The ballistic protection materials market is one of the major markets globally with a huge growth potential. Factors such as increasing violence and growing terrorism attacks worldwide are generating huge demand for ballistic protection materials. These materials play a vital role in offering protection and safety against explosive chemicals, bullets, mortars, falling glass materials, mines, and other hazardous materials. The global ballistic protection materials market can be segmented on the basis of materials as aramid, carbon fiber composite, glass, lexan, and plastic. On the basis of application, the ballistic protection materials market can be segmented into defense, homeland security, commercial, personal protective equipment, and vehicle armor. On the basis of product type, the ballistic protection materials market can be segmented into three categories: soft armor, hard armor, and head gear.
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The materials primarily employed in the ballistic protection equipment include aramid, carbon fiber composites, glass, lexan, and plastic. Aramid accounts for a major share of the global ballistic protection materials market due to its high strength, durability, and functionality. Kevlar is one of the renowned brands of aramid material, and is manufactured by DuPont. This material is in huge demand among the manufacturers of defense apparels and equipment globally on account of its high strength, durability, and lightweight. Kevlar is mainly utilized for making protective vests, body armor, helmets, and up-armored vehicles. Kevlar is composed of elongated molecular chains of poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide, which enhance its strength by five times as compared to steel.
In the product type, soft armor offers features such as light weight, high flexibility, and high shear strength. On exposure to higher impacts, the high modulus of elasticity of the soft armor allows the energy generated through impact to dissipate over as large an area as possible. Hard armors are comparatively thicker and more rigid. This type is made from polymer composites reinforced with steel and ceramics.
The defense sector holds a major share of the global ballistic materials market due to increasing conflict among countries across the globe. Factors such as increasing number of terror attacks and growing regional violence is anticipated to propel the demand for ballistic protection materials higher. Soft armors are witnessing huge demand in recent years which is expected to increase in the next few years. Due to rising demand for soft armor, the global companies are largely investing in R&D activities in a bid to develop and manufacture light weight and composite materials, which can be employed in the manufacturing of ballistic protective equipment. It was also observed that there is huge demand for ballistic protective materials in the up-armored vehicles due to their enhanced capability to bear the high piercing ballistic impact during wars. Factors such as increasing rivalry among countries, growing armed conflicts, and cross border threats are driving the demand for ballistic materials market higher in the manufacturing of different protective gear and armors such as ballistic helmets, armored vehicles, ballistic shields, and bulletproof vests or jackets. A key challenge for this market lies in the weight of the armor.
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The conventional armor is composed of metals such as steel and iron which increases its weight further. This hinders the mobility and flexibility of the armor, hence enabling new entrants to enter into the market with new technologies and materials, which are light in weight and possess high strength.
Some of the key players operating in the global ballistic protective materials market are BAE Systems plc, DuPont, Honeywell International, Inc., Koninklijke Ten Cate N.V., Teijin Aramid, Ceradyne, Inc., Morgan Advanced Materials plc, Rheinmetall AG, and ArmorWorks Enterprises, LLC.
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