Global NDT in aerospace and defence market report


In 2017, the non-destructive testing (NDT) market was valued at US$2115.4 million (approximately £1.6 billion) and is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% during the forecast period (2018-2023), to reach US$3835.4 million (approximately £3 billion) by 2023, according to a new report from Research and Markets. The scope of this NDT market report includes segmentation on the basis of type, technology and region. Based on the type of technology, the market segmentation includes radiographic testing, ultrasonic testing, magnetic particle testing and electromagnetic testing, liquid penetrant testing and visual inspection. Moreover, by region, the report covers North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.

The collapse of oil prices since 2014 has spurred airline profitability. At the same time, it is widely believed that lower oil prices leads to even higher growth in air traffic, as fuel savings translate into lower fares and individuals shift the savings they receive from lower energy costs towards discretionary spending such as leisure travel. Demand for air travel is exponentially increasing.

In fact, over the next 20 years, around 40% of all new aircraft deliveries are expected to be for replacement purposes. However, the extended periods of depressed fuel prices may encourage aircraft operators to defer the replacement of fuel-guzzling aircraft, without incurring higher operational costs. The requirement for new aircraft directly influences the NDT market in its manufacturing industry. Later, when the new fleet goes into service, it has to go through NDT at regular time intervals, which is expected to direct trigger to take off in the coming years.

The ultrasonic testing segment of the aerospace industry is expected to grow at a high pace, owing to its usage in subsurface inspection methods. In the aerospace and defence sector, the common subsurface inspection technique is ultrasonic testing to locate voids, cracks and laminations, as well as to inspect welds and measure thickness. Carbon fibre-reinforced plastic has become important in the aerospace industry, as an increasing number of military and civilian aircraft designs are being based around the lightweight and high-strength properties of advanced composites. These materials are subjected to cracking, hence ultrasonic testing is used to ensure the quality of the materials to provide structural integrity. In turbine maintenance, ultrasonic testing is used to detect types of damage that are caused by surface erosion on the blade.

In North America, the USA holds nearly 80% of the market share and Canada occupies the other 20%. The aerospace industry has occupied the position of a market leader for a long time; however, it has now reached its saturation point. The market share of this end-user industry is moving towards the Asia-Pacific region, where China is expected to become a market leader by 2035. Due to growing regional tensions in the Middle East, North Korea and the South China Sea, the demand for defence products is growing, which may lead to an increase in defence budgets. To conclude, the North American aerospace and defence industry is anticipated to witness a slump in the market share over the coming years.