Nanomaterials Markets by Type

Published - Dec 2005| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - NAN040A
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Report Highlights

  • Total global consumption of all types of nanomaterials in 2005 is expected to surpass 9 million metric tons and $13.1 billion, reaching 10.3 million tons or $20.5 billion by 2010, at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 9.3% in value terms.
  • Nonpolymer organic materials account for the largest share of total nanomaterials consumption, the bulk of which are carbon black fillers.
  • The share of simple oxide nanomaterials is expected to rise from 8.5% to 15.7% in 2010. Metal nanomaterials are the second-largest segment with more than 21% of the market.
  • In product morphology, by 2010, nanoparticulates’ share of the market is projected to shrink somewhat to 54.6%, while thin films, monolithics and composites are expected to grow to 25.0%, 17.4% and 3.0%, respectively.


Currently, there are hundreds of kinds of nanomaterials in use or under development, both in their pure form and as composites. Examples include carbon, tungsten, titanium and cobalt, as well as many technical ceramics, such as aluminum oxide, silicon carbide and their composites.

The range of applications for nanomaterials also is large and growing. These currently include tires and other rubber products, pigments, synthetic bone and automotive components. Tomorrow’s applications include automotive coatings, medical devices and filtration media, to name just a few.

This BCC report provides information on the commercial potential of various nano-materials, to complement the growing body of technical information. Specific objectives include identifying segments of the nanomaterials market with the greatest commercial potential in the near to mid-term (2005-2010), projecting future demand in these segments, and evaluating the challenges that must be overcome for each segment to realize its potential to better estimate the probability of successful commercialization.


The report contains:

  • Definitions covering the field of nanomaterials
  • Milestones in the development of nanomaterials
  • Overview of nanomaterials that are in commercial use or under development, associated technologies and applications
  • Nanomaterials with the greatest commercial potential through 2010
  • Global analysis of the nanomaterials market with forecasts through 2010
  • Analysis of the actors that will influence the long-term development of nanomaterials
  • Nanomaterials industry structure and market shares.


Projecting the market for emerging technologies such as most nanomaterials, whose commercial potential has not yet been proven, is a challenging task. This may help to explain why most analysts so far have focused on supply-side technology assessments. This report uses a multi-phase approach to identify the nanomaterials with the greatest commercial potential and quantify the market for these nanomaterials, as described below. In the first phase of the analysis, we identified a "long list" of nanomaterials (including materials that are still under development). We then undertook a literature review to identify those materials that are not likely to make it into commercial production before 2010, resulting in a short list of nanomaterials that have near to mid-term commercial potential.

In phase two, we mapped these nanomaterials against potential end-user industries and applications, such as electronics, consumer products and the life sciences, in order to identify the nanomaterials with the greatest commercial potential in the time frame covered by this report. Selection criteria included size of the market, the characteristics of competing materials, and similar considerations.

In the third phase, we focused on quantifying the potential market for these high-potential nanomaterials and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success. Various methodologies and data sources were used to develop the projections, including trend line projections, input-output analysis, and estimates of future demand from industry sources.


Andrew McWilliams, the author of this report, is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel LLC. He is also the author of numerous other Communications Co. studies, including several nanotechnology-related studies such as GB-290 Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Evaluation; GB-281 Nanocatalysts; GB-310 Nanosensors; GB-314 Nanotechnology for Photonics; GB-319 Nanotechnology for Consumer Products; and GB-329 Nanotechnology in Life Sciences Applications.

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