The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global commercial airframe component market for 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated in the overall market. The report also presents market segmentation based on airframe components such as fuselage, wing, and empennage and key geography, including the Americas, EMEA, and APAC.
According to Abhay Singh, a lead analyst at Technavio for the aerospace components sector, “The global commercial airframe component market is expected to grow at a steady pace during the forecast period due to the entry of new airlines and network expansion of existing airlines. Replacement of older fleet, increased air travel, and consistent economic growth are also known factors contributing to the growth of the market.”
Technavio aerospace and defense analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global commercial airframe component market:
- Increase in demand for aircraft
- Growing demand for 3D printing
- Increased use of composites
Increase in demand for aircraft
Growing economy and rising tourism have significantly influenced the global air traffic. The travel and tourism segment contributed USD 7.58 trillion (9.8% of GDP) in 2014-15 and is expected to show a rise of 3.7% in 2015-16, and reach USD 11.38 trillion (10.5% of GDP) in 2025, reflecting a 3.8% increase per annum.
According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), it is also expected that the air passenger traffic will reach 3.6 billion by 2016 with an annual growth rate of 5.3% over 2012-16. This period will likely observe 500 million new passengers on domestic routes and an additional 331 million passengers on international routes. To cater to this growing demand, new airlines such as Vistara, Air Pegasus, and True Jet came into service, while others introduced new aircraft to their fleet.
Growing demand for 3D printing
Additive manufacturing (AM), also known a 3D printing, is a process of building objects layer by layer with materials such as polymers, metals, and composites. Unlike, traditional manufacturing techniques, AM allows flexibility when creating complex geometries. In addition, AM machines use materials, such as titanium, effectively with reduced waste production compared to conventional devices. It is very economical in terms of scale and scope and hence popular for customized production. This aspect highly contradicts mass production industries and makes AM a better fit for A&D industry.
In 2014, Airbus received the ordered 3D-printed parts made of Airbus-certified ULTEM 9085 resin. This thermoplastic material has high strength-to-weight ratio and complies with the flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) rating required for aircraft interiors. The A350 XWB aircraft will employ 1,000 of such 3D-printed parts and will exhibit advanced manufacturing techniques. The aircraft, which are due to be delivered in 2016, are expected to be safer and fuel-efficient. It is also expected to feature reduced weight and increased aerodynamics.
Increased use of composites
Traditionally, airframe was made of metals like aluminum and steel. However, modern technology has given rise to high-performance composites such as carbon fibers that have replaced metals in the airframe construction. The carbon fiber confers the stiffness, and the matrix aligns and transfers structural load among the fibers. Unlike metals, they are easy to maintain and flexible. Structural components made of composites can feature twice the strength and more than twice the fatigue resistance than steel. Also, they can be twice as stiff as aluminum at half the weight and act as effective corrosion suppressants. There is an increasing demand for carbon fibers owing to its higher volume and enhanced performance.
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