The dispersion of nanofillers in polymer matrices are known to enhance the physical, mechanical, and barriers properties of the material. These enhanced properties make them more beneficial for use in industrial sectors such as construction, packaging, electrical & electronics among several others. Increasing use of polymer nanocomposites in the automotive as well as packaging industry and the stringent government regulations for automotive emissions in several countries such as the U.S., Germany, India, and China is invariably supporting the growth of global polymer nanocomposites market. On the contrary, high cost of processing is dampening the market growth. The growing consumption of graphene and related materials would drive the future growth of the market.
The global polymer nanocomposites market will reach US$11,549 mln, in terms of revenue and 6,014 kilo tons corresponding volume by 2022, registering revenue growth of 10.9% from 2016 to 2022, as per Allied Market Research.
North America held about 33% share in 2015, and is expected to maintain its lead during the forecast period. The nanoclays segment generated three-fifths of overall revenue in 2015, owing to its flame retardant, mechanical & barrier, dispersion properties, and reduced weight. Furthermore, the segment is projected to be the fastest growing, at 11.8% CAGR during 2016-2022. Carbon nanotubes segment follows nanoclays at second place.
Polymer nanocomposites find application in construction, automotive, electrical & electronics, packaging, and biomedical & defence among others. Automotive is the fastest growing application, registering a CAGR of 11.4% during 2016-2022 owing to the lightweight properties and high durability and strength of polymer nanocomposites. The rise of electric vehicles has invariably risen the demand for polymer nanocomposites.
Key findings of the study
- North America will grow at a CAGR of 10.9%, in terms of revenue, during 2016-2022 to continue to lead the market, followed by Asia-Pacific.
- Nanoclays segment occupied about three-fifths share in terms of both volume and revenue, in the polymer nanocomposites market.
- In 2015, packaging was the highest consumer of polymer nanocomposites worldwide, accounting one-fourth share in the overall market.
- Nanoclays is expected to be the fastest growing segment in the LAMEA region, registering a CAGR of 16.1%, in terms of volume.
- LAMEA is the fastest growing region, in terms of revenue, in the global polymer nanocomposite market, growing at a CAGR of 12.5% during 2016-2022.
North America and Europe collectively generated more than half of the total polymer nanocomposites market revenue in 2015; however, Asia Pacific and LAMEA shall collectively churn away about 2% of the revenue by 2022. Stringent government regulations imposed on vehicular emissions and rapid adoption polymer nanocomposites based materials in the packaging sector are the key factors responsible for market growth in these regions. However, LAMEA is projected to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period.
Polymer Nanocomposites Market is estimated to be US$5100 mln by 2020, as per Markets and Markets. The demand of light weight automotive parts has given an edge to polymer nanocomposites due to its high strength and light weight properties. Their use enabled automotive parts reduction in light weight vehicles, improved engine efficiency, reduction in CO2 emissions and superior performance. The automotive industry can benefit in several applications such as powertrain, suspension and breaking systems, exhaust systems and catalytic converters, lubrication, tires and body parts. Their advantage over conventional composites is that their mechanical, electrical, thermal, barrier and chemical properties such as increased tensile strength, improved heat deflection temperature, flame retardancy etc.
Asia-Pacific region dominated the polymer nanocomposites market in terms of values in 2013 and it is expected to grow at a higher CAGR, from 2014 to 2020. Large packaging industry and increasing automotive and aerospace industry in Asia-Pacific region helped it to dominate the global market. The electrical & electronics market in Eastern Asian market, driving the polymer nanocomposites application market. Asia-Pacific is the prime consumer globally followed by Europe. Europe and Asia-Pacific together accounted for more than 60% of the polymer nanocomposites in terms of value in 2013. Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a highest CAGR and secure its leading market position by 2020, with developing new application areas in electrical & electronics and automotive market. In Europe their use continues to increase in automotive industries to replace the other conventional composites that reduces the weight of vehicles and increases the mileage.
As per Grand View Research, the global nanocomposites market is projected to reach US$7,475 mln by 2022. Growing demand for nanocomposites in electronic & electrical applications owing to high electrical conductivity and thermal resistance is expected to drive growth over the forecast period. Nanocomposites are gaining huge importance in recent times on account of characteristics such as high tensile strength, better optical and magnetic properties, high resistance to corrosion, high thermal and electronic conductivity. The market is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period on account of its wide range of applications including building & construction, automotives, electronics & electrical, IT, energy and packaging.
Raw materials such as glass fibers, clay, ceramics, carbon nanotubes and other fillers are used in manufacturing of nanocomposites. Polymer production is concentrated majorly in North America and Europe. Metal oxide production is also concentrated in North America and Europe owing to advanced technology development and huge amount of investment in R&D. Supportive government regulations regarding the use of nanocomposites in food & beverage packaging applications are expected to have a positive impact towards growth. Furthermore, growing demand for bio-based high performance nanocomposites such as bacterial cellulose with polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), cellulose nanocrystal-filled polyurethane (PU), polysulphone/cellulose nanocomposites, cellulose nanocrystal-filled carboxymethyl cellulose is expected to propel demand for the products over the forecast period. Lack of technological development and high production cost involved in manufacturing of nanocomposites is expected to hamper growth over the next few years. However, technological advancements related to optimizing production techniques in order to lower overall product cost is key to ensure sustainability over the next 7 years.
