According to Research and Markets, the global commercial aircraft market continues to be propelled by multiple favorable factors. As OEMs ramp up production, find out key megatrends in the commercial aircraft market and what they mean for adhesives.
Megatrend #1: Fuel Efficiency
In a continued effort to reduce operating costs, airlines strive to optimize fuel efficiency as much as possible. This has led to OEMs increasing production of smaller aircraft, which operate more fuel efficiently than larger aircraft.
- What Addressing Fuel Efficiency Means for Adhesives
Manufacturing smaller aircraft allows manufacturers to use lighter weight materials during assembly. Since mechanical fastening requires thicker substrates to support the stresses around the bolt holes, adhesives allow manufacturers to save weight in both the substrate and the fastener. Adhesives also provide the ideal solution for skin-to core bonding. As a result, manufacturers are turning to adhesives over mechanical fasteners.
These adhesives need to meet lighter weight requirements without compromising on strength or flexibility. For interior applications, web adhesives in particular are an ideal solution to this challenge. Due to their porosity, web adhesives reduce weight while still providing strong adhesion.
Megatrend #2: Automation
In addition to optimizing fuel efficiency, OEMs are pressured to meet faster and greater output demands. As megacities grow in the China and southeast Asia regions especially, regional air travel is growing as well. This is causing a backlog in orders for narrow body aircraft designed for short travel distances.
To try to keep up with the ever-increasing run rates, manufacturers are turning to automated assembly processes, like those used in the automotive industry, to improve operational efficiencies.
- What Addressing Automation Means for Adhesives
As manufacturers look to implement automated processes, aircraft adhesives must be able to keep up. In particular, their formulations will need to work well in automated equipment to avoid costly downtime and adhesion issues. The industry will also increase use of robotic application equipment to aid in higher run rates.
Market Challenges to Overcome
While fuel efficiency and automation are top of mind for OEMs to address, they are not without their challenges. With aircraft design changes come new technologies that often entail risk and added associated costs. Therefore, it’s important to work with the right suppliers and partners to mitigate these challenges.
Bostik formulates smart adhesives designed to address OEMs’ fuel efficiency and automation needs and keep risk low. For more information on these solutions, visit www.bostik.com.