The global aerospace plastics market size was valued at USD 468.7 million in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. Plastic components are used in the aerospace sector due to their high impact, chemical, and corrosion resistance.
The use of plastic for different aircraft components such as cabin interiors, airframes, windows, propulsion systems, and others results in lighter aircraft with greater durability. The adoption of plastic in aerospace components has increased over the years owing to its superior freedom in component design, lower manufacturing and installation cost, greater specific strength, and low outgassing in a vacuum.
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The COVID-19 outbreak has restricted the growth of the market. The demand for aerospace plastics has decreased during the pandemic owing to operational challenges, disruption of the supply chain, and workforce impairment. Manufacturing activities have been halted due to various government regulations across the globe.
Termination of air travel due to global and regional travel restrictions has severely impacted the aviation market, especially the small and midsize operators. Airlines are compelled to cancel orders for new aircraft and postpone repair and renewal of components.
After the end of the pandemic, the industry aims to get back on the ground through government support and initiatives. Some trends expected to drive the market growth post-COVID-19 include the development of energy-efficient components, research & development to manufacturing more sustainable and eco-friendlier products, and the growing application of lightweight components.
Some plastics in the aerospace industry include PEEK, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), polycarbonate, and polyphenylene sulfide. Special grade plastics are being manufactured to cater to the requirements such as superior heat resistance, mechanical stability, zero flammability, and high insulation of the aerospace industry.
The growth of the global aviation industry, increasing air travel, and modernization of old aircraft influence the market. Increasing aircraft use for dynamic operational environments and challenges in defense scenarios also boosts the plastics market growth.
The rise in demand for commercial aircraft from emerging economies of the Asia Pacific and Latin America and high government investments in the sector is expected to aid the market's growth. Some other factors supplementing the market's growth include technological advancements in the aerospace industry and the use of 3D printing for prototyping and manufacturing complex equipment.
The use of aerospace plastics results in greater performance, reduced weight, and higher fuel efficiency. ABS's demand has increased significantly due to its lightweight density, high impact strength, and good stiffness and machinability. It is majorly used in interior cabin components such as luggage compartments and air panels.
Polycarbonate is another aerospace plastic used in a wide range of structural and machine applications. Polycarbonate plastic is an amorphous thermoplastic offering properties such as translucency, low density, excellent dimensional stability, and rigidity over a wide range of temperatures.
The market is primarily segmented on the basis of polymer type, aircraft type, application, and region.
By Polymer Type
By Aircraft Type
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The polymer type segment has been divided into polycarbonate, PPS, PEEK, Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), PTFE, Polyimide (PI), Polyamide Imide (PAI), and others. The ABS segment accounted for a significant share in 2020.
ABS is developed through a combination of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic. These monomers can be mixed in different proportions to get a diverse range of properties. ABS offers properties such as toughness, good impact strength, and machinability.
ABS is exceptionally lightweight, which results in lower production costs, decreased operating costs, and reduced fuel consumption. Rapid technological advancements in the aerospace market coupled with the use of additive manufacturing in aerospace applications are factors fueling the growth of the aerospace plastics industry.
On the basis of aircraft type, the market is segmented into military aircraft, commercial aircraft, general aircraft, rotary aircraft, and others. The commercial aircraft segment dominated the global market in 2020. The sector uses aerospace plastics to manufacture different components for the decreased weight of the aircraft and increased overall efficiency.
Government organizations of numerous countries have introduced several initiatives to support and promote prominent players to establish commercial aircraft manufacturing facilities, especially in emerging regions. This is anticipated to create new growth opportunities for local and international players operating in the commercial aerospace plastics market.
On the basis of application, the market is segmented into aerostructure, components, equipment, systems & support, cabin interiors, propulsion systems, satellites, construction & insulation components. Aerospace plastics are used in the manufacturing of various cabin interior parts such as seats and trays, doors, seating, panels, and luggage compartments, among others.
Aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic cabin interiors are being designed using plastics. Aerospace plastics offer greater freedom to design, shape, and mold resulting in cost-effective, safe, and efficient aircraft.
North America dominated the global aerospace plastics industry in 2020. The rise in air traffic and increasing focus on enhancing the travel experience for passengers is expected to provide numerous growth opportunities for this plastics market.
The U.S. government has been using aircraft for various defense and security purposes, thereby increasing the need for modernization of aircraft and integration of aerospace plastics into different components to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
The presence of leading companies in the region, significant investment in research and development, and technological advancements are further expected to support the aircraft plastics market growth during the forecast period.
The leading players in the aerospace plastics market include BASF SE, SABIC, Solvay S.A., Evonik Industries AG, Victrex plc, Drake Plastics Ltd, Quadrant Engineering Plastics, PPG Industries, Inc., Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A., DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Hexcel Corporation, Röchling SE & Co. K.G., Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Ensinger GmbH, and Hyosung Corporation.
These players are expanding their presence across various geographies and entering new markets in developing regions to expand their customer base and strengthen their presence in the market. The companies are also introducing new innovative products in the plastics market to cater to the growing consumer demands.
Market size value in 2020
USD 468.7 million
Revenue forecast in 2028
USD 577.3 million
5.1% from 2021 - 2028
2016 - 2019
2021 - 2028
Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2021 to 2028
By Polymer Type, By Application, By Aircraft Type, By Region
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa
BASF SE, SABIC, Solvay S.A., Evonik Industries AG, Victrex plc, Drake Plastics Ltd, Quadrant Engineering Plastics, PPG Industries, Inc., Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A., DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Hexcel Corporation, Röchling SE & Co. K.G., Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Ensinger GmbH, and Hyosung Corporation.