Lightweight Materials Market size is forecast to reach $285.6 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 8.5% during 2020-2025. Lightweight material is increasing its demand due to the emission reduction regulations in the automotive industry. Also, owing to the strength-to-weight ratio, exceptional corrosion resistance, and greater design flexibility lightweight material is used in various other end-use industries such as aircraft, windmills, and marine. Besides, based on the need for rising efficiency and reducing costs the market for the lightweight materials industry is expected to drive in the forecast period.
Lightweight Materials Market Segment Analysis – By Type
Composites are widely used in the lightweight materials market. Due to its ability to reduce vehicle weight and boost fuel efficiency, the demand for the product is estimated to rise in the forecast period. Lightweight composites are both powerful and light and therefore save money and manpower. Fiber-reinforced composite has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, which surpasses other materials. Also, composites reinforced with carbon fiber are 70% lighter than steel and 40% lighter than aluminum. For some factors such as easy installations, reduced costs, and adherence to standards the manufacture of lightweight parts is important to industries such as transportation, infrastructure, and aerospace. Lightweight composites are easy to handle and install, can reduce project costs, and can help ensure compliance with regulations and standards.
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Lightweight Materials Market Segment Analysis – By Application
Automotive held the largest share in the lightweight materials market in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% during the forecast period 2020-2025. Advanced materials are essential to boost the modern automobile fuel economy while retaining safety and performance. Because accelerating a lighter object requires less energy than a heavier one, lightweight materials offer great potential for increasing the efficiency of the vehicles. A reduction of 10 percent in vehicle weight will lead to an increase in fuel economy of 6 percent to 8 percent. Replacing cast iron and traditional steel components with lightweight materials such as high-strength steel, magnesium (Mg) alloys, aluminum (Al) alloys, and carbon fiber and polymer composites can significantly reduce the weight of the automotive body and hence minimize fuel consumption of a vehicle. Also, by using lightweight structural materials, cars can carry additional advanced emission control systems, safety devices, and integrated electronic systems without increasing vehicle overall weight. Hence, all these factors will lead to an increase in the lightweight materials market during the forecast period.
Lightweight Materials Market Segment Analysis – BY Geography
The Asia Pacific and North America regions held the largest share with 71% in the lightweight materials market in 2019. Countries such as the U.S, India, and China, due to the high demand for passenger vehicles, are the regional market leaders. Rising awareness of renewable energy is expected to increase demand for products in energy applications. High defense budgets are expected to stimulate demand for titanium and magnesium in this region. Stringent regulations and high production of aircraft and vehicles in these regions can attribute to high growth. According to the International Trade Administration, China is the largest vehicle market in the world, with the Chinese government expecting car production to reach 30 million units by 2020, and 35 million by 2025. In 2018, China’s specialty auto parts industry reached around $3.5 million, showing an annual growth rate of about 30%. Also, India is currently considered the third largest domestic civil aviation market in the world. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, the aviation industry in India is expected to witness Rs 35,000 crore (US$ 4.99 billion) investment in the next four years.
Lightweight Materials Market Drivers
Growing Demand for Lightweight Materials in Aviation Industry
Light weighting design is a concept widely explored and utilized in many industries, especially in aerospace applications, which is also associated with the concept of green aviation. The contribution of the aviation industry to the phenomena of global warming and environmental pollution has led to ongoing efforts for the reduction of air emissions. Enhancing energy efficiency is the main approach to this objective. An efficient way to increase energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption is to reduce aircraft weight, as a lower weight requires less lifting force and thrust during flight. Besides, structural weight reduction is one of the major ways to improve the performance of an aircraft. Lighter and stronger materials allow for greater range and speed, and can also help to reduce the operating costs. Lightweight materials involve the use of advanced materials and engineering methods to allow structural elements to provide the same, or improved technological performance by using less material. Thereby, due to these properties, the demand for lightweight material in the aviation industry will propel to grow.
Strengthen Regulations on Vehicular Emissions and Fuel Efficiency
Estimations of high contributions of vehicular emissions to pollutants are due to the increased motorization, owing to which the air quality is undergoing an increased deterioration in various regions. In most cases, auto emission regulations were initially imposed. Such regulations have resulted in the introduction of pollution control technologies which are then applied with diesel engines to other modes of transport or vehicle. Transport sector policies are already helping to moderate greenhouse gas emissions from road vehicles, and are increasingly designed to contribute to overall societal objectives to mitigate climate change. Emission regulations are constantly tightened worldwide, with European, US, and Japanese standards at the forefront. According to OECD, International Transport Forum, in the US both fuel taxes and fuel economy regulations have been in force for some decades. European governments have also adopted high fuel taxes but are now considered introducing fuel economy regulations. The CO2 emission targets for 2025 and 2030 were voted by the European council and parliament. For the year 2025, the CO2 reduction target for passenger cars and LCVs is -15 percent compared to 2021 and for 2030 the targets are -37.5 percent for passenger cars and -31 percent for LCV compared to the 2021 baseline. Also, according to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHSTA) announced a proposed joint rule setting emission and fuel economy standards for the 2018-2027 model years for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. According to the proposed phase 2 programs GHG emissions would reduce by 1 billion metric tons, conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce fuel costs by about $170 billion over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the 2018-2027 model year.
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Lightweight Materials Market Challenges
High Cost and Maintenance of Lightweight Materials
The high cost of materials such as carbon fiber-reinforced composites, titanium, and magnesium can hinder the extensive use of lightweight materials. Due to the high cost of raw materials, OEMs in developing countries rely more on economical passenger cars and prefer to use conventional materials rather than lightweight materials. Also, the manufacturing cost of automotive components made of advanced lightweight materials is even higher than that of conventional materials. Lightweight materials require high maintenance, in addition to the high cost. Lightweight materials possess great strength and stiffness. The weak points, however, are hard to map. In the lightweight materials industry, it is a challenge to manufacture products that are easy to fix and maintain.
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the lightweight materials market. In2019, the market of lightweight materials market has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the lightweight materials market are Alcoa INC., PPG Industries, INC., Arcelormittal S.A., Toray Industries, INC., Hexcel Corporation, Styron LLC, Novelis INC., Titanium Metals Corporation, Owens Corning, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation and among others.
APAC and North America dominate the Lightweight Materials Market due to the increasing use of aluminum, polymers, and composites, and high strength steel for the production of lightweight automotive and aircraft.
Rising fuel costs, the introduction of emission standards, and the financial consequences of adhering to such standards are expected to increase demand for lightweight materials in the automotive industry in the forecast era.
Maintenance and high cost of lightweight material in various end-use industries will hinder the growth of the market in the forecast period.
Owing to the lockdowns to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak, exports of raw materials are suspended, with manufacturers facing problems in the production of lightweight automotive and hampering the growth of the Lightweight Materials Market in 2020-2021.
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