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Aerospace Titanium Blisk Market Overview
The global aerospace titanium blisk market was valued at $3,988.3 million in 2017 and is forecasted to witness a CAGR of 3.7%, during 2018-2023. The global aerospace industry is registering rise in demand for military as well as commercial aircrafts. The low weight and high strength of titanium based blisks, decreasing titanium prices, and increasing aircraft sales are the key factors driving the market growth.
NORTH AMERICA AEROSPACE TITANIUM BLISK MARKET, BY DIAMETER, $M (2013 - 2023)
Based on application, the aerospace titanium blisk market has been categorized into military, commercial, general aviation, and others, wherein “others” category includes experimental and model aircrafts. Commercial aerospace titanium blisk market accounted for the highest market share in 2017. This can be attributed to rising passenger as well as cargo demand throughout the world. As per the International Air Transport Association (IATA), there was a significant growth in the number of scheduled passengers that boarded commercial airlines in the past decade; with 2,452 million passengers in 2007 to 4,093 million in 2017. This has led to growing demand for commercial aircrafts, which in turn, is pushing the demand for titanium blisk in commercial applications.
Based on diameter, the aerospace titanium blisk market is categorized into less than 70 cm, 70–80 cm, and 80–90 cm. The market for less than 70 cm diameter titanium blisk held the largest market share of over 55% in 2017. This can be attributed to the fact that less than 70 cm diameter blisk finds its application in a majority of commercial aircrafts as well as business jets. However, 80–90 cm titanium blisk category is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period owing to rising application of this category in military as well as next generation aircrafts.
Based on region, North America held the highest market share of in 2017, with a revenue of $1,735.6 million. This is attributed to the high demand for business fleets in the region. In North America, aircraft fleet size of the business aviation market in 2017 stood at 24,297 units, with Europe at 3,894, and Asia at 2,701. However, Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness the highest growth rate, during the forecast period. This can be attributed to several factors such as increasing passenger traffic, cargo demand, as well as beefing-up of air forces by countries such as India and China.
Aerospace Titanium Blisk Market Dynamics
One of the key trends observed in the market is the use of additive manufacturing technique to produce blisks by two different processes namely, power bed fusion (PBF) and directed energy deposition (DED). Additive manufacturing technique enables to reduce material wastage and increase design freedom. This process overcomes the drawbacks of computer numerical control (CNC) machining such as chipping and complexity of design. The technique also enables to reduce weights from the middle of the disk as well as from the blades and can create web like structures to save material which further reduce weights.
The price of raw materials is usually one of the most important part of the total cost of the product and as the price of the raw materials decreases so does the price of the product which in turn increases the demand of the product. The price of titanium blisk has seen a down fall in the recent years which is expected to increase the demand for aerospace titanium blisk. In 2006, the price of titanium was around four times more than in 2017, so the aerospace market players were reluctant to purchase new blisk and the replacement rate was low due to the cost savings associated with the repair method. However, due to the declining price of titanium, the replacement rate of blisks has increased, therefore, driving market growth.
Other materials such as steel, ceramic, carbon fiber, silicon carbide, nickel-based alloys, and removable blade blisks are expected to hinder the market for titanium blisk in aerospace industry. The removable blade blisks can be a major hindering factor for the adoption of titanium blisks due to the advantages of removable blade blisks over titanium blisks such as easy repair ability, less complex and faster manufacturing, and chipping. The ceramic matrix composite (CMC) blisks offer various advantages such as higher safety for higher operating temperature, higher pump reliability, and lower cost. Although, ceramic blades can prove to be more brittle than the titanium, but the advantages it offers can hinder the market of the titanium blisks further. Thus, the use of other materials can prove to be the speed breaker for the aerospace titanium blisk market.
One of the key opportunities for the players in aerospace titanium blisk market lies in the production process of the blisks through a process called linear friction welding. This process uses high pressure to push two moving parts against each other rapidly creating heat and joining the components permanently to each other. This creates a single piece blisk and removes the complexity of CNC manufacturing as well as the high cost incurred in the additive manufacturing process. This not only saves the material, but also achieve all necessary strength goals.
Aerospace Titanium Blisk Market Competitive Landscape
Increasing awareness about advantages of titanium based blisks for aerospace industry applications, such as significant reduction in weight, greater resilience, and reduced maintenance in comparison to traditional bladed disks, has led to rise in the adoption of titanium blisks in aerospace industry, globally. Growing adoption has led to increase in competition in the market for aerospace titanium blisks.
Some of the key players in the market include, MTU Aero Engines AG, GKN plc, Rolls-Royce Holdings plc, and GE Aviation.