The Total Addressable Market (TAM) for aerospace lubricants was valued at USD 2.28 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 3.92 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.21% during the forecast period (2023–2031). Lubricants used in aerospace applications such as commercial airplanes and defense are similar to other lubricants but must meet higher performance standards. Lubrication systems utilized in turbine engine applications are reviewed concerning the issues connected with aviation applications. Aerospace lubricants are substances used to enhance the performance of various aircraft and aviation vehicles. These lubricants are recognized to lower the friction levels between two surfaces, resulting in equipment that runs more smoothly. They help provide a wide range of additional advantages, including corrosion-free, coolant qualities, rust-free, and sealant capabilities.
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Growing Demand for Air Travel
The aviation and aerospace industries are driven by air travel, and in recent years, the number of people traveling by air has increased significantly. The demand for air transportation of goods increased because it offers fast mobility, which is essential for perishable goods. Domestic air travel demand has also increased significantly during the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted demand for air travel due to travel restrictions imposed by nations; however, the market began to recover in 2021 as governments withdrew these restrictions slowly.
Additionally, the tourism industry significantly relies on air transportation which is essential for economic development. Many emerging economies, such as the UAE, Brazil, and Malaysia, heavily depend on the tourism industry. Many government entities have invested significant amounts in advertising the tourism industries of their countries, which has increased the number of tourists from domestic and foreign countries. These factors are expected to increase the demand for air travel, which is projected to drive the aerospace lubricants market.
Increasing Demand for High-Efficiency Lubricants
The aviation industry developed engines and turbine assemblies that use hybrid and electric technology thanks to significant R&D investment. These engines require specialized lubricants to operate at their best in challenging conditions. Several aircraft manufacturers and governments worldwide have worked together to improve military aircraft. In addition, governments are also working closely with aerospace lubricant manufacturers to develop eco-friendly and high-efficiency lubricants that will perform well under extreme conditions.
Additionally, various companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil, TotalEnergies, and Nyco have developed products and production processes that meet the requirements of newly developed aircraft and improve the productivity and profitability of the aerospace lubricants segment. The needs of the engine, airframe, landing gear, and hydraulic systems differ for different manufacturers. Therefore, in order to satisfy these specifications, businesses must collaborate with aircraft producers to create a new line of aerospace lubricants appropriate for those aircraft.
Contamination of Lubricants
Base oils and a few chemical additives are mainly designed to preserve the lubricating qualities of oil and the components used in airplanes make up aerospace lubricants. Specialty compounds known as additives are developed to improve lubricant performance. Extreme temperatures can speed up the breakdown of additives and cause other chemical reactions. This chemical reaction may produce chemical contaminants that may adversely affect aircraft performance. Dirt and dust particles may enter aircraft components and may contaminate the lubricant.
Additionally, weather conditions such as sandstorms and rain may lead to the contamination of lubricants due to sand, mud, and small bits of matter. Most times, the particles are produced during the operations of engines and hydraulic systems due to the wear and tear of components. Also, contamination might be introduced during airplane maintenance due to oil leaks. Improper mixing of oil and inattentive servicing can cause contamination of lubricants. Other sources of contamination include rust and improper sealing of storage containers, which increase the chances of impurities in aerospace lubricants, thereby restraining the market growth.
Innovations in Improving Efficiency and Performance
The aerospace industry is growing, and digitalization and automation have driven innovations in advanced aircraft. Defense is one of the significant aspects of a country, and government entities work with aircraft manufacturers to develop performance aircraft. For instance, the Indian Air Force is working closely with Dassault Aviation (France), Boeing (US), and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (India) to develop advanced aircraft as per the requirements of the country. Similarly, various countries have joint ventures with many aircraft manufacturers to build the plane per specific requirements. Currently, unmanned ariel vehicles are being developed by many countries, which will positively affect the aerospace lubricants market.
Innovations such as AI, robotics, and alternative fuels will positively impact the aerospace lubricants market. Airbus and Boeing have been developing aircraft with innovative designs such as fixed-wing designs, V-shaped tails, and electric propulsion. In addition, aircraft manufacturers have invested a lot in developing aircraft that offer improved performance with low sound levels and reliable mobility. All the new developments in aircraft will improve the efficiency and performance of aircraft, increasing the demand for better-performing aerospace lubricants.
The global aerospace lubricants market is segmented by end-user, product type, and application.
By end-user, the global market is divided into OEM and aftermarket.
The aftermarket segment is the highest contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.94% over the forecast period. The maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) market falls under the aftermarket segment. MRO for aerospace lubricants is larger than the OEM market. As the price of an aircraft is very high, the purchase frequency is minimal. Further, the maintenance of aircraft is critical in civil and defense aviation. Lubricants are used up in airplanes due to the harsh circumstances they are exposed to, such as high pressure and temperature. Therefore, there is a need for frequent replacement of lubricants.
In addition, a change of lubricant is essential to maintain the performance and airworthiness of an aircraft so that it can safely transport passengers and cargo. Factors such as fleet size, aircraft usage, and air traffic have impacted the MRO market. The MRO sector is also crucial for military and defense aviation because a well-maintained aircraft can be quickly dispatched in an emergency.
The OEM industry is changing due to stringent emission regulations and the electrification of the sector. Industry 4.0 has helped aircraft manufacturers use advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to develop better-performing aircraft, offering better fuel efficiency. Moreover, the OEM sector has adopted a sustainable approach to developing aircraft. In addition, manufacturers have invested considerable amounts in R&D in recent years to build better-performing, more sustainable aircraft. For instance, various governments are promoting the use of hydrogen fuel in the aviation industry. The airline industry is increasing, requiring new aircraft as the demand for air travel has increased significantly. The inception of new commercial airlines has increased due to increased air travel and air freight. Therefore, the demand from the OEM sector will increase significantly, positively impacting aerospace lubricants during the forecast period.
