Aeroengine Composites Market: Highlights
Composite materials earned a reputed image in the aerospace industry, owing to their excellent track record of more than five decades. With such incredible properties of composites in contrast to other materials, GE Aviation, Safran Aircraft Engines, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce scrupulously started investing in the material in the critical section of an aeroengine. For an instance, in early 2014, Safran and Albany strategically collaborated to manufacture 3D Woven RTM composite aeroengine parts, such as composite fan cases, fan blades and outlet guide vanes, for the LEAP engine series, empowering B737 max, A320neo, and C919.
Aeroengine currently represents a small share of the total aircraft composites market but it is expected to grow at an impressive rate over the next five years to reach US$ 6,086.1 million in 2024. Increasing composite penetration in the latest aeroengines, such as LEAP, GEnx, GE9x, and passport 20 coupled with increasing production rates of the next-generation composite-rich aircraft A350XWB, B787, and F-35 is the major growth driver of the market. The incessant demand for fuel-efficient engines, increasing fan diameters of newer variants engines, and introduction of fuel-efficient variants of the best-selling aircraft with a greater composites content: A320neo and B737 max are further corroborating the growth of composites in aeroengines.
Airbus and Boeing, the two aircraft industry giants, are enjoying a huge order backlog of their major aircraft platforms. Boeing and Airbus had a combined total order backlog of 13,114 commercial aircraft by the April 2019. These huge pile of order backlogs of commercial aircraft will allow both airframers to roll out their aircraft continuously for about the next eight years at current build rates. Also, they have been strategically raising the production rates of their key commercial aircraft programs in order to deliver aircraft to their widespread clients at a shorter period; however, recent crashes of two Boeing’s B737 max (Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610) have temporarily impacted the production of its best-selling model due to the aircraft grounding by many airlines, which, in turn, forced the airframer to reduce the monthly production from 52 per month to 42 per month.
Another trend, which has a mammoth impact on the adoption of composites in aeroengines, is the significant increase is the engine bypass ratio (BPR). BPRs have increased from 5:1 in the 1970s to 10:1 in the new LEAP engine and will be 15:1 for the Rolls-Royce UltraFan engine, which is aimed for entry into service in 2025. High-temperature-resistant composite materials, such as Ceramic Matrix Composites, are also marking their presence in aircraft engines, especially in the hotter section of the engine. For instance, GE Aviation, a leading engine OEM, is deploying five CMC components in its GE9x, the world’s largest turbofan engine, empowering the B777x.
Aeroengine Composites Market, by Aircraft Type
The global aeroengine composites market is segmented based on the aircraft type as Narrow-Body Aircraft, Wide-Body Aircraft, Regional Aircraft, Helicopter, and Others. Wide-body aircraft is likely to remain the growth engine of the market during the forecast period. Increasing production rates of the next-generation aircraft programs A350XWB and B787 and increasing penetration of composites in newer variants of aircraft, such as B777x, are driving the wide-body aircraft segment. The narrow-body aircraft segment is driven by LEAP-1A empowering A320neo family, LEAP-1B empowering B737 max, and LEAP-1C empowering C919.
Aeroengine Composites Market, by Application Type
Based on the application type, the aeroengine composites market is segmented as Fan Blades, Fan Case, Outlet Guide Vanes, Shrouds, and Others. Fan blades and fan case together account for most of the aeroengine composites market and are likely to remain the dominant applications in the coming five years too. New-generation engine models, such as GEnx, GE9X, Pratt GTF, LEAP-1A, LEAP-1B, and LEAP-1C, contain both fan blades and fan case made of composites, which has led to a colossal share of both segments in the market. Development of new composite applications in engines by replacing traditional metallic components is further substantiating the growth of the aeroengine composites market. In the last decade, a sheer interest has been recorded for the use of ceramic matrix composites in various engine applications, such as shrouds, combustor liners, and nozzles.
Aeroengine Composites Market, by Composite Type
Based on the composite type, the aeroengine composites market is segmented as Polymer Matrix Composites (PMC), Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC), and Metal Matrix Composites (MMC). PMC is projected to remain the most dominant composite type in the global aeroengine composites market over the next five years. PMC is majorly being used to develop all the major composite components of the engine, such as fan blades and fan cases. Carbon-epoxy composite is the perennial choice of PMC, used majorly in the market. The CMC segment is likely to depict the highest growth in the global aeroengine composites market over the next five years. Much of this growth is attributed to the significant growth in LEAP engines, which incorporate various CMC components.
Aeroengine Composites Market, By Region
Based on the regions, North America is projected to remain the largest market during the forecast period, driven by the presence of the world’s largest aircraft OEM: Boeing. The USA is likely to remain the growth engine of the region’s market during the forecast period, propelled by the presence of the major engine manufacturers, such as GE Aviation, CFM International, and Pratt & Whitney. Asia-Pacific currently represents a relatively small opportunity; however, is subjected to grow at a handsome rate in the coming years, largely driven by China. China is projected to be the new growth engine in the region. Presence of assembly plants of A320neo and B737max coupled with the upcoming C919 aircraft is expected to drive the market in the country.
The supply chain & the top market leaders
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, composite suppliers, aeroengine composite component manufacturers, tier player, aeroengine OEMs, airframers, airlines, and MRO companies. Some of the key players in the aeroengine composites market are Safran Aerospace Composites, Safran/Albany, CFAN, GE Aviation, Meggitt PLC, FACC AG, GKN Aerospace (Melrose Industries), and Triumph Group Inc. The key aircraft OEMs include Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, COMAC, Lockheed Martin, Dassault Aviation, and Gulfstream Aerospace. Development of new applications, in-house manufacturing of composite parts, and formation of JV and M&As are some of the major strategies adopted by the major players in order to gain a competitive edge in the market.