Nanofibers: Technologies and Developing Markets

Published - Jun 2010| Analyst - Margareth Gagliardi| Code - NAN043B
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for nanofiber products was worth $80.7 million in 2009, and is estimated to reach $101.5 million by the end of 2010. The market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.3% through 2015, and at a 37.2% CAGR from 2015 through 2020, reaching nearly $2.2 billion in total revenues by 2020.
  • The mechanical/chemical sector is estimated to account for 73.2% of all revenues in 2010, with a value of $74.3 million. This sector is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.4% from 2010 through 2015, and a CAGR of 35.3% from 2015 through 2020, to be worth an estimated $1.4 billion in 2020.
  • Electronics is the fastest growing segment, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.3% from 2010 through 2015, and a CAGR of 50.7% from 2015 through 2020. This segment is expected to be worth $6.4 million in 2010 and $323 million in 2020.

INTRODUCTION

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

The origin of nanofibers can be traced back to 1897 when electrostatic atomization of a conductive fluid under applied voltage was first observed, later leading to the development of the electrospinning process. However, interest in nanofiber technology has gained significant momentum only during the last 10 years, due to recent advances in nanotechnology, development of newer materials, and a growing array of applications. 

BCC published its first report on nanofibers in 2007-06-15. During the last 3 years, the market for these materials has been rapidly expanding, new technological developments have occurred in the field, and industry changes have taken place.

The main goal of this report is to provide new insights into current nanofiber technology, outline technological trends, and supply an updated market analysis for these materials.

Specifically, the major objectives of this study are to:

  • Provide an updated review of nanofibers, focusing on materials and fabrication technologies.
  • Highlight new technological developments during the past 3 years, while outlining current technical issues.
  • Review existing fields of application for nanofibers and investigate emerging applications.
  • Estimate current global markets for nanofibers by material type, application, and region, with growth forecasts through 2015 for each market segment.
  • Identify important technology and market trends within each market segment.
  • Supply an updated review of current players in nanofiber technology.
  • Provide a description of current worldwide research activities and evaluate their impact on industry growth.
  • Determine trends in global patents issued during the past 3 years.

REASONS FOR DOING THIS STUDY

Nanofibers are traditionally defined as nanostructures with a diameter below 1000 nm and a length to width ratio typically greater than 50. Their high surface area together with other physical, electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties makes them suitable in various commercial sectors, including but not limited to electronics, energy, mechanical/chemical, consumer, and life sciences.

In 2007, the market for nanofibers was very small, valued at $51.8 million, but growing at a healthy pace.

Since BCC’s last report, nanofiber fabrication technologies have continued to evolve. In addition, several new applications have been developed, while others are exiting the development stage and entering commercialization.

The principal reason for doing this study is to present a current assessment of the nanofiber industry from both a technological and market point of view and to outline future trends and key developments.

There is also a need to evaluate the current status and future trends of the nanofiber industry from a global standpoint. The market for nanofibers is still quite small, with a limited number of players; consequently, any change in a firm’s activities and/or location has a major impact on both manufacturing and sales distribution. Therefore, it is also necessary to provide an updated geographical mapping of points of production of nanofibers, relative to global sales and distribution. Such an evaluation will contribute to a broader understanding of growth opportunities for nanofibers and their applications within the U.S. and abroad.

An equally important reason for undertaking this study is to provide technical insights into nanofiber manufacturing by:

  • Supplying a review of materials, their specific applications and production methods.
  • Identifying current technical issues.
  • Providing an overview of global R&D activities related to nanofibers, both within public and private organizations.
  • Illustrating the latest technological developments.

This information can assist companies in finding opportunities for process and productivity improvements, resulting in a positive impact on future market growth.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

This study will be of primary interest to all companies that:

  • Manufacture, sell, and distribute nanofibers and nanofiber-based products.
  • Supply raw materials for nanofiber production.
  • Manufacture process equipment utilized by nanofiber producers.
  • Fabricate and supply filtration media, catalysts, advanced displays, batteries, supercapacitors, and fuel cells.
  • Provide technical and/or marketing services in conjunction with the above-mentioned devices.
  • Are planning to enter the nanofiber industry as a supplier, manufacturer, or end-user.

Overall, this study applies to industry sectors such as electronics, mechanical, chemical, energy, sensors, instrumentation, medical, biological, pharmaceutical, thermal and acoustic insulation, consumer, automotive, aerospace, defense and security.
 
This study is mainly directed towards executives, directors, operations managers, sales and marketing managers, and strategic planners working within the above industries. Universities and research facilities may find this study to be a good source of technical information regarding nanofiber technology, materials, equipment, and applications, which can be used as a baseline for new or expanded R&D activities. Librarians of technical information and research centers can also use this report to provide critical data to product managers, market analysts, researchers, and other professionals needing detailed and updated insights into the nanofiber industry. 

SCOPE OF REPORT

This study provides an updated review of nanofiber technology, including materials and production processes, and identifies current and emerging applications for this technology.

BCC Research determines the current market status of nanofiber-based products, defines trends, and presents forecasts of growth over the next 5 to 10 years. Technological issues, including the latest process developments, are also discussed.

BCC Research analyzes the nanofiber industry on a worldwide basis from the standpoint of both manufacturing and consumption. In addition, the study examines commercial and public research activities in major regions of the world. Research objectives and areas of interest related to materials, production methods, and applications of nanofibers are also outlined.  
More specifically, BCC’s market analysis is divided into five parts.