By product type, the global market is segmented into engine oil, hydraulic fluid, and others.
The engine oil segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.47% during the forecast period. Aircraft engine oil offers various characteristics, such as lubrication, cooling, cleaning, corrosion protection, and noise reduction. It creates a layer between the moving parts of the engines and reduces frictional loss. Aircraft engine oil must withstand extreme temperatures, pressures, and loads. Engine oil is the most common type of aerospace lubricant used in piston engines and turbine engines in commercial and defense aircraft. The engine oil greatly influences engine performance, which protects moving parts from deterioration and wear. Engine oil comprises base oils and different additives that give the lubricant a wide range of properties.
Hydraulic fluids are required for various mechanical functions of aircraft that require high force. Hydraulic power is used for aircraft functions such as landing gear retraction/extension, flaps and slats, thrust reversers, spoilers and speed brakes, nose wheel steering, and flight control surfaces. In the defense sector, many aircraft are equipped with guns and missile cannons that are operated via hydraulic power, which permits reliable and high rates of fire. In commercial aviation, electrically driven pumps are used to deliver hydraulic power. Therefore, hydraulic fluids are essential for the smooth operations of hydraulic pumps and hydraulic systems.
By application, the global market is segmented into defense aviation and civil aviation.
The civil aviation segment is the highest contributor to the market and is growing at a CAGR of 6.43% over the forecast period. Civil aviation mainly depends on tourism and world trade, so the airline industry significantly contributes to civil aviation. Technological advancements and continuous innovation have been trending in civil aviation recently. Further, people have migrated for tourism, medical aid, education, and business purposes. This change has made civil aviation possible, which has increased the need for aerospace lubricants.
Defense or military aviation uses different aircraft types within the military and defense sectors. The primary branch of defense aviation is the air force, but the navy, coast guard, and other defense sectors also offer aviation services. The defense and military sectors also contribute significantly to developing defense infrastructure in remote areas. Aircraft deliver raw materials, labor, and other support required for infrastructure developments. Furthermore, the military and defense sector spends significant money and time training young pilots. These training activities increase aircraft usage, leading to an increase in the consumption of lubricants. The rise in defense aviation will ultimately increase the demand for aerospace lubricants.
By region, the global aerospace lubricants market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America Dominates the Global Market
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North America is the most significant shareholder in the global aerospace lubricants market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.97% during the forecast period. North America is one of the largest markets for aerospace lubricants, where the aviation industry is rapidly growing as a result of rapid digitalization and the development of airport infrastructure. The availability of skilled labor and raw materials in North America has fueled the demand for aviation. In addition, governments of developed countries such as the US and Canada have come up with policies to attract private investments, offering subsidies and incentives under various policies. Airport infrastructure development in the North American region is increasing rapidly as the governments of countries in this region have announced major airport construction and expansion projects. This infrastructural and industrial development is contributing majorly to the aviation industry, so the growth of the aviation industry will boost the aerospace lubricants market.
Europe is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.16% over the forecast period. Developed countries such as the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany are situated in Europe, and the developed infrastructure and stable economy promote industrial development. In addition, the industrial revolution in Europe boosted its economy in terms of standard of living, per capita income, advancements in the production process, and adoption of new technology. The factors mentioned above are the main reason for the world-class development of the aerospace, aviation, and transportation industries, thus driving the demand for aerospace lubricants. Furthermore, civil aviation is one of the most successful high-tech sectors in the aerospace sector. Europe is a leader in the production of civil aircraft and aircraft engines. The competitiveness of the civil aviation industry strongly depends on its capacity to innovate to deliver safer and greener products.
In Asia-Pacific, urbanization, rising disposable incomes, and rapid industrialization have fueled the growth of the aerospace, automotive, food processing, cosmetics, and textile industries. The need for aerospace lubricants is rapidly growing because of the increasing demand from airlines, air transportation, airport construction, and expansion. Additionally, the availability of low-cost labor and raw materials further fuels the market. China, India, Japan, and Indonesia have been the region's top markets since each government has encouraged foreign investment in the nation. Increased purchasing power, strong economic growth, government subsidies and grants, and growing aerospace and airline industries have primarily supported market growth in the region.
Aerospace, agriculture, mining, construction, and automotive are the leading industries in Latin America. Mexico and Brazil are two major economies in the Latin American region. The aviation industry will drive the aerospace lubricants market as major players such as Airbus, Boeing, Dassault, and Lockheed Martin have invested significantly in R&D. Attractive fiscal, monetary, and social policies have attracted many OEMs to conduct business in the Latin American region. Industrialization in Latin American regions has been boosted by policies like the Central America Free Trade Area-Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
South Africa and the UAE are the two countries dominating the region in the Middle East and Africa. The significant factors contributing to the aerospace lubricants market growth are the abundant availability of crude oil reserves, highly established infrastructure, and the presence of top-notch players in the country. Saudi Aramco, Gulf Petroleum Group, Qatar Petroleum, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company are some prominent players in base oil in the Middle East and Africa. Presently, South Africa and the UAE are the largest producer of aerospace lubricants in the region and hold 32.25% of the region's overall capacity.
The key players in the global aerospace lubricants market are ExxonMobil, Shell, Total Energies, NYCO, Phillips66, Aerospace, AVI Oil India, Castrol, Chemours, Eastman Chemicals, Jet-Lube, NYE Lubricants, Perstorp Group, PetrelPus Inc., Radco Industries, Rocol, and Sinopec.