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Ballistic Composites Market size is forecast to reach $2.44 billion by 2025 after growing at a CAGR of 8% during 2020-2025. The growth of the market is expected to be driven by the high demand of ballistic composites from the defense industry. The other growth factor is automotive industry which is using ballistic composites for vehicle armors.
By Type-Segment Analysis
Polymer matrix composite segment held the largest share in the ballistic composites market in 2019. Features like low weight, high friction, and temperature resistance properties make polymer the extensively used product. Polymer matrix composite is employed in applications such as protective garments, helmets, and body vests. Polymer matrix composite are widely used due to their low cost and simple fabrication methods. Most of the car manufacturers have executed investigations to insert natural fiber polymer composites in their products. Polymer matrix composite, on being exposed to heat, expand a little instead of getting melted. Due to favorable properties, polymer matrix composites are slated to be the largest segment, by value as well as volume. The advantageous properties offered by polymer matrix composites account for their significant share in the ballistic composites market. Aramid fiber has the second largest share in the ballistic composites market. Aramid fibers are strong synthetic fibers with high heat-resistant properties. These fibers are extensively used for the body armor application. The high dynamic energy absorption characteristics, high modulus, high specific strength, and excellent thermal properties is leading to the growth of aramid fiber in the ballistic composites market in the forecast period.
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By Application-Segment Analysis
The vehicle armor segment held the held the largest share in the ballistic composites market in terms of application. Vehicle armor is equipped with ballistic composites to ensure high-level protection against ballistic impacts and to provide high protection to the lives of military personnel in these vehicles. Soldiers and security personnel are in constant need of easy mobility while wearing protective vests, coupled with intensive protection. Owing to the high level of safety provided using these materials, it is widely utilized for the vehicle armor application. Commercial and industrial building constructions are likely to induce these composites in the buildings to secure them from minor threats.
Helmets & Face Protection segment is the second largest share in the ballistic composites market in terms of application. Helmets & Face Protection concerned companies are developing new product to provide protection from various intensities of threat. Helmets & Face Protection equipment worn by military personnel, especially, to prevent the head. The use of ballistic composites, which are lightweight, in helmets enables military personnel to wear them conveniently for longer duration. It also provides high level of protection by offering high resistance against ballistic impacts. Face protection is offered by fixing the visors and shields to the helmet, ensuring maximum protection against the impact of bullet and other ballistic threats caused by explosions and others. These face protection equipment are lightweight and has strong impact resistance properties, thus, supporting the human mandible from any harm and displacements.
By End Use – Segment Analysis
Defense Sector is the primary market for the ballistic composites in 2019 growing at CAGR of 10%. The growth can be mainly attributed to increasing technological innovation and advancement. The technological improvements are expected to improvise the military power and thus resulting in making it stronger. Various nations are now concentrating on developing the protection systems for themselves as well as to trade with other militaries. The United States represents nearly 60% of the total market, with the rest coming from allied nations around the world. These large, stable markets have enduring demand driven by geopolitical and security challenges. The growth in the defense budget across various nations is the major driver in the growth of the market in the forecast period. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) the total defense spending globally in the year 2019 was $1917 billion USD compare to $1855 billion USD in 2018. The increase in the global defense spending is a major factor leading to the growth of ballistic composites in terms of volume across the globe.
The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed several challenges for the defense sector. The Production facilities and supply chains are affected. Demand for defense equipment and related services are go down. Supply side shocks are perhaps some of the most visible effects of the pandemic’s impact on the defense sector. Companies that are located in countries badly affected by the virus or those that are dependent on supply chains located in affected countries are the immediate victims of the pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 will directly affect the market growth of ballistic composites in the year 2020. But after this year it will grow at a steady rate in 2021-2025.
APAC dominates the ballistic composites market with a share of more than 42% followed by North America and Europe. The economy of APAC is mainly influenced by the economic dynamics of countries such as China and India, but with growing foreign direct investment for economic development of South East Asia, the current scenario is changing. Countries in South East Asia are witnessing high growth in the automotive sector. Increasing demand of bullet proof armored vehicle due to safety concerns are driving the growth of market across the globe. According to International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers the total production of automobile (commercial as well as Personal) in Asia-Pacific in the year 2018 was 52,449,078 units compare to 53,395,211 units in 2017. The increase in the global automobile production is a major factor leading to the growth of ballistic composites in terms of volume across the globe.
