Global Markets for Nanocomposites, Nanoparticles, Nanoclays, and Nanotubes -- Focus on the U.S.

Published - Jan 2012| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - NAN052A
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Report Highlights

  • Global consumption of nanocomposites was an estimated 118,768 metric tons (MT) with a value of over $800 million in 2010.  In 2011, the market should reach 138,389 metric tons and $920 million, and, by 2016 it should amount to 333,043 metric tons and $2.4 billion, increasing at a CAGR of 19.2% in unit terms and 20.9% in value terms between 2011 and 2016.
  • U.S. consumption of nanocomposites was an estimated 25,849 MT with a value of nearly $160 million in 2010.  These figures are expected to increase to 31,095 MT and $188 million in 2011, and 84,057 MT and $612 million in 2016, a CAGR of 22% in unit terms and 26.6% in value terms between 2011 and 2016.
  • Clay nanocomposites accounted for 61.2% of total nanocomposite consumption by value in 2010. This share is expected to remain relatively constant holding a value of approximately 61% through 2016.

INTRODUCTION

STUDY BACKGROUND

Nanocomposites have been used commercially since Toyota introduced the first polymer/clay nanocomposite auto parts in the 1980s.  Recently, advances in the ability to characterize, produce, and manipulate nanometer-scale materials have led to their increased use as fillers in new types of nanocomposites.

Manufacturers now mix nanoparticulate metals, oxides, and other materials with polymers and other matrix materials to optimize the composite’s properties with respect to color/transparency, conductivity, flame retardancy, barrier properties, magnetic properties, and anticorrosive properties, as well as tensile strength, modulus, and heat distortion temperature.  These composites offer users significantly enhanced properties compared to conventional composite and noncomposite materials.

Global consumption of nanocomposites has increased significantly since BCC published its last market analysis in 2009, reaching 118,768 metric tons (MT), with an estimated value of over $800 million in 2010.  Nanocomposite consumption is growing rapidly, and is expected to reach 333,044 MT, or $2.4 billion in value, by 2016.

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Such rapid growth has raised expectations regarding nanocomposites’ commercial potential.  The overall goal of this updated report is to provide suppliers of advanced materials, entrepreneurs, investors, and others with information concerning emerging nanocomposite technologies and applications, along with a realistic assessment of their commercial potential.

Specific objectives include identifying segments of the nanocomposite market with the greatest commercial potential in the near to mid-term (i.e., 2011 to 2016), projecting future demand in these segments, and evaluating the challenges that must be overcome for each segment to realize its potential in order to estimate the probability of successful commercialization.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

This report is intended especially for nanocomposite and nanomaterials marketing executives, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, and other readers with a need to know the direction in which the nanocomposite market is headed in the next 5 years.  Other readers who should find the report particularly useful include officials of government programs, such as the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative, which promote the development of the nanotechnology industry.  The report’s findings and conclusions should also be of interest to the broader nanotechnology community.

SCOPE AND FORMAT

The report addresses the global market for nanocomposites.  Nanocomposites are a class of composites that have at least one component with nanoscale dimensions or structural features.  This study, however, excludes certain materials (e.g., rubber to which carbon black nanoparticles have been added) that technically fit the definition of nanocomposites but have been in commercial use for decades.

The study format includes the following major elements:

  • Executive summary
  • Definitions
  • Milestones in the development of nanocomposites
  • Nanocomposites that are in commercial use or under development, associated technologies, and applications
  • Nanocomposites with the greatest commercial potential through 2016
  • Global nanocomposite market trends from 2010 to 2016
  • Factors that will influence the long-term development of the nanocomposites market
  • Nanocomposites industry structure and market shares

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

Projecting the market for emerging technologies such as nanocomposites, many with commercial potential that has not yet been fully proven, is a challenging task.  This report uses a multiphase approach that includes both primary and secondary research methodologies to identify the nanocomposites with the greatest commercial potential and to quantify their market.

In the first phase of the analysis, BCC Research identified a long list of nanocomposites, including those that are still under development.  BCC then undertook a literature review to identify those nanocomposites that are unlikely to make it into commercial production before 2016, resulting in a short list of nanocomposites that have near- to mid-term commercial potential.

In phase two, BCC mapped these nanocomposites against potential end-user industries and applications, such as the automotive and food packaging industries, to identify the nanocomposites with the greatest commercial potential in the time frame covered by this report.  Selection criteria included size of the market, characteristics of competing materials, and similar considerations.

In the third phase, BCC focused on quantifying the potential market for these high-potential nanocomposites 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.

The report includes detailed descriptions of the data sources, assumptions, and methodologies that were used in developing the market projections.  BCC Research’s intent is to let readers judge the validity of its projections for themselves, thus enabling them to develop alternative market scenarios as they see fit.

ANALYST CREDENTIALS

Andrew McWilliams, the author of this report, is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm 43rd Parallel, LLC.  In addition to being the author of the previous (2006) edition of this report, he has authored numerous other BCC Research studies of the nanotechnology and related fields, including:

  • NAN031D Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Assessment
  • NAN017D Nanostructured Materials for the Biomedical, Pharmaceutical, and Cosmetic Markets
  • NAN017E Nanostructured Materials for Energy, Catalysis and Structural Applications
  • NAN017F Nanostructured Materials: Electronic/Magnetic/Optoelectronic
  • NAN044A Nanotechnology in Energy Applications
  • NAN015F Advanced Ceramics and Nanoceramic Powders
  • NAN040A Nanomaterials Markets by Type
  • NAN038A Nanotechnology in Life Science Applications
  • NAN028A Nanocatalysts
  • NAN035A Nanosensors
  • NAN036A Nanotechnology for Photonics
  • NAN037A Nanotechnology for Consumer Products

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DISCLAIMER

This publication provides informative material of a professional nature.  It does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice, nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide or an endorsement of any given product or company.  This information is intended to be as accurate as possible at the time it was written and was undertaken on a best-effort basis.  The views expressed are those of the author and do not make any warranty, express or implied, for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information, or for the interpretation of data or its use by others.  Projections involve risks and uncertainties that include but are not limited to technical risks associated with technology development, government regulatory approvals, and access to capital.  The author assumes no responsibility for any losses or damages that may result from one’s reliance on this material.

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