The global armor materials market size was valued at USD 11.42 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 18.49 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period (2022-2030).
Body armor is protective clothing that may deflect or absorb the impact of bullets or other weapons used against its user. Until recently, soldiers' armor during battle was painstakingly crafted and frequently intricately made. Lighter protective materials have been created thanks to current technology, and they are now fashioned into various outfits that are appropriate for the dangers of modern warfare. Armor materials, worn as protective gear, offer defense from any projectile or other weapon impact. Modern ceramics are frequently utilized to create body armor that is lightweight and bulletproof. The effect of bullets is absorbed by armor built of sophisticated fibers by spreading the energy over a vast region of the armor.
Positive market growth will result from the increasing choice of composite materials in mobile military equipment like tanks and large ships. The market will increase even more as lightweight armor materials like Kevlar, aramid fibers and ceramics gain popularity over traditional steel metal alloys. Aramid materials offer improved protection from low- and medium-range ballistic threats because they are stiff. On the other hand, simple fiber-based composite armors are ineffective against numerous ballistic and explosive hazards. A further factor anticipated to restrain market expansion is the limited use of multi-layered composite materials because of their heavy weight and high price.
It is anticipated that the increasing popularity of lightweight armor materials like aluminum alloys and composite armor materials will drive the growth of the market for armor materials throughout the time being examined. For ballistic protection, aluminum alloys or ceramics such as aluminum oxide and silicon carbide are typically employed as materials of choice. Because of the strong covalent bonding between the lightweight atoms, it possesses a high strength. In addition, because of their high stiffness and high strength-to-weight ratios, ceramics armor is suitable for military applications. These characteristics make it easier for troops and vehicles to maneuver quickly. The expansion of the market for armor materials is given a boost in value by these causes.
The increased concern about national security by governments is a primary factor behind the rise in demand for materials used in armor. An increasing number of disagreements within the country and an increase in hostilities between the countries that border it has placed greater emphasis on the growth of the defense and military sectors. To safeguard law enforcement and military personnel, governments in emerging nations are aggressively investing in the defense and military sectors. This is helping the market for armor materials to grow.
The market's growth for armor materials could be negatively impacted if heavy metals and alloys, such as steel, were replaced with lighter materials. Using steel alloys in body armor and automobiles lowers the strength-to-weight ratio of armor materials and the fuel efficiency of cars. Steel alloys are also utilized in aircraft. However, using lightweight materials such as titanium and ceramics might increase the vehicle's speed, which in turn helps the car dodge repeated ballistic attacks. Titanium, for example, has the same shear resistance as steel but only weighs around one-quarter as much as steel.
Compared to ceramic and other metals, the properties of newly developed metal armor plates, such as ATI K12-MIL, which is formed of alloy steel, offer improved protection. Because of its high toughness and non-brittle qualities, ATI K12-MIL, unlike traditional ceramic armor systems, can withstand several ballistic impacts, making it an ideal choice for protecting large tanks and vehicles. In addition, ATI K12-MIL exhibits superior corrosion resistance compared to traditional steel. These innovative developments will make attractive prospects available in the armor materials industry.
The global armor materials market is analyzed based on the material type, application, and region.
As per the material type, the categories include Metals & Alloys, Ceramics, Composites, Para-Aramid Fibers, Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene, Fiberglass, and Others.
The composites segment is forecasted to hold the largest share, expanding at a CAGR of 6.91%. To create a lightweight material, numerous materials (metals, polymers, or ceramics) are combined to create composite armor, sometimes referred to as Chobham armor. In massive battle tanks like the Abrams, composite materials with a ceramic layer sandwiched between two steel plates of steel armor are frequently employed. The market will rise as composite materials are increasingly preferred for mobile military equipment like tanks and huge ships. Multiple-layered composite materials offer defense against projectiles that are both hefty and explosive. Additionally, the lightweight composite material consisting of phenolic resin and S-2 glass fibers provides essential protection for versatile wheeled vehicles with high mobility. Simple fiber-based composite armors, however, are ineffective against various explosion and ballistic threats.
