The global flame retardants for aerospace plastics market size was valued at USD 50 billion in 2021, and it is anticipated to reach USD 71.78 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 4.1%. To make polymers such as polyphthalamide, epoxy resin, and carbon fibre reinforced polymer more resistant to fire, chemical compounds known as flame retardants are frequently added to the manufacturing process. Plastics that can withstand high temperatures are created when flame retardants like aluminium hydroxide are combined with polymers during manufacturing. Plastics like this are therefore suited for use in high-temperature aerospace applications, such as those found in outer space.
As a significant consumer of flame retardants, certain types of plastic, such as carbon fibre reinforced polymers, find widespread use in various aircraft applications, ranging from the cockpit to the empennage. Consequently, the rapid demand for lightweight and cost-effective materials in aerospace applications, as well as growing safety concerns relating to the flammability of aerospace components made from conventional materials such as metal and wood, are drivers for the flame retardant for an aerospace plastic market that positively impact its growth. However, because flame retardants are highly toxic, the expansion of the flame retardant market in the aerospace plastics industry has been hampered by the regulations regarding their use imposed by government organizations such as the United States Environment Protection Agency.
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A rapid increase in demand for lightweight materials
In developing nations like India, commercial air travel is expanding quickly. Newer models replace older aircraft; there is a growing need for lightweight, affordable materials like carbon fibre reinforced plastic since they are low maintenance and effectively manage aircraft weight. For this reason, several firms, including Boeing and Airbus, have begun replacing the metallic framework of their aircraft with carbon fibre-reinforced plastic. Additionally, more cutting-edge materials, including polyamides and polycarbonates, are employed in interior components and seat covers. Carbon fibre-reinforced plastic and other cutting-edge materials were used to build the majority of a new fleet of commercial aircraft, such as the Airbus 350, in 2021, resulting in a 40% reduction in airframe maintenance costs and a 25% reduction in operating costs for operators in the upper widebody market segment. Carbon fibre aircraft would see more flight time because they require less maintenance.
Flame retardants are becoming more important in the aviation industry
As flammability is considered a key contributing factor to aviation accidents, reducing fire dangers in confined and compact aircraft areas is vital. Therefore, this significant problem can be avoided by adequately utilizing flame retardant fibre material employed in aircraft design, manufacture, and interior furnishing. As a result, this material has exceptional chemical resistance, is resistant to smoke gas toxicity, and can survive high temperatures thanks to its coating of flame retardants. The need for such flame-resistant fibrous materials as carbon fibre reinforced plastic has grown in response to the aerospace industry's growing safety concerns. Thanks to technological breakthroughs, major manufacturers are introducing flame retardants of various types to the market. For instance, LANXESS introduced a glass fibre reinforced plastic compound consisting of 92% sustainable raw materials in 2021, and RTP Company introduced a new line of flame retardant products that may be utilized in air handling facilities.
Organizations' Stringent Regulatory Policies
Flame retardants contain compounds that, when exposed to the human body, can harm health, even if they must provide materials with flame resistance benefits. As a result, it affects the immune system, produces neurologic malfunction, and disrupts the thyroid's endocrine system. Therefore, governments and organizations have established several rules to prevent the harmful effects of flame retardants on human or animal life. For instance, the Toxic Substance Control Act's Phenol, Isopropylated Phosphate, or PIP 3:1 rule, published by the US Environmental Protection Agency in January 2021, limits the use of flame retardants in industrial settings. Additionally, the European Union enacted regulation 2019/2021, a set of eco-design standards for electronic displays, in October 2019. This rule will limit the use of halogenated flame retardants in plastic casings. Therefore, these limitations have made using flame retardants in aerospace plastics a challenge.
Increasing demand for aircraft in Asia-Pacific is expected to create growth opportunities
The rise of flame retardant in the aerospace plastics market will be aided by the growing demand for commercial aircraft, which is expected to create various new opportunities. In addition, the Asia-Pacific region is the flame retardants for aircraft plastics market which is developing at the fastest rate. It is anticipated that increased air traffic in the region will lead to the creation of further opportunities in the years to come.
The global flame retardants for aerospace plastics market is divided into four types based on flame retardant type, application, aircraft type and region. Further, the market is divided into Phosphorous based (Organophosphorus and Halogenated flame retardant), Boron Compounds, Metal Hydroxide (Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Hydroxide), Melamine based, and Others (Silicon-based, Phosphates based) based on flame-retardant type. With a market share of over 30%, Metal Hydroxide dominated the flame retardant for the aircraft plastic market in 2021. It is due to elements including the fact that aluminium hydroxide, a typical flame retardant, has a very low rate of flame propagation, heat release, and smoke production and is economical and corrosion-resistant. Its coating produces phosphorous-rich crosslink-aromatic char that suppresses smoke. Consequently, it is frequently employed in the commercial aircraft market for nacelle skin and wing or tail edges.
The market is broken down into Aircraft Fuselage, Interior components, Aircraft Flooring, Wings Edges, Engine Pylons, Access doors, and Others Based on the application type. In 2021, the aerospace plastics market for flame retardants was dominated by aircraft fuselage, with a share of over 40%. When combined with flame retardants, they produce carbon fibre reinforced plastics with unique qualities like not corroding like metals, requiring less maintenance, having high strength and stiffness, and being light in weight; this can be attributed to these factors.
Based on aircraft type, the market is broken down into Military, General Aviation (Light Weighted and Helicopter), Heavy Aircraft (Commercial Airliner and Cargo), and Others. Heavy aircraft retained the highest share, with a market share of over 35% in flame retardants for aerospace polymers in 2021. It is due to several factors, including an increase in the production rate of heavy aircraft types, such as a commercial airliners, at major aircraft producers like Airbus, Raytheon Technologies, United Aircraft Corporation, Boeing, etc., because of a rise in the number of domestic and international travellers.
According to the region, the market is broken down into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.
According to the region, the global flame retardants for aerospace plastics market is broken down into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.
Regional Growth Insights Request Sample Pages
In 2021, Europe had more than 40 per cent of the market share for flame retardants used in aerospace plastics, making it the region with the most significant share. It is because of several factors, such as the fact that the region is home to the headquarters of one of the world's largest aircraft manufacturers, namely Airbus, which has more than 12 manufacturing sites across Europe in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Specifically, the UK has the most manufacturing sites out of all of these countries. As a result, the need for commercial and military aircraft and the parts that go into them will increase throughout the region, increasing the demand for flame retardants. For example, in 2021, Airbus increased the production rate of A320 Family aircraft from 43 in Q3 to 45 in Q4 in the production plant located in France, Germany, and Toulouse. Additionally, in 2021 Airbus increased the monthly production rate of A322 aircraft from 5 to 6 aircraft per month in Montreal, Quebec, and Mobile. Flame retardants will be in greater demand in Europe due to the increased production rates, which will positively affect the European aircraft plastics industry's demand for flame retardants.