Ballistic composites are the raw materials for several military applications such as law enforcement vests, helmets, and body and vehicle armors. These materials absorb the impact energy caused by explosives. Ballistic composites are predominantly used by military and law enforcement organizations. These composites are restricted to use by civilians, as several countries have rules and regulations barring civilians from possessing armors in most countries. This in turn, is expected to restrain growth of the market. Advancements in technology related to combat weapons and explosives over the recent past is increasing the threat at the battlefield. This, in turn, is increasing the demand for protective equipment to counter highly enhanced weapons, thus boosting growth of the ballistic composites market. Moreover, increasing demand for lightweight and flexible armor to enable mobility is augmenting market growth.
Ballistic Composites Market Taxonomy
On the basis of fiber
On the basis of matrix
On the basis of application
Aramids are synthetic high performance fibers that have rigid polymer chains. These fibers offer heat resistant properties, due to which they are widely used in aerospace applications. Growing aerospace industry is expected to boost demand for these fibers. Glass fiber are transparent and are resistant to penetration. They are commonly used to make bulletproof glasses for automobiles and buildings. M5 fiber is used for a special purpose body armor due to its flame and thermal resistance. It is comparatively lighter than other fibers.
Polymer matrix composites (PMC) and polymer ceramics possess good abrasion and corrosion resistance, due to which they are used in brake components, gas ducts, gas turbines, and heat shield systems of aircraft. Metal matrix are more expensive as compared to PMC and polymer ceramics, however, they are used for manufacturing tank and aircraft armors.
Ballistic composites are used in military operations. Military vehicles are reinforced with ballistic composites for better performance. Growing demands for efficient and strong military force in every country around the world, is increasing the demand for ballistic composites, in turn, boosting market growth.
North America holds the largest market for ballistic composites. The U.S. government announced a military budget of US$ 824.7 billion in 2018. The large figure is the result of ongoing U.S. operations in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Also, modernizing current fighter jet fleet and procurement of other military vehicles such as tanks and combat vehicles is projected to boost the market in the region.
Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for ballistic composites. China is expected to increase its military spending by 7% from US$ 210 billion to US$ 224.7 billion over the following years. Escalating tensions in the South China Sea between China, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei has led to increased defense spending, which has further boosted growth of the ballistic composites market. The Indian Army in 2017, procured 160,000 bulletproof helmets made of Kevlar, which is a para-aramid fiber.
Some of the major players operating in the global ballistic composite market include BAE Systems, Barrday Corporation, DSM, Dupont, FY Composites OY, Gaffco Ballistics, Gurit, Honeywell International Inc., M Cubed Technologies, Inc., MKU Limited, Morgan Advanced Materials, PRF Composites, Royal Ten Cate NV, Southern States LLC, and Teiji.