Key Opportunities and Challenges in Unmanned Composites Market

Unmanned Composites Market by Application (Interior, Exterior), Platform (UAV, USV, UGV, AUV, ROV, Passenger Drones, Autonomous Ships), Type (CFRP, GFRP, AFRP, BFRP), Subtype (Fiber, Matrix), and Region – Global Forecast to 2025

The unmanned composites market size is estimated to reach USD 2.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 15.5% from 2019 to 2025.


Unmanned composites have been witnessing an increasing a growing demand due to its characteristics such as reliability, durability, and ability to reduce weight. The growing demand for passenger drones, UAVs, autonomous ships and AUVs is expected to further propel the growth of the unmanned composites market over the forecast period. 


Browse 158 market data tables with 42 figures spread through 163 pages and an in-depth TOC on the report, “Unmanned Composites Market: Global Forecast to 2025”.


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Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) segment projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period


Based on platform, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) segment is expected to be the fastest growing during the forecast period. An increasing number of deliveries across the globe due to its high demand in numerous applications including oil & gas, environment protection, and defense, is expected to consequently drive the growth of unmanned composites market in the AUV segment.


Technology Trends in Unmanned Composites Market:

  • Cellulose-Based Carbon Fiber

In 2017, the University of Manchester (UK) developed a cellulose-based carbon fiber named Cordenka. This sustainable and eco-friendly material is made of recycled plant matter unlike the traditional method of using polyacrylonitrile which generates toxic gases, such as hydrogen cyanide, as by-products. Cellulose-based fiber can be used in the manufacturing processes of vehicular structures by the automotive, aviation, and marine industries. The fiber has high strength and reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the environment. This is an emerging composite material which is expected to be widely used by the automotive, marine, and aerospace industries in the future for the manufacturing of the structure of UAVs, UGVs, UUVs, and USVs.


Material use cases

Composite Material


Natural Fiber

  • Enhancement in strength and stiffness to compete with glass fiber and carbon fiber

Carbon Fiber

  • Suitable for high capacity applications in aerospace, automotive, and marine industries.

Glass Fiber

  • Enhancement in stiffness and strength for energy, aerospace, automotive, and marine applications


  • Using Nano tubes to increase the strength of resin
  • Reducing repair and cure time for high volume automotive applications


  • Enhancement in impact resistance and aesthetic properties for energy and automotive applications

Core Materials

  • Reduction in density as per the requirement of the end-use industries such as aerospace


  • Hybrid Smart Memory Composites

The rise in demand for high-performance materials for use in engineering applications across the world has led to the development of multifunctional, adaptive, and smart composite materials. Smart composite materials are developed by inserting shape memory alloy elements in the form of ribbons, particles, or wires into matrix materials, such as fiber-reinforced polymers, metals, and ceramics. This enhances the properties of the composite materials, improving their impact and damping capabilities by changing the natural vibration frequencies.


Unmanned Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) composites market of the market to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period

Based on type, the unmanned Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) composites segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The combination of several attributes such as fatigue resistance, durability, impact resistance, superior tensile strength and availability at low cost is expected to drive its growth over the forecast period. Preference of OEM manufacturers for CFRP is expected to further propel the growth of this segment over the next six years.


The exterior segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the unmanned composites market in 2019.

Based on application, the exterior segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the unmanned composites market in 2019. There has been an increase in the demand for composites material from the unmanned system manufacturers. Earlier exterior structures made by legacy materials, which are likely to get replaced by composites materials. OEMs prefer composite material such as carbon fiber to make airframe structures in UAVs, UGVs and USVs, this is driving the demand for unmanned composites.


Europe expected to be the fastest-growing and North America to account for the largest share for unmanned composites during the forecast period

Europe is estimated to lead the unmanned composites market during the forecast period. The rising need for lightweight materials to improve fuel efficiency has led to the adoption of composites in unmanned vehicles. Moreover, the fairly high concentration of unmanned system OEMs in Europe coupled with the growing number of deliveries of these systems is driving the demand for unmanned composites in the region. North America is estimated to account for the largest share of the unmanned composites market in 2019. The region’s leadership is attributed to the rise in demand by OEMs for innovative materials that are non-corrosive and have a lower weight. The growing market for UAVs within the region is projected to drive the demand for composite material for unmanned systems, which is supporting the growth of unmanned composites market in region.


The unmanned composites market is gaining traction over the past few years with the presence of large established companies as well as start-ups. Some of the major players in the unmanned composites market include Gurit (Switzerland), and Solvay (Belgium), from Europe; Hexcel Corporation (US), Materion Corporation (US), Owens Corning (US), Renegade Materials Corporation (US), Stratasys (US), and Teledyne (US), from North America; and Mitsubishi Rayon (Japan), Teijin Limited (Japan), and Toray Industries (Japan) from Asia Pacific.


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