The global lightweight materials market size was over USD 104.8 billion in 2015. Growing wind project installations coupled with positive automotive outlook is driving the demand for these materials. Lightweight materials are gaining popularity in various industries owing to their superior characteristics such as enhanced durability, strength and lightweight advantage.
The lightweight materials used in automotive industry and is expected to witness rapid growth on account of its high usage in this application. Many automobile manufacturers are focusing on weight reduction for enhancing vehicle performance and to improve fuel efficiency.
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Rotating blade components used in wind energy end-use sector are manufactured using lightweight materials. The growing number of wind energy projects in South Africa and India are expected to boost the demand for these materials over the forecast period.
Automotive dominated the application segment by accounting for more than 90% of market share in 2015. These materials are used in the manufacturing of vehicle parts such as body structure, panels, roofs, and engine parts. Stringent regulations about vehicle fuel emissions coupled with growing demand for automobiles is expected to drive the demand for these materials over the forecast period.
Energy application is the fastest growing segment owing to growing awareness regarding renewable energy. The increasing governmental expenditure on renewable energy projects is expected to fuel the demand for these materials.
The demand for polymers and composites is expected to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 9% from 2016 to 2025. The rapidly growing demand for these materials can be attributed to their efficient anti-corrosion properties and ease of application.
High-strength steel and aluminum dominated the consumption in 2015 owing to low costs of application and high availability of raw materials. Titanium finds application in niche applications such as military and defense.
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The presence of carbon composites and automotive manufacturers in North America is driving market growth. The TAFE regulations regarding emissions which are being implemented in U.S. are expected to have a positive impact on demand for these materials as it requires significant improvement in fuel efficiency which can be achieved by lightweight materials.
Asia Pacific is the dominant region in the lightweight materials market. The growth in this region is driven by countries such as India and China which are experiencing high demand for passenger vehicles. The rising awareness about renewable energy is expected to boost the demand for lightweight materials in energy applications. The Middle East & Africa region is expected to grow rapidly on account of the presence of major manufacturers such as Cytec and SABIC coupled with easy availability of natural resources.
The key players in the market are Bayer AG, Novelis Inc., Evonik Industries, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, Precision Castparts Corp., Toray Industries Inc., PPG Industries Inc., Alcoa Inc., Formosa Plastics Group, Cytec Solvay Group, Aleris International, and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
Companies are focusing on strategic initiatives like mergers & acquisitions and new product development to improve their market share. In December 2015, Solvay Company acquired Cytec Industries for entering in the lightweight materials market. In March 2015, Alcoa Company acquired RTI International Metals for expanding their titanium and other products offerings.
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