Aerospace engineers are opting for CMC components in best-selling aircraft to reap such intrinsic advantages as temperature resistance up to 260 degrees Celsius higher than nickel alloys at just one-third the weight. Continuous replacement of nickel alloys with CMCs in both low-pressure and high-pressure engine zones will help drive the double-digit growth rate over the next five years. Increasing aircraft deliveries and demand for fuel-efficient aircraft will further propel the demand for CMC in aircraft engines, analysts predict.
An F-16 Fighting Falcon F100 engine exhaust nozzle with five A500 ceramic matrix composite (CMC) divergent seals, identified by the yellow arrows. Air Force Research Laboratory and industry are partnering to test the ceramic materials as candidates to replace nickel-based superalloys currently used in exhaust nozzles. (U.S. Air Force photo)
“Airlines’ dire need for fuel-efficient aircraft shows no signs of abating. As pressure for fuel-efficient aircraft continues to mount, CMCs evolve as they battle metals for high-pressure and low-pressure applications in aircraft engines,” Stratview Research analysts say. “CMCs are as tough as metals, are just one-third the weight of nickel alloys, and can operate at 1,300 degrees Celsius. Ability to withstand extreme temperatures requires less cooling air to be diverted from the thrust; as a result, engines run at higher thrust. Additionally, engines run hotter, combusting fuel more completely, reducing fuel consumption, and emitting fewer pollutants.”
“Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) Market in Aircraft Engines,” a new report from Stratview Research, studies the CMC market in aircraft engines over the trend period of 2012 to 2017 and the forecast period of 2018 to 2023.
Commercial aircraft is forecasted to remain the largest segment of the CMC market in aircraft engines over the next five years. Development of CMC parts in variants of the best-selling aircraft programs, such as Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus 320neo narrow-body commercial passenger jets, is the key growth driver of the market. Additionally, the Boeing 777x upcoming variant airliner with five CMC applications in its GE9X high-bypass turbofan aircraft engine, under development by GE Aviation, is likely to elevate the demand for CMC parts in this segment.
Image courtesy GE Aviation.
Most of the current CMC developments in aircraft engines are primarily for static components, such as shrouds and combustor liner. All major engine manufacturers are working on the development of CMC components in static applications in their best-selling engines, analysts say. They also expect a healthy surge in the demand for CMC parts in rotational components over the next five years.
Shrouds are projected to remain the largest application of CMCs in aircraft engines over the next five years, driven by their use in Leap engines, from CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, in Cincinnati. The Leap engine is certified for B737 Max, A320neo, and the Comac C919 aircraft. CFM delivered 459 Leap engines in 2017 and is projected to deliver in the range of 1,100 to 1,200 Leap engines in 2018.
Development of CMC-based shrouds in upcoming aircraft engines, including the GE9x, are expected to further accelerate demand over the next five years. All major CMC applications, including combustor liners, shrouds, blades, and nozzles, are projected to witness healthy growth rates during the forecast period, analysts add.
In terms of engine type, high pressure remains the hotspot for the CMC market in aircraft engines. CMC materials offer a wide spectrum of advantages at high-pressure zones, including reliable performance at extreme temperatures up to 1,300 degrees C, significant weight savings compared with the nearest rival (nickel alloys), and no need for cooling air requirements.
Image courtesy GE Aviation.
North America is projected to remain the largest CMC parts market for aircraft engines during the forecast period, according to the new report. This region has been investigating the potential of CMC in aircraft engines for the past two decades. Key CMC players worked with government institutions to ensure the commercial viability of CMCs in aircraft engines, analysts explain. Major CMC part manufacturers, such as GE Aviation, are located in this region and opening dedicated CMC plants in North America to address the surging demand for CMCs.
The top five companies in the CMCs for aircraft engine market – GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney, Composite Horizons, Safran Herakles, and COI Ceramics Inc. – are expected to remain the dominant players during the forecast period, according to the report. Development of new applications, long-term contracts, and collaboration with OEMs are the key strategies adopted by companies to gain a competitive advantage over others in the market, analysts say.
Image courtesy GE Aviation.
Stratview Research’s “Ceramic Matrix Composites Market in Aircraft Engines” report provides forecast, competitive analysis, and growth opportunity information for 2018 through 2023 by aircraft type (commercial aircraft, business jets, military aircraft, and helicopter), by engine type (jet engine, helicopter engine, and others), by component type (static components and rotational components), by application type (combustor liner, shrouds, blades, nozzles, and others), by engine zone (high pressure, low pressure, and combustor), by material type (SiC/SiC, Ox/Ox, and others), by manufacturing process (chemical vapor infiltration, solid phase infiltration, polymer impregnation and pyrolysis, and melt infiltration), and by region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and rest of the world).
The report studies CMCs in the global aircraft engines industry segmented in eight ways:
Ceramic Matrix Composites Market in Aircraft Engines by Aircraft Type:
- Commercial Aircraft
- Business Jets
- Military Aircraft
- Jet Engine
- Helicopter Engine
- Other Engines
- Static Components
- Rotational Components
- Combustor Liner
- High-Pressure Zone
- Low-Pressure Zone
- Chemical Vapor Infiltration (CVI)
- Solid Phase Infiltration (SPI)
- Polymer Impregnation and Pyrolysis (PIP)
- Melt Infiltration (MI)
- North America
- Rest of the world
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