In terms of volume, the global lightweight materials market stood at 54,340.3 kilo tons in 2013.

Increasing environmental concerns and regulations to reduce CO2 emission from vehicles are anticipated to drive the global lightweight materials market, especially in the transportation sector. Additionally, the reduction of weight of vehicles enhances their fuel efficiency. This drives demand for lightweight materials in automobile and aviation sectors. Lightweight materials are used in various applications. For instance, they are used in aircraft structures for supporting high payload capacity and enhancing energy efficiency. Aluminium, titanium and composites are key lightweight materials used in aircraft. However, the high cost of lightweight materials as compared to conventional metals such as steel could weigh down the growth of the global lightweight materials market in the next few years.

Aluminium, one of the key lightweight materials, accounted for 30.4% of the global lightweight materials market in 2013. It is expected to experience substantial growth over the next few years. 

Largest market

Transportation was the largest application segment, constituting more than 85% of demand for lightweight materials in 2013. Transportation primarily includes automobiles, aircraft and railways. However, lightweight materials are increasingly used in the manufacture of vehicles to enhance payloads, improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Other key application sectors include defence and energy. Lightweight materials are employed on a large-scale in defence, especially in vehicles, body armours and other applications. Furthermore, lightweight materials are used in wind energy systems, specifically in rotor blades. This application is projected to be the fastest growing segment in terms of volume, expanding at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2014 to 2020.

Asia Pacific dominated the global lightweight materials market with more than 40% share in 2013. Transportation industry in the region is likely to be a key driver for the lightweight materials market. Asia Pacific was followed by Europe, where transportation sector dominated the lightweight materials market in 2013. Regulations by the European Union (EU) are anticipated to compel automobile manufacturers to use lightweight materials in vehicles. North America and Rest of the World followed Europe with a combined share of almost 30% in 2013.

The report, Lightweight Materials (Aluminium, Titanium, High Strength Steel, Magnesium, Polymer & Composites and Others) Market for Defense, Energy, Transportation and Other Applications – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 – 2020, can be found here.