In the first part, a historical review of nanofibers is provided, including an outline of recent events. In this section, current and emerging applications of nanofibers are also identified and divided by sector (i.e., automotive and aerospace, consumer, defense and security, electronics, energy, mechanical/chemical, medical/biological/pharmaceutical, sensors and instrumentation, thermal and acoustic insulation, and others).

The second part of the report offers a technological review of nanofibers. This section supplies a revised and detailed description of nanofiber materials and properties; typical fabrication methods and recent process upgrades; and nanofiber applications by material type. A review of recent technological developments and patent abstracts is also offered, followed by a discussion of current technical issues. 

The third part of the report entails a global market analysis of nanofiber products. Global nanofiber revenues (sales data in millions of dollars) are presented by material type, application, and region, with actual data referring to the years 2007, 2008, 2009, and estimated data for the year 2010.

This section concludes with a presentation of market growth trends, based on industry growth, technological trends, unit price trends, and regional trends. Projected revenues are reported, with forecast compound annual growth rates (CAGR) for the period 2010 through 2020.

In the fourth part, covering global industry structure, the report provides a complete list of suppliers of nanofibers and a description of their products. The analysis includes a description of the geographical distribution of these firms and an evaluation of production versus consumption, always from a geographical standpoint. Detailed company profiles of the top industry players are also provided and relative market share for the five leading companies are also provided.

In the fifth part of this study, an analysis of industry competitiveness is performed. This analysis encompasses a review of global research and development activities, with profiles of the most important R&D players divided by region, and an outline of the most critical factors contributing to industry competitiveness.

The sixth and final section includes an extensive U.S. patent analysis, with a summary of patents related to nanofiber materials, fabrication methods, and applications, issued during the period 2007 through 2010.  Patent analysis is performed by region, country, assignee, patent category, application, and material type.

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used to obtain market data and analyze the overall market and market segments.

The technology section of this report is based on information derived from technical literature, related BCC reports, professional journals, the author’s field experience, and online sources.

Global market analysis was performed by analyzing 46 manufacturers of nanofiber materials and products, accounting for at least 95% of the global market. Data for each company were obtained by thoroughly analyzing Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, Internet web sites, annual reports, industry directories, industry magazines and catalogs, government sources, and other public sources.

Additional data were obtained from the direct contribution of primary sources, including: company executives, managers, engineers and other technical personnel representing manufacturers, developers, and users of nanofibers and related materials and process equipment; representatives of academia and trade associations; and industry market analysts. 

Secondary sources of information include:

  • EDGAR – U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Filings
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • European Patent Office
  • Company web sites
  • Company annual reports
  • Thomas Registers
  • Moody’s Directory
  • S & P Industry Survey
  • Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory
  • American Ceramic Society Publications
  • Foreign Chamber of Commerce Directories
  • Foreign Stock Exchange Listings.

In addition to utilizing the above primary and secondary sources, market growth trends and forecasts were compiled by gaining additional insights from relevant financial and market information, relevant BCC reports, and the author’s own in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the collected information. 

ANALYST CREDENTIALS

Margareth Gagliardi, BCC’s chief research analyst in advanced materials, has more than 25 years of experience in the field of advanced materials, specializing in ceramic formulations, materials processing, and new product development. She has held management positions in both manufacturing and R&D within U.S. and European firms producing electronic, mechanical, chemical, and structural components. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.S. in Ceramic Engineering.

She has authored numerous BCC Research studies, including the following that are related to advanced materials and nanotechnology:

  • AVM069A    Photocatalysts: Technologies and Global Markets, 2010
  • SMC061B    Atomic Layer Deposition, 2010
  • AVM018F    Rare Earths: Worldwide Markets, Applications, Technologies, 2009
  • AVM052B    Aerogels, 2009
  • AVM065A     Smart Glass: Technologies and Global Markets, 2009
  • PLS046A Polymer Absorbents and Adsorbents, Including SAPs and Polymer Gels, 2008
  • SMC037D    Sputtering Targets and Sputtered Films: Technology and Markets, 2008
  • NAN045A     Nanofiltration, 2007
  • NAN043A  Nanofibers: Technologies and Developing  Markets, 2007
  • NAN042A     Nanorobotics and NEMS, 2007
  • AVM054A     Bioactive Glasses, Ceramics, Composites, Other Advanced Materials, 2006
  • AVM052A Aerogels, 2006
  • SMC061A    Atomic Layer Deposition, 2006
  • SMC061B    Atomic Layer Deposition, 2010
  • SMC037D    Sputtering Targets and Sputtered Films: Technology and Markets, 2008
  • SMC057A    Thin Films: Raw Materials, Technology and Applications,  2005

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DISCLAIMER

The information developed in this report is intended to be of a professional nature and is as reliable as possible at the time of publication. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice, nor should it be considered as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.

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Published - Jun-2007| Analyst - Margareth Gagliardi| Code - NAN043A

Report Highlights

  • The global market for nanofibers increased from $43.2 million in 2006 to an estimated $48.0 million by the end of 2007. It should reach $176 million in 2012 and grow to $825 million by 2017, compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of 30% and 36%, respectively.
  • The mechanical/chemical sector is projected to account for 73.5% of total revenues in 2007. Other key sectors are energy and electronics.
  • Nanofibers are generating great interest in certain industry segments, where alternative materials are characterized by limited performance or much higher unit prices (a good example is the utilization of carbon nanofibers as an alternative to carbon nanotubes for electron emitters in flat panel displays).
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