Aerospace glass is used in aero-structures in order to save weight, increase payload capacity, and improve fuel efficiency. It is commonly found in secondary structural parts such as cargo liners, floors, seats, and other interior applications where weight-saving up to 20% is easy to achieve. Fiberglass composites are the commonly used aerospace glass products in the aviation industry. Fiberglass composites are distinguished by their excellent fatigue, impact, and temperature resistance. Other applications of aerospace glass include primary structural parts such as tail fins, flaps propellers, air brakes, small plane fuselages, helicopter shells and rotor blades, and motor parts. Multiple layers of glass are bent in order to create a typical windshield used in commercial aircraft. Key properties of aerospace glass include appropriate refractive index, chemical composition, softening point, tensile strength, and modulus.
The aerospace glass market is primarily driven by the increase in demand for glass fiber composites for applications in the aviation industry. Furthermore, there is an upsurge in the demand for aerospace glass from various sectors, especially the defense. The light weight and excellent strength of aerospace glass attract manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, and thereby have become key factors driving the expansion of the market. Moreover, increase in usage of aerospace glass for manufacturing of various structural applications in the aviation and defense sector is further propelling the expansion of the market. Though the raw material is cheap, it requires advanced technologies for the processing purposes.
Based on the type of glass which is used in the glass fiber, the aerospace glass market can be categorized into E-glass and S-Glass. Glass fibers can be used in the form of composites as well. Based on the application, the aerospace glass market can be classified as secondary structural parts and primary structural parts. Secondary structural parts where aerospace glass finds applications include cargo liners, floors, seats, and other interior applications. Based on the primary structural part application, the global aerospace glass market can be divided into tail fins, flaps propellers, air brakes, small plane fuselages, helicopter shells and rotor blades, and motor parts.
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The global aerospace glass market witnessed robust expansion in 2016, and the trend is estimated to continue during the forecast period. North America accounted for a significant share of the aerospace glass market due to availability of raw material processing and technological advancements in the region. The aerospace industry in North America is a key market and is anticipated to expand further due to fleet expansion activities. Demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and strong protective coating is increasing in the region. The aerospace glass market in Europe is expanding. Germany and France are considered the key countries in Europe.
Demand from the aerospace industry fuels the aerospace glass market in Europe. Asia Pacific is also considered a key region for the market of aerospace glass due to strong demand from China and India. Changing lifestyle, the nature of emerging economy, and overseas studies are key factors that fuel the expansion of the aerospace glass market in Asia Pacific. In Latin America, demand for aerospace glass is primarily from Brazil due to the recent progress in the aviation sector in the country. Middle East & Africa, considered a global connectivity hub, is expected to be an attractive market in the near future.
Key players operating in the global aerospace glass market include PPG Industries, Inc, Advanced Materials Composites Private Limited and 3B-the Fiberglass Company.