The Europe aerospace composites market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 5% during the forecast period.
- The characteristics of composites, like temperature and chemical resistance, lightweight, high stiffness, dimensional stability, and flex performance, among others, have made their use popular in various aerospace components and structural applications.
- Reduced maintenance and longer design life, fewer parts, and reduced tooling and assembly costs are some of the reasons that drive the composites market in the aerospace industry.
- The increasing investments in the research and development (R&D) of advanced composite materials by several aerospace incumbents, like the General Electric Company, The Boeing Company, and Airbus SE among others, is also supporting the growth of the Europe aerospace composites market.
Key Market Trends
Commercial Aviation Segment to Continue its Dominance During the Forecast Period
The air passenger traffic in Europe has witnessed a steady growth during the last decade. According to Eurostat, between 2010 and 2018, the air passenger traffic in Europe has grown from 776 million in 2010 to reach 1.11 billion in 2018. The rise in passenger traffic signifies a parallel demand for new aircraft from the airline operators to effectively serve more passengers and gain market share. The new generation aircraft features extensive use of composites due to their inherent cost and weight savings benefits over traditional airframe materials such as metal alloys. For instance, while the A380 features around 30% carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) in its airframe and component layout, CFRPs constitute around 53% of the same in the A350XWB. The increase in the CFRP composition has enabled designers to ensure weight savings of over 10 tons in the A350XWB as compared to the A330. Since a weight saving of 100 kg attributes to a potential cost saving of that of 10,000 liters of gasoline per year for an aircraft operator, the use of composites in the OEM design of commercial aircraft is envisioned to grow during the forecast period. The order books of commercial aircraft OEMs such as Airbus and Boeing depict a paradigm shift towards the adoption of more fuel-efficient aircraft by airlines around the world, including Europe, thereby creating a positive outlook for the market in focus.
Germany to Witness Robust Growth During the Forecast Period Due to Flourishing Space Industry
Europe has continuously been at the forefront of space exploration and currently has the second-largest public space budget in the world with numerous active satellite R&D programs and manufacturing facilities spanning different European countries. The growth of the market in focus in Germany is fostered by two factors- an increased budget dedicated to R&D of innovative satellite-based products and services; the introduction of space economy- friendly government initiatives which incentivize both public and private users of satellite-based services such as the mandatory inclusion of GNSS-enabled in-vehicle technology. The huge demand has also fostered satellite manufacturers to ramp up their production facilities for meeting project deadlines. On this note, in February 2019, Airbus tripled the size of its satellite integration facility in Friedrichshafen, Germany to accommodate the production schedule of large projects simultaneously, such as the Sentinel satellites project, undertaken by Airbus for the European environment and security program named "Copernicus", and the joint European-Japanese EarthCARE earth-observation satellites. Besides, composites are also used extensively in booster rockets. Eminent space launchers such as the Falcon9 (SpaceX) and Ariane 6 (ESA/ASL) are built with the help of carbon composites. On this note, the CFP boosters of the Ariane 6 are developed and later manufactured by MT Aerospace and AVIO by means of a coiling process. The entry of new market players in the space economy is envisioned to foster the growth in demand for composites from the space industry. On this note, OHB SE, the largest private satellite manufacturer in Germany, is planning to initiate satellite launch services by 2021. Such developments are envisioned to bolster the demand for aerospace composites in Germany and drive the market in focus during the forecast period.
The Europe Aerospace Composites Market is highly competitive and is marked by the presence of many prominent players, such as Toray Industries, Inc., Hexcel Corporation, Solvay SA, DuPont de Nemours, Inc., and Airborne, competing for the market share. The industry is marked with strategic acquisitions as a measure to enhance production capabilities and technical expertise to serve new emerging sub-segments. For instance, in 2019, Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, Inc. acquired the fiber production base of SGL Group to enhance its large-tow carbon fiber output to 1,000 tons and enhance its market presence in this sector. Also, in March 2018, Toray Industries, Inc. acquired TenCate Advanced Composites Holding B.V. for EUR 930 million to enhance its current manufacture and distribution capabilities for CFRPs. The ongoing R&D is also envisioned to result in the development of advanced composite materials that can help elevate the quality of the inputs provided by composite manufacturers to the aerospace OEMs. On this note, in November 2018, Toray Industries, Inc. developed the TORAYCA MX series of carbon fibers that enhances the tensile strength of its existing TORAYCA MJ series fibers by 30%.
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