Aerospace is one of the key industries of leading economies that supplies to market such as commercial aviation, defense aviation, and general aviation. Aircrafts and related components and products that are in operation or are being manufactured require a variety of highly specific and durable sealants for various applications on parts such as fuel tanks, fuselages, access doors, windows, engine systems, landing gears, and airframes. Such sealants are collectively referred to as aerospace sealants in this study.
In this study, aerospace sealants market is analyzed for end-industries including commercial aviation, defense, and general aviation and the major end-user types are original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). The major chemistries involved in formulation of these products are polysulfides, silicones, and fluoroelastomers, among others. Sealants are selected for an application based on a variety of requirements such as elasticity, toughness, corrosion resistance, conductivity, adhesion to various substrate types, resistance to fuels and other chemicals, stability under various temperature ranges and pressure conditions, and resistance to humidity. The requirements vary depending on the end application.
North America is the largest market for the aerospace sector with huge manufacturing and maintenance bases of leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as The Boeing Company, Airbus, Bombardier, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman established in the region. Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market owing to the increasing demand for air travel by the large and growing urban population in the developing countries with increasing disposable incomes.
The market for aerospace sealants is greatly impacted by mega trends such as robust growth of aircraft production due to increasing demand from commercial and defense aviation of the developing countries such as China, India, and countries of South East Asia and Middle East. However, market growth may be restrained by a slowdown in new investments in commercial freight aircrafts due to an expected decline in international trade in the coming few years.
The aerospace sealants market is presently highly competitive among large and global manufacturers who are primarily established in the developed markets of North America and Europe. The competitive environment in the market is highly skewed towards the larger market participants who increasingly engage in mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures among themselves and smaller companies to acquire new products, technologies, and market shares due to which the market points towards further consolidation in the coming few years.
The aerospace sealants face regulatory pressure from organizations such as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), and REACH that mandate the use of products with lower VOC emissions and eliminate the use of heavy metals. There is an increasing trend of customers moving to higher solids aerospace sealants instead of solvent borne products for want of lower VOC emissions, better specifications, and durability. Manufacturers are increasingly investing in product development to enhance environmental sustainability and product efficiency. Customers are increasingly looking for products that are easier to apply, lighter in weight, and regulatory compliant.