Advanced materials and manufacturing will have a significant impact for decades to come. Driven by the constant desire to seek lighter, stronger and more durable structures, new metals and alloys will be used in both defense and commercial environments.

Macroeconomic Trends

Listed below are the key macroeconomic trends impacting the advanced materials in aerospace and defence theme, as identified by GlobalData.

Green/clean energy and cost-saving

Market requirements require the weight of materials to be reduced to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In light of rising fuel costs and environmental concerns, there is an increasing demand for lightweight materials in aircraft construction to improve commercial flight performance.

US-China trade war

One of China’s industrial initiatives, “Made in China 2025,” targets artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, autonomous vehicles, high-performance medical devices, high-tech ship components, Advanced Materials, and other emerging industries critical to the defence industry. The Trump administration views the policies in the “Made in China 2025” plan as a security problem.

In October 2019, the US added 28 Chinese companies to a trade blacklist, which banned them from purchasing tech from US companies without government approval. This approach could prove to be counterproductive in the manufacturing and processing of Advanced Materials like biomaterials, ceramics, and composites, and the production of printed circuit boards and semiconductors.

Common procurement and R&D cost-sharing

Sharing the costs of platforms and systems development is expected to expand as a trend, as new technologies require considerable investments. In addition, given the limited funding in relation to the range of needs, initiating common procurement between countries can reduce the acquisition and life-cycle costs.

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By GlobalData

The UK and Australia joint effort programme is such an example; it has allowed the countries to seek further innovation in joining technologies with a new funding opportunity to enable the integration of Advanced Materials onto military platforms.

This is an edited extract from the Advanced Materials in Aerospace and Defense – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.