Aerospace and Defense Materials Market Size, Share, Trends

The global aerospace and defense materials market size stood at USD 18,411.83 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 23,825.45 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.21% during the forecast period.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the demand for air travel rose by 7.4% in 2018 from 2017 levels. Air passengers accounted for 81.9% of the load factor on aircrafts, while freight load was 49.3%, the IATA data reveals. Rising deployment of airplanes for passenger and cargo transport necessitates the utilization of efficient materials in building aircraft components. Any laxity shown in the quality of materials used will endanger the lives of thousands of passengers and put at risk highly valuable cargo. Thus, increasing air travel has escalated the demand for next-gen aerospace & defense materials.

Market on the Rise

The global aerospace and defense materials market is projected to reach new heights. Estimates suggest a steady growth trajectory, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) exceeding 3% and a market value reaching around USD 30 billion by 2032. This growth is fueled by several factors:

  • Increasing Air Traffic: The burgeoning demand for air travel, particularly in regions like Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, necessitates the production of more aircraft, which in turn drives demand for materials.
  • Aging Aircraft Replacement: As existing aircraft fleets reach retirement age, a surge in new aircraft production creates a significant market for materials [4].
  • Focus on Lightweight Materials: A growing emphasis on fuel efficiency and environmental sustainability is propelling the use of lightweight materials like composites in aircraft manufacturing.
  • Defense Spending: Governments around the world continue to invest in their defense capabilities, creating a steady demand for materials for military equipment and weapon systems.

Material Matters: Key Players in the Market

The aerospace and defense materials market is a diverse landscape, encompassing a range of materials with unique properties:

  • Metal Alloys: Traditional workhorses like aluminum alloys, titanium alloys, and superalloys remain crucial. Aluminum offers a good balance of strength and weight, while titanium excels in high-strength applications. Superalloys can withstand extreme temperatures and stresses, making them ideal for jet engines and rocket propulsion systems.
  • Composite Materials: Fiber-reinforced composites, particularly carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRPs), are rapidly gaining traction. These materials offer exceptional strength-to-weight ratios, enabling lighter aircraft structures and improved fuel efficiency.
  • Other Materials: Specialty materials like high-performance polymers, ceramics, and advanced composites also play a role in specific applications. For instance, ceramics find use in heat shields for spacecraft due to their exceptional thermal resistance.


Material Applications: From Wings to Missiles

The materials used in the aerospace and defense sectors cater to a wide range of applications:

  • Aerostructure: The airframe, fuselage, wings, and other structural components of aircraft rely heavily on lightweight and strong materials like aluminum alloys and CFRPs.
  • Propulsion Systems: Jet engines, rocket engines, and other propulsion systems require materials that can withstand extreme temperatures, pressures, and stresses. Superalloys and advanced composites are often the materials of choice.
  • Defense Applications: Military vehicles, weapons systems, and protective gear all utilize a variety of materials depending on their specific needs. For instance, armored vehicles might use high-strength steels, while ballistic protection for soldiers could involve advanced composites.

Regional Analysis

North America to Hold Lion’s Share in the Market Backed by Surging Commercial Aircraft Production

North America, especially the US, has a robust domestic air transport industry, with the country registering the second-highest passenger journeys in 2018, as per IATA statistics. This, coupled with massive spending on military aircrafts, will enable the region to dominate the aerospace & defense materials market share in the coming years. The market size in North America in 2019 was at USD 9,878.83 million.

In Europe, the market growth is based on France’s capacity to produce large volumes of commercial as well as military aircrafts. The market in Asia-Pacific is set to rise on the shoulders of the increasing investments by India and China in enhancing their indigenous aircraft manufacturing and development capabilities.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite its promising outlook, the aerospace and defense materials market faces some challenges:

  • Stringent Regulations: The safety-critical nature of the aerospace and defense industries necessitates strict regulations on material properties, manufacturing processes, and testing procedures. This can add complexity and cost to material development and production.
  • Cost-Performance Balance: Balancing the need for high performance with cost-effectiveness is a constant challenge. While advanced materials offer superior properties, they can be expensive to develop and manufacture.
  • Supply Chain Disruptions: Geopolitical instability and global events can disrupt the supply chain for critical raw materials, impacting production and lead times.

Future Horizons: Innovation Takes Flight

The future of the aerospace and defense materials market is brimming with innovation. Here are some key trends to watch:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Techniques: Additive manufacturing (3D printing) holds immense potential for creating complex, lightweight structures with minimal waste. New techniques like metal 3D printing could revolutionize the production of high-performance components.
  • Nanotechnology: The integration of nanomaterials into existing materials offers exciting possibilities for enhanced strength, weight reduction, and self-healing properties.
  • Sustainable Materials: The focus on environmental sustainability is leading to the development of eco-friendly materials and production processes. Biodegradable composites and recycled materials are gaining traction as viable alternatives.


The aerospace and defense materials market plays a vital role in propelling advancements in flight, defense capabilities, and space exploration. As the demand for lighter, stronger, and more sustainable materials grows

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