The unexpected shifts in the global markets because of the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus have brought many major and minor tremors to industries of all sizes including the Composite Sandwich Panels Market.
It was estimated prior to this unanticipated outbreak that the Composite Sandwich Panels Market was expected to reach US$ 2.4 billion in 2025. However, the gradual slowing down of industries will undoubtedly impose limits on the previously estimated growth rate.
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Sandwich composite panel is a structure that is made up of two thin laminate outer skins bonded to a lightweight thick core structure. These panels are majorly used in applications where a combination of high structural rigidity and low weight is required. Carbon fiber and glass fiber prepregs are commonly used as skin materials, whereas foam, aluminum honeycomb, nomex honeycomb, and balsa are commonly used core materials. The lightweight core resists the shear forces and provides insulation, whereas the two face skins provide durability, weather, and impact resistance, and resist in-plane forces of tension and compression.
Composite sandwich panels are widely used in the aircraft industry in galleys, floors, interior panels, sidewalls, partitions, control surfaces, and overhead stowage bins. These panels are also successful in finding applications in other markets including building & construction, mass transportation, and marine. Floors, sidewalls, and other interior panels are the major applications in trains, whereas external cladding, access loads, insulated thermal envelops, ceiling panels, wall partitions, and fire-resisting compartment walls are in the building & construction industry. Interior bulkheads, decking, covers, and cabinetry are in powerboats and yachts.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has severely impacted all the industries across the world. The aerospace & defense industry is projected to be among one of the worst-affected industries due to the pandemic. The aerospace industry was already enduring great loss due to the grounding of Boeing’s B737 MAX, whose impact was quite visible onto the demand for composite sandwich panels in 2019. The outbreak of the pandemic resulted in a significant reduction in passenger traffic with a huge plunge in revenue of airlines, aircraft OEMs, and tier players. Marine (recreational boats and yachts) and building & construction are the other two major markets that are also recording a huge plunge in demand in 2020.
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The sandwich composite panel market is segmented based on the product type as glass fiber composites and carbon fiber composites. Glass fiber composite is expected to remain the dominant material type in the market during the forecast period. Good mechanical properties, dimensional stability, electrical resistivity, and low cost are the key factors driving glass fiber composite sandwich panels in a wide array of applications. Carbon fiber composite is expected to be a rapidly growing market. Carbon fibers offer exceptional properties but at a higher cost and are gaining share where weight reduction and high performance are critically required.
Based on the end-use industry type, the market is segmented as aerospace & defense, building & construction, transportation, marine, and others. Aerospace & defense is expected to remain the biggest demand generator of sandwich panels in the foreseen future. Aircraft interiors are the major users of composite sandwich panels. Large commercial and regional aircraft fleet size, expected rebound in commercial aircraft production, entry of new or variants of the existing aircraft programs (C919, MC-21, B777x, etc.), and increasing penetration of composite panels are driving forces of the market in the industry.
The market is registering significant changes in regional dynamics in pre-COVID and post-COVID scenarios. All regions to mark significant declines in sandwich composite panel sales in 2020; however, North America is estimated to be the worst-hit region due to the pandemic, in terms of both, value as well as volume. Despite severely hit from COVID-19, the USA is projected to remain the largest market for composite sandwich panels during the forecast period. The USA has one of the largest fleets of commercial aircraft in the world and is a manufacturing hub of the aircraft industry, along with the presence of key sandwich composite panel manufacturers.
Europe and Asia-Pacific are the other major markets and are also likely to experience hefty declines in the demand for composite sandwich panels in 2020. The Asia-Pacific’s market is anticipated to witness the least decline in the demand for composite sandwich panels and is expected to recover at the fastest pace compared to other regions. In Europe, Germany, France, and the UK are the key markets, registering a significant decline in demand in 2020; with the UK’s market suffering the most from the pandemic.
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, Prepreggers, core material suppliers, panel manufacturers, tier players, OEMs, airlines, aircraft leasing companies, and MRO companies. The key players in the composite sandwich panels market are Safran S.A., Collins aerospace Systems, The Gill Corporation, Diehl Aviation, Euro Composites S.A., JAMCO Corporation, Triumph Group, 3A Composites, The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., and AIM Altitude. All the major sandwich composite panel suppliers have different growth strategies based on their synergies, product portfolio, market reach, geographical presence, and market positioning. However, a high level of integration, new product developments, and strategic alliances are some of the key strategies adopted by major players to gain a competitive edge in the market.
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The Composite Sandwich Panels Market analysis report discusses the following heads in great detail:
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