Global Lightweight Materials Market Size to Reach USD 417.96 Billion in 2032 | Emergen Research

Rising demand for composites in aircraft manufacturing and stringent road safety regulations are among some of the key factors driving global market revenue growth 

Vancouver, Oct. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global lightweight materials market size was USD 159.95 Billion in 2020. Rising focus on improving fuel efficiency, increasing investment in renewable energy sector, stringent road safety regulations, and expanding use of lightweight materials for improving stability and payload capacity of ships, reducing vehicle weight, and for enhancing flight performance and fuel efficiency of aircraft are among some of the key factors driving revenue growth of the global lightweight materials market.

Drivers: Rising demand for lightweight materials in aircraft manufacture

Rising demand for more lightweight materials in aircraft component and part manufacture is a key driver of market revenue growth. Lightweight materials such as composites and plastics are substantially lighter compared to materials such as steel, brass, alloys, iron, and others. Reduction of weight of aircraft components can lead to significant cost savings in terms of fuel consumption. Also, plastic materials perform much better in chemically harsh conditions as compared to steel, thereby increasing longevity of aircrafts’ structural frame and preventing expensive repairs as a result of corrosion of metal components. Plastic also ensures decreased Maintenance, Repair, and Operation) downtime as replacements are easier and quicker to install. Moreover, high-performance thermoplastics offer excellent flame resistance characteristics, which is a necessary requirement in aerospace applications.

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Restraints: High cost associated with lightweight materials

Lightweight materials deliver considerable weight reduction benefits, but at a higher cost. For instance, high-strength steel provides a weight reduction of 20.0% over steel at a higher cost of 15.0% per part, and aluminum is 30.0% more expensive than steel, but delivers 40.0% weight reduction. Also, carbon fiber, which provides overly higher weight reduction than steel, is very cost-prohibitive, which restricts its penetration in the market.

Growth Projections

The global lightweight materials market size is expected to reach USD 417.96 Billion in 2032 and register a revenue CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period, which can be attributed to rising demand for Electric Vehicles (EVs) and increasing investment in research and development of more innovative methods to produce lightweight materials at lower cost. Thermoplastic films are increasingly being used for sandwiching laminated glasses used in automotive windshields to enhance shatter resistance. Expanding applications of thermoplastics is expected to continue to fuel demand for lightweight materials for various applications and in a variety of end-use industries and sectors.

COVID-19 Direct Impacts

Automotive industry witnessed decrease in sales during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and after as well throughout 2020. However, as restrictions and lockdowns have been relaxed in some countries and lifted in others, the industry exhibited steady signs of recovery, with automotive sales in countries such as China registering sales at pre-pandemic lockdown levels during the second half of 2021. It is expected that emerging trends, including shift towards electric vehicles, rising use of mobility services, and autonomous driving will continue to drive demand for lightweight materials to a significant extent going ahead.

Current Trends and Innovations

Increasing incorporation of Internet of Things-enabled sensing technologies and devices into aircraft functions, components, and body is become integral to growth of IoT in the aviation sector. Several aerospace material providers are emphasizing on production of smart composite materials by incorporating sensors into composite materials. Advanced fibers such as micro-fibrillated cellulose and nanocellulose possess very low fiber diameter, enabling Fiber Bragg grating sensors to be embedded for measuring internal strain. This technology helps in detecting any damage caused to the material in sensor proximity. Using smart composites in aircraft will enhance safety of aircraft and occupants as the material delivers alerts related to material strain or damage.

Geographical Outlook

Market in Europe accounted for a significantly large revenue share in 2020, attributed to rising demand for EVs among consumers in countries in the region and stringent regulations pertaining to environmental pollution and need to reduce negative impacts. In addition, presence of leading aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus and Liebherr Aerospace is expected to support Europe market revenue growth.

