The global ballistic composites market size is expected to grow from USD 2.0 billion in 2022 to USD 3.1 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period. The high growth of ballistic composites can be attributed to substantial demand from military and defense applications. Increased threats from asymmetric warfare, regional conflicts, riots, and terrorism are increasing the need for protective clothing and safe vehicles for safeguarding armed forces, especially, in disputed regions across the globe. Therefore, military superpowers are continuously focusing on technological advancement and expansion of ballistic products by increasing their defense budget and investing in the production and R&D of ballistic composites. These factors are driving the growth of the global ballistic composites market.
The major players active in the market are Honeywell International Inc (US), Koninklijke DSM N.V. (Netherlands), BAE Systems (UK), Royal Ten Cate (Netherlands), Morgan Advanced Materials (UK), DuPont de Nemours Inc. (US), Solvay (Belgium), Gurit (Switzerland), Teijin Limited (Japan), PRF Composites, Gaffco Ballistics (US), M Cube Technologies Inc. (US), FY-Composites Oy (Finland), and MKU Limited (India).
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Ballistic composites are used mainly in applications such as military, homeland security, among others. The military segment dominated the market in 2021, in terms of value. Most casualties occur during military combat due to fragments caused by explosions and hence the military personnel need protection from these threats. The increase in geopolitical tensions in emerging economies is driving the demand for ballistic composites market.
Based on platform, the ballistic composites are used across various platforms, including land, airborne, and marine. The land segment includes unmanned armored ground vehicles, soldiers & security personnel, and base stations. The land segment account for the highest share in terms of value in the global ballistic composites market in 2021, while the marine segment is estimated to account for the second-highest share of the market in the same year.
Ballistic composites are segmented based on product type, namely, vehicle armor, body armor, helmet & face protection, and other applications, such as transportation and commercial spaces. Ballistic composites are high-strength materials and offer strong protection against ballistic threats. The vehicle armor product type leads the ballistic composites market. Ballistic composites are significantly utilized for the manufacturing of vehicle armors as these composites provide a high-level of protection against ballistic threats. Moreover, the use of ballistic composites in the manufacturing of vehicle armor provides them with lightweight and corrosion resistance properties, which helps in easy maneuverability and ease of maintenance of vehicle armors.
Further, ballistic composites are classified based on matrix into polymer, polymer-ceramic, and other matrix types. Polymer matrix ballistic composites accounted for the highest share in terms of volume, of the overall market in 2021. Polymer matrix ballistic composites employ thermoset as well as thermoplastic resins reinforced with various ballistic fibers, such as aramid, UHMWPE, and S-glass. The resins used in the polymer matrix and polymer-ceramic ballistic composites constitute about 20% of the overall structure of these composites.
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Fibers used in ballistic composites are lightweight and possess exceptionally high energy absorption characteristics. Based on fiber type, the ballistic composites market is segmented into Aramid, UHMWPE glass, S-glass, and others. Other fibers include M5 and hybrid ballistic fibers. Aramid fibers and UHMWPE are the most extensively used fibers in the ballistic composites market.
North America is the largest ballistic composites market due to the rising demand for ballistic composites from military and law-enforcement sectors and heavy spending on research and military programs. The presence of a large number of ballistic composites manufacturers makes the region the most promising market for ballistic composites. These factors are expected to continue to drive the ballistic composites market in North America between 2022 and 2027.