The metals & alloys section will hold the second-largest market share. Military vehicles, corporate and military aircraft, and body armor are frequently armored with metals. High-density steel, titanium, and aluminum alloys like ATI 6-4-MIL, ATI 17-4, and ATI 2003 are examples of metals and alloys. The armor materials market is envisioned to grow due to the rising utilization of titanium and its alloys in military trucks and armor. Because of its low density and high corrosion resistance, titanium, used to make vehicles and body armor, is lighter overall. Additionally, titanium and its alloys are preferred more than aluminum and stainless steel in the manufacture of airplanes because of their low weight and strong strength at high temperatures. However, the commercial manufacturing of titanium for armor is constrained due to the high cost of producing titanium, which occasionally leads to the usage of aluminum metals rather than steel alloys.
Per the application, the fragments are Vehicle, Aerospace, Body, and Others.
The vehicle section is forecasted to hold the largest market share, growing at a CAGR of 4.8%. Land vehicles protected by armor include:
Many materials are used to make vehicle armor, including metal rolled homogeneous armor, steel armor, aramid, high-performance polyethylene, and aluminum alloys. The military's increasing use of lightweight aluminum alloys in vehicles like troop carriers will fuel industry expansion. Aluminum alloys with increased performance transport equipment, including military vehicles via air and other goods.
Aluminum alloys are a good option for expensive titanium alloys due to their high corrosion resistance and low cost. The market will increase more quickly if upgraded Kevlar cloth is used in more military and tactical vehicles. Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles are made of Tensylon, a high-performance polyethylene polymer with an ultra-high molecular weight produced by Dupont. Such a new development will further fuel market expansion, opening up profitable chances.
The aerospace section will hold the second-largest share. In modern airplanes, the debris containment walls or the fan casing are covered in aramid fibers. Titanium alloys are employed in the bathtub-shaped titanium cage for the pilot found in Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft. The expanding use of titanium alloys in composite airframe armor is anticipated to fuel market expansion. Additionally, consumers' increased preference for lightweight armor materials like Kevlar, aramid fibers, and ceramics over traditional steel metal alloys will support market expansion.
Due to their extreme rigidity, aramid materials offer improved defense against short- and medium-range ballistic threats. However, titanium alloys are frequently used as material for aircraft armor due to their low thermal resistance. Additionally, government investment in the international military sector is increasing, which will benefit growth.
The region-wise segmentation of the global armor materials market includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America will likely command the regional market while expanding at a CAGR of 5.17%. Major manufacturers, including Dupont, Honeywell Inc., and 3M, are in the North American armor materials market. Furthermore, the government's significant expenditure on defense-related operations is anticipated to drive market expansion. The largest share is held by North America, which may be ascribed to the rising need for homeland security applications and the creation of cutting-edge armor materials and systems for automobiles and aircraft.
Additionally, the U.S.'s Berry Amendment Act encourages the use of domestically made goods, such as armor materials (steel, fiber), thereby supporting the regional market expansion. The increased importance of lightweight vehicles in warfare and the government's growing concern over national security is anticipated to drive market expansion. More expenditures in the armor materials market will be prompted by research & development in titanium and aluminum alloys for defense against significant ballistic strikes.
According to a report by the American Ceramic Society, the U.S. government and its agencies purchase body armor, missile nose cones, and military helicopters from 3M Co., which accounts for one-third of its armor materials market. The industry will continue to grow as long as there is a steady demand for metals and alloys for large military vehicles. Heavy and light military vehicles use aluminum more frequently than traditional steel alloys. In urban warfare, aluminum with a lower density range offers better mobility and maneuverability. Additionally, fewer aircraft can deploy more lightweight vehicles onto the battlefield.
The Asia Pacific is predicted to hold USD 4,547 million, growing at a CAGR of 7%. China has a significant market share for armor materials due to its high military and defense spending. The market for armor materials is expanding due to increased terrorist attacks and regional hostilities. The Asia-Pacific armor materials market is anticipated to grow significantly due to increased military operations. Additionally, it is expected that upgrading military programs in nations like China, Japan, and South Korea will increase demand for vehicle and aerospace armor materials. However, a few Asia-Pacific nations may be constrained by high production costs and a constrained defense budget.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army is predicted to have a high demand for body armor, especially bulletproof vests, which will propel market demand. In the future, the Chinese army is anticipated to purchase 1.4 million pieces of body armor valued at USD 1.85 billion, based on a report by BodyArmorNews. A growing security worry for the armory and defense business is also brought on by confrontations with nearby nations like Taiwan and American provocations. Additionally, China accounts for roughly 70% of the worldwide market for body armor, further accelerating market expansion.
List of key armor materials market suppliers profiled
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