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Scope of Research

Report DetailsOutcome
Market size in 2020USD 159.95 Billion
CAGR (2021–2032)8.3%
Revenue forecast to 2032USD 417.96 Billion
Base year for estimation2020
Historical data2018–2019
Forecast period2021–2032
Quantitative unitsRevenue in USD Billion and CAGR in % from 2021 to 2032
Report coverageRevenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Segments coveredProduct type, distribution channel, application, and region
Regional scopeNorth America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; Middle East & Africa
Country scopeU.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, BENELUX, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Israel
Key companies profiledFormosa Plastics Corporation, SABIC, PPG Industries Inc., Precision Castparts Corporation, Solvay SA, Alcoa Corporation, Toray Industries Inc., Evonik Industries AG, Novelis Inc., and Covestro AG.
Customization scope10 hours of free customization and expert consultation

Major Companies and Competitive Landscape

The global lightweight materials market is moderately fragmented, with a large number of small- and medium-sized companies accounting for a majority revenue share in the market. Major companies have well-established facilities and enter in acquisitions and mergers, and strategic agreements, and engage in various research and development activities and initiatives to develop and deploy new and more efficient technologies and products in the lightweight materials market. Some major companies included in the global lightweight materials market are:

  • Formosa Plastics Corporation
  • PPG Industries Inc.
  • Precision Castparts Corporation
  • Solvay SA
  • Alcoa Corporation
  • Toray Industries Inc.
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Novelis Inc.
  • Covestro AG.

Strategic Development

In June 2021, Nexeo Plastics, which is a firm engaged in distribution of thermoplastic resins, made an announcement about entering into an agreement with Covestro AG for distribution of Polycarbonate/ABS filament used in 3D printing.

In July 2020, IPL Plastics Inc. made an announcement about signing an agreement for its acquisition by Intelligent Packaging Limited Purchaser Inc., which is a firm controlled by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC.

In June 2020, Solvay announced about signing a five-year supply agreement with Leonardo across its Aircraft, Aerostructures, and Electronics divisions. Also, Solvay entered into partnership with Leonardo in various R&D initiatives for new materials and development of process technologies.

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Some Key Highlights From the Report

  • Among the product type segments, composites segment revenue is expected to register a significantly robust growth rate over the forecast period. Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) composites deliver exceptional strength-to-weight ratios. Components produced using FRP for use in the construction sector are more than eight-times lighter as compared to precast concrete, and are thus considerably easier and safer to work with. FRP decking enables easy installation of cantilever sidewalks alongside flyovers and bridges without a radical increase in dead load.
  • Titanium possesses low density and high strength, and its weight-to-strength ratio is very high, thereby enabling deployment in aircraft applications and parts manufacture for weight reduction without compromising structural integrity. For improved mileage, titanium is preferred in aircraft.

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Emergen Research has segmented the global lightweight materials market on the basis of product type, distribution channel, application, and region:

  • Product Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2018–2028)
    • Plastics
      1. Polycarbonate
      2. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
      3. Polyamide
      4. Polyurethane
      5. Polypropylene
      6. Others
    • Metals
      1. Aluminum
      2. High Strength Steel
      3. Titanium
      4. Others
    • Composites
      1. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic
      2. Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic
      3. Others
    • Elastomers
  • Distribution Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2018–2028)
    • Direct
    • Indirect
  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2018–2028)
    • Automotive
    • Aerospace
    • Energy
    • Marine
    • Others
  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2018–2028)
    • North America
      1. U.S.
      2. Canada
      3. Mexico
    • Europe
      1. Germany
      2. U.K.
      3. France
      4. Italy
      5. Spain
      6. Sweden
      7. BENELUX
      8. Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      1. China
      2. India
      3. Japan
      4. South Korea
      5. Rest of APAC
    • Latin America
      1. Brazil
      2. Rest of LATAM
    • Middle East & Africa
      1. Saudi Arabia
      2. UAE
      3. South Africa
      4. Israel
      5. Rest of MEA

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