vehicle design is expected to increase on account of added lightweight advantage.
In the automotive sector, the demand for lightweight materials is highest, which is one of the main driving forces in the market. Due to the increasing demand for vehicles with low fuel consumption and good fuel economy, the demand for lightweight materials is rising. Thus, the consumption rate of lightweight materials in the automotive industry determines the market value. The increased use of these materials in aircraft modules is also fuelling the demand for lightweight materials and is expected to augment the growth during the forecast period.
Strict rules and guidelines for vehicle emissions and fuel regulations implemented by government around the world are also driving the market. These regulations are driving OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to enhance the utilization of lightweight materials like light alloys, plastics, and composites. These materials reduce vehicle carbon emissions, thus, driving the growth.
Rising government investment in renewable energy projects in wind and hydropower increases the demand for lightweight construction materials around the world. Developing countries such as India, and China have an increasing population creates a high demand for cars, buses, vans, and trucks, thus, increasing traffic on the roads. The rise in the number of vehicles in the countries boosts the growth. In addition, countries switching to green and efficient energy consumption are expected to upscale the market growth in the forecast period.
The main restraining factor in the market for lightweight materials is the high cost of materials such as carbon fiber, reinforced composites, titanium, and magnesium. This restricts the use of lightweight materials in various end-use industries including automotive, aircraft manufacturing, wind turbines, and marine. This limits the demand for these materials and is expected to hamper growth. Moreover, high manufacturing costs due to price fluctuations of carbon fiber and the maintenance of lightweight materials are major challenges for this market.
Multiple growth opportunities are helping to increase the growth value of the market. Electric vehicles in the automotive industry present growth opportunities for the market. Other factors such as increased environmental awareness, government initiatives, and increased OEM investment have led to the support and use of EVs, thereby supporting the industry growth.
The market is segmented into products including aluminum, high strength steel, titanium, magnesium, and polymers & composites. Polymers &composites dominated the overall market and the trend is likely to continue over the forecast period. The demand for the product is expected to grow owing to its potential to reduce vehicular weight by 50% and improve fuel efficiency by around 35%.
After the introduction of the Hall-Heroult process of obtaining quality aluminum from alumina, aluminum has been used in various applications. The age hardening property of aluminum alloys coupled with the strength provided by aluminum has propelled its demand in automotive and aviation applications. Such distinct properties and their usage in various industries are likely to drive market growth.
High strength steel is majorly used as a direct substitute to traditional steel in lightweight applications. It is largely preferred in the automotive sector and has the ability to reduce vehicular weight by around 25%. The recycle value of high strength steel is increasing its demand, which is anticipated to drive the market growth over the forecast period.
Magnesium is majorly used in automotive and mobile electronics applications. The recyclability feature of magnesium is responsible for its growth over the forecast period. Titanium is widely used in a variety of applications due to its easy accessibility and abundant availability. However, due to its high cost, it is used in niche applications where superior strength and durability are desired.
Automotive, aviation, and energy are the major application areas in the lightweight materials market. In 2015, the automotive segment dominated the overall market with around 86% share in terms of revenue. Major products used in the automotive industry include aluminum, polymers and composites, and high-strength steel.
The market is majorly driven by growing applications in automotive and aviation sector. The rising innovation in the aviation sector is expected to augment the market demand over the forecast period. In addition, the market growth is expected to augment due to the increased application of lightweight materials in the energy application segment.
Use of lightweight materials directly impacts various factors such as driving dynamics, agility, and fuel consumption. The application of lightweight materials in the aviation sector is expected to boost demand for lightweight materials over the forecast period. Furthermore, wind energy, one of the major renewable sources of energy uses lightweight materials for the manufacture of windmills.
The other application segment for the market includes transportation and defense. These applications majorly use titanium and magnesium, as they possess special properties of reflecting electromagnetic radiation. The demand for the market is expected to increase on account of rising R&D on new materials for defense applications.
MEA is expected to be the fastest growing region with a CAGR of over 13% from 2016 to 2024. The growth in this region is driven by rapid industrialization and setting up of manufacturing units by various conglomerates such as Cytec Solvay Group. Ease of availability of natural resources coupled with growing application industry is expected to augment the market demand
The Asia Pacific dominated the global demand due to growing aviation and automotive. Countries such as India and China are leading the regional market owing 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 are expected to boost demand for titanium and magnesium.
The demand for the product is growing rapidly in Latin America on account of the increase in the number of lightweight materials manufacturers. Furthermore, the market growth in Europe is expected to augment owing to the presence of aircraft and wind energy equipment manufacturers in the region.
High strength steel is largely used in North America, on account of its similar properties as traditional steel. However, polymers and composites are expected to grow rapidly over the forecast period owing to widespread acceptance in the automotive and energy sectors. Aluminum consumption in this region is driven by growing applications in the automotive and aviation sectors.
The lightweight materials market is moderately competitive, on account of the presence of leading companies such as Cytec Solvay Group; SABIC Industries; Alcoa Inc.; and Toray Industries Inc. The market is fragmented in nature and marked by a rising number of mergers and acquisitions. In order to increase market demand, companies are investing to improve the quality of products.
The number of polymers and composite manufacturers is expected to increase over the forecast period 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 different products used in manufacturing blades to their product portfolio.
In June 2023, Solvay signed an Option Agreement with Corre Energy to offer four salt caverns for a compressed air energy storage (CAES) facility in Epe (Solvay’s brine field in Germany). This site was built to store up to 80 GWh of compressed air, with over 640 MW of compressed air capacity.
In June 2023, SABIC launched the SABIC Material Finder website. This website offers customers and future customers the opportunity to explore, compare, analyze, and choose specialized thermoplastic materials for a variety of applications.
In May 2023, Alcoa signed an agreement with Emirates Global Aluminium. As a part of this agreement, Alcoa, the world’s largest third-party alumina supplier and a low-carbon emission firm, agreed to provide smelting-quality alumina to EGA.
In February 2023, Toray collaborated with the University of Chicago to develop a multiscale simulation technique. This technique precisely predicts the viscoelasticity based on the chemical structures of polymers.
Revenue forecast in 2024
USD 225.3 billion
CAGR of 8.9% from 2017 to 2024
Base year for estimation
2014 - 2016
2017 - 2024
Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2017 to 2024
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Product, application, and region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA
U.S.; Germany; China; Brazil
Key companies profiled
Cytec Solvay Group; SABIC; Formosa Plastics; Alcoa Inc.; Allegheny Technology Incorporated; Aleris International; and Covestro LLC.
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the latest trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2013 to 2024. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the lightweight materials market 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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