Driver- Ballistic Composites Market
Rising demand for ballistic composites in personal protection
The rising demand for ballistic composites in personal protection due to its light weight and high strength properties is the major driver for the growth of the ballistic composites market. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, whereas others are due to massive investment by private companies to neutralize the ever-increasing global threats and fulfill the military’s appetite for lighter materials. Soldiers are now better protected against new ballistic threats and the overall weight of body protection has been reduced, while comfort has increased. New military vehicles are no longer purely armored with steel, and are instead lined with lightweight ballistic materials that increase the distance military vehicles can travel without refueling and also improve maneuverability. The lightweight ballistic composites from fiber manufacturing to commercial products and testing helps in reduction of the weight of military vehicles, providing ease and convenience in mobility. This factor will drive for the growth of the ballistic composites market in the forecast period.
Increasing R&D and mass production of ballistic composites will also help the market to grow in future
A lot of ballistic composites research and development is conducted at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research center in collaboration with fiber and ceramics companies, academic institutions and other entities, with a goal of developing ever lighter-weight, higher-performance materials that can improve soldiers’ mobility, performance and comfort. Ballistic composites applications layers of fabric are stacked by using only heat and pressure, the outer layers melt and fuse the stack together into flat panels and molded parts that have very good impact properties. The composite, used in combination with metals, ceramics and other composites for hard armor. This enables considerably reduced weight compared with glass-filled composites and at a lower cost than the premium composites. This factor will drive for the growth of the ballistic composites market in the forecast period.
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Challenges- Ballistic Composites Market
High costs and extremely stringent standards of ballistic composite materials
Ballistic composite materials has become a better armor protection as compared to traditional steel body armor in terms of its reduction in weight and an improvement in ballistic resistance. However, the complex response of composite materials coupled with high costs and limited amount of data from ballistic testing has led to modeling and simulation of ballistic composites with different grade of material. The different standards and rules by different countries and organization has created a complexity for companies to manufacture different standard ballistic composites materials. This factor will hamper the growth of the ballistic composites market in the forecast period.
Failure to provide complete protection will also restrain the market in near future
Ballistic composites have some drawback. As the growing technology some countries have developed bullets and ammunitions which can penetrate the ballistic armors. Recently Pakistan and China have developed steel bullets which can penetrate the body armor (made of ballistic composites) of an Indian army solider in Kashmir. There are many incidents happened in the past in which the ballistic composites are unable to protect the soldiers and civilians. The bomb disposal squad suit is also manufactured using ballistic composites materials, but it is unable to give him full protection against the explosion. Many members of bomb disposal squad of U.S army are martyred in Afghanistan and Iraq due to the failure in the protection from explosion. This factor will hamper the growth of the ballistic composites market in the forecast period.
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the ballistic composites market. Major players in the ballistic composites market are BAE Systems, Barrday Corporation, DSM, Dupont, Gaffco Ballistics and others.
Acquisitions/Technology Launches /Product launches
In July 2019, Australian defense company XTEK Limited has announced it has entered an agreement to acquire US market provider of body armor and personal protective equipment HighCom Armour Solutions, Inc. The company said that its acquisition of HighCom supports its strategy to commercialize its high-performance ballistic protection products, by accelerating their entry into key target markets in the US.
In January 2020, Honeywell announced the newest addition to its innovative Spectra Shield 6000 series for high-performing ballistic materials to meet strict requirements for protective equipment and the growing global demand for lightweight protection. Spectra Shield® 6166, which further expands Honeywell’s suite of high-performing hard armor products for militaries and law enforcement, was introduced at the SHOT Show at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.
Asia-Pacific dominates the ballistic composites market owing to increasing demand from defense sector.
Need for lightweight, comfortable, and high strength materials will drive the market in the forecast period.
Rising demand in personal protection will drive the market in the forecast period.
Complexity in the designing ballistic composite will hamper the market growth in the forecast period.
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