Increased Aerospace Industry Use to Drive Thermoplastic Tape Market
The thermoplastic unidirectional tape market is currently a $165.8 million economic sector that is diversified into industries such as aerospace, military defense and automotive. Coming to prominence in the 1960’s due to their use in military aircraft, the thermoplastic unidirectional tape market can once again thank the aerospace industry for its projected growth over the next five years.
Growth of Thermoplastic Unidirectional Tape Market
Thermoplastic unidirectional tape is a combination of glass or carbon fibers in a thermoplastic resin. This material has a wide variety of applications, which is one reason why this market segment is projected to grow to $316.3 million by 2023, which is a more than $150 million increase in just five years. The primary driving force behind this growth is projected to be the increased use of these composites by aerospace companies.
Why the Aerospace Industry Needs Thermoplastic Unidirectional Tape
The biggest draw of thermoplastic unidirectional tape for the aerospace industry is that components and structures made with this composite material take less time to produce. This reduction in production time is possible because parts made of thermoplastic unidirectional tape do not require a curing step during production. In fact, some companies have processes that can turn out a component from this material every 60 to 90 seconds.
This decrease in production times is exactly what is prompting an increased use of these products in the aerospace sector. By 2033, aircraft manufacturer Bombardier projects that more than 2,800 new planes will be delivered in North America, which means that manufacturers will need the production-increasing capabilities of thermoplastic unidirectional tape.
It does not hurt that thermoplastic tapes are already in use in several parts of the aircraft industry. Components and structures that are currently produced using this composite material include:
- Aircraft seat frames
- Business jet wings
- Sandwich panels in light aircraft
Since manufacturers are already experienced with making these and other components from thermoplastic tape, there is speculation that the move to larger structures, such as airframes, could be accomplished fairly soon. This accomplishment will then allow the aerospace industry to keep pace with the projected demand for new airplanes.
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