North America nanocomposites market revenue by product, 2012-2022, (USD Million)
Nanoclay was the largest product segment, accounting for 52.3% of global market volume in 2014. Growing demand for this product in packaging and automotive applications is expected to propel market growth. Furthermore, growing demand of nanoclay application industries coupled with increasing application scope is likely to augment demand over the forecast period. In terms of volume, carbon nanotubes (CNT) are expected to witness significant growth, growing at a CAGR of 19.3% from 2015 to 2022. Carbon nanotubes are increasingly being used in the manufacturing of the automotive parts owing to its superior heat and thermal conductivity. Growing demand for CNT in automotive as a multifunctional coating material and in the manufacturing of automotive parts is likely to drive growth over the forecast period. In addition, it is increasingly being used as coating material in boat and ship hulls owing to its property to reduce biofouling as well as aid in corrosion resistance.
Electronics & electrical application demand was 43.5 kilo tons in 2014. Increasing application scope within electronic & electrical component manufacturing is expected to drive demand for the market over the forecast period. Nanocomposites are widely used in manufacturing electrical components and semiconductors. Growing use of these products in the manufacturing of supercapacitors and printed circuit boards owing to their superior thermal resistivity and electrical conductivity is expected to drive demand over the next 7 years. Packaging accounted for 8.5% of the global market volume in 2014. The market is expected to decline over the forecast period on account of higher demand for the product from other applications. Rising demand for nanocomposites particularly in food & beverage packaging is expected to drive demand over the forecast period. Supportive regulations for nanocomposites owing to its degradable nature are expected to favour market growth in Europe.
North America was valued at US$483.4 mln in 2014. The North America application market in terms of revenue is dominated by the building and construction segment. Thus, rising residential construction activities particularly multi-family housing is likely to augment the market growth in the region. Automotives, aviation and electronics & energy are the other major segments in North America in terms of revenue. Asia Pacific is expected to witness fastest growth, growing at a CAGR of 23.8% from 2015 to 2022. Rising industrialization in the region coupled with growing construction activities is likely to propel demand over the forecast period. Significant share of demand for the product came from automotive sector owing to rising use of composite materials in automobile manufacturing. In addition, rising disposable income and consumer lifestyle in Asia Pacific is likely to propel the demand in the region over the projected period.
Key players in the nanocomposites market include Zyvex Technologies, Inframat Corporation, Powdermet Inc., DuPont, DSM, BASF, Plasma X, Plasmachem Gmbh, Arkema, Cabot, BASF, InMat and eSpin Technologies. The global nanocomposites market is characterized by integration through raw material supply as well as manufacturing stages. Companies such as Foster Corporation, Inframat Corporation, BASF AG, Cyclics Corporation, Plasma X, Plasmachem Gmbh and Lyondellbasel are engaged in manufacturing of raw materials for nanocomposites. These companies captively consume these raw materials to manufacture various grades of nanocomposites.
The global polymer nanocomposites market will flourish with the high consumption of polymer-based clay nanocomposites through 2019, says Technavio and is estimated to post a CAGR of more than 24% by 2019. The following four factors influencing the growth of the global polymer nanocomposites market:
High demand from the automobile industry
Stringent regulations on automotive emissions
Growing demand from various sectors
High consumption of polymer-based clay nanocomposites
High demand for polymer nanocomposites from the automobile industry
Technavio analysts have characterized the automobile industry as the largest consumer of polymer nanocomposites, accounting for almost 70% of the consumption of the material. The high demand from this industry drives the global polymer nanocomposites market. Automobile production increased from 84.24 million units in 2010 to almost 90 million units in 2014. This material is used primarily to make car parts such as handles, rear view mirrors, gas tank components, suspension systems, braking systems, and car bumpers.
“The introduction of polymer nanocomposites have facilitated the production of lightweight vehicles to improve fuel efficiency. As a result, the demand for polymer nanocomposites will continue to grow over the next five years because of applications in new areas of automobile production such as body panels, door inners, windows, and engine covers,” says Asif Gani, a lead specialty chemicals analyst from Technavio. The report also states that the use of elastomeric nanocomposites in automobile tires is expected to contribute to market growth. The automobile industry will continue to be the largest consumer of this material and demand from this industry is likely to be substantial throughout the forecast period.
Stringent regulations on automotive emissions
The rise in automobile emissions is contributing to the increase in atmospheric temperature and pollution. It is not possible to completely eliminate automotive emissions, however, they can be minimized. Governments all over the world are implementing stringent rules and policies in favor of the reduction of automotive emissions, while also trying to educate their citizens about the harmful effects of these emissions. “Automobile manufacturers and other industries are gradually shifting toward the adoption of electrical energy instead of energy derived from fossil fuels. The use of lightweight materials such as polymer nanocomposites in the bodies of vehicles will lead to weight reduction, improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions of CO2,” says Asif.
Growing demand for polymer nanocomposites from various sectors
The growing demand for polymer nanocomposites from numerous industries such as electronics and semiconductor, aerospace engineering, military, biomedical, construction, food packaging, and renewable power generation industries will propel the growth of the market. “The food packaging industry has started using polymer nanocomposites in packaging material to enhance the properties of thermoplastic resins. Clay nanocomposites and nanocarbon fillers are used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles to a longer shelf life for beverages and other consumables. In the electronics and semiconductor industry, polymer nanocomposites are in high demand for the production of printed electronic components and super-capacitors,” added Asif.
High consumption of polymer-based clay nanocomposites
Nanoclays are largely used as filler materials and demand for this material is expected to increase during the forecast period. The dispersion of clay in the polymer matrix maximizes the surface area. The presence of 2-8% clay in polymer nanocomposites improves the polymer's physical and mechanical properties as well as reduces gas and liquid permeability. Nanoclays provide benefits such as improvement in product lifecycle, reduced transportation costs due to lightweight components, and reduced requirement for fire retardants, which is making a robust contribution to the growth of the global polymer nanocomposites market.