Demand up for Composite-Grade, High-Performance Plastics Across Aerospace, Automotive

Adoption of composite-grade HPPs could take the market past $3 billion by 2024, Frost & Sullivan analysts find.

Demand for high-performance plastics (HPPs) is up across the aerospace industry, driven by such key trends as growing performance requirements, increased use of additive manufacturing or 3D printing , supply chain globalization, and tightening environmental regulations. Growing passenger traffic coupled with the need to reduce emissions – being accomplished through lightweighting, engine downsizing, and vehicle electrification – present opportunities for HPPs, research analysts at Frost & Sullivan in San Antonio, Texas, explain.

HPP adoption is growing across the aerospace and automotive markets, and is forecast to achieve a 6.2 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) until 2024, when it is expected to reach $3.05 billion.

"The aerospace industry is likely to present significant opportunities for HPP owing to the growing passenger traffic and business travel around the world. Airbus and Boeing remain the key market participants in the commercial aviation segment, striving to meet the ever-increasing demand for aircraft, especially in the APAC (Asia-Pacific) and ROW (rest of world) markets," says Soundarya Gowrishankar, senior research analyst, chemicals and materials, EIA at Frost & Sullivan.

Demand for HPPs in the aerospace industry will come from Europe and North America given the concentration of component manufacturing in these regions, whereas APAC will remain a key market for HPPs in the automotive industry, owing to the high volume of production. Production expansions will help market participants gain a stronger foothold in the marketplace, analysts say.

Growing performance requirements across various applications are accelerating the adoption of composite-grade HPPs in both aerospace and automotive industries due to their superior performance qualities.

Developments in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, in terms of material, process, and technology readiness are accelerating the demand for HPPs in aerospace applications with stakeholders across the value chain proactively focusing on research and development activities to drive 3D printing applications in aerospace.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and component manufacturers continue to expand into new regions. As they do so, plastic distributors will have an increasing role to play in enabling HPP producers to keep supplying key customers in these new regions.

Tightening regulations around carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compel manufacturers to adopt weight-reduction or lightweighting strategies, steering the use of plastics in more challenging applications.

HPPs offer advantages over metal counterparts in several challenging applications, such as engine components, fuel tanks, and bearing cages.

"Electric vehicles (EVs) present significant opportunities for HPPs in battery components. For instance, battery modules, battery housing, gaskets, connectors, and sensors in EVs present robust growth opportunities for HPPs owing to their high-temperature stability, chemical resistance to electrolytes, dimensional stability, flame-retardant nature, high-voltage resistance, and electrical insulation properties," Gowrishankar adds.

Frost & Sullivan’s report, “High-Performance Plastics (HPPs) Market in Automotive and Aerospace Industries, Forecast to 2024” is part of the company’s global Future of Chemicals & Materials in Infrastructure & Mobility Growth Partnership Service program. It identifies disruptive market and technology trends, drivers and restraints, Mega Trends, market share, and competitive analysis of segments such as Polyketones, PPS, TPI, Sulfone Polymers, and HTPA. Unit shipment and revenue forecast and percent unit shipment by product, application, region and plastic/composites are also provided.

Courtney E. Howard  is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group. Contact her by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..