Composite material testing is a process widely used in aircraft, automotive and spacecraft industries to determine the performance of composite materials. A composite material is defined as a material made up of two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties, which on combination, produces a material with characteristics different from the individual constituent components. Individual components remain distinct within the finished structure. Composite materials are commonly used in construction structures such as bridges, buildings, and storage tanks. They are also helpful in making structures for swimming pool panels, cultured marble sinks, racing car bodies, etc. However, the ideal and innovative usage of composite materials testing is in aircraft and spacecraft industries. They also offer high stiffness and strength compared to traditional materials. Composite materials are also ideal for attaining complex shapes without using high pressure tools. They provide high durability and are resistant to unfavorable environmental conditions such as exposure to UV rays, moisture, chemical attack, and temperature fluctuations.
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Increase in usage of composite materials in aerospace and automotive industries and rise in production of commercial aircraft are the major factors driving the composite materials testing market. Additionally, rise in investments in R&D, increase in safety standards among various industries, and growth in demand for lightweight materials are boosting the composite materials testing market.
Lack of specific standardization in production technologies and issues pertaining to recyclability of used materials are some of the factors hampering the composite materials testing market.
Based on product type, the composite materials testing market can be segmented into ceramic matrix composites, polymer matrix composites (thermoplastics and thermosets), continuous fiber composites, discontinuous fiber composites and others. Continuous fiber composites is a rapidly growing segment of the global composite materials testing market owing to their outstanding performance. Therefore, these composites are used in high-end applications such as aerospace & defense and transportation.
In terms of testing type, the composite materials testing market can be bifurcated into destructive and non-destructive. Destructive can be further classified into impact testing, compression testing, flexure testing, fatigue testing, and others. Non-destructive can be segregated into visual testing, ultrasonic testing, thermography, ultrasonic testing, shearography, radiography, and others. Non-destructive is expected to remain the dominant segment owing to its higher usage in wide range of applications in aerospace & defense, wind energy, and transportation industries.
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Key players operating in the composite materials testing market include Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Westmoreland Mechanical Testing and Research, Inc., Composites Testing Laboratory Pvt. Ltd, Exova Group Plc, Element Materials Technology, Intertek Group Plc, Matrix Composites Inc., Instron Corporation, and Mistras Group, Inc.