Mounting emphasis on manufacturing lightweight vehicles has been a vital factor fueling the growth of the polymer nanocomposites market. The extensive scope of application of the material across several industries has boosted consumer interest in the product substantially. Robust demand for sustainable solutions across the automotive and packaging industries, in addition, is positively influencing business growth.
There are some obstacles pertaining to the processing, characterization, and manufacturing of polymer nanocomposites in spite of extensive research activities on the material. Another key challenge is the higher cost of manufacturing and developing the material. However, rising emphasis on finding solutions to overcome these challenges has created significant growth potential for the industry. To that effect, methods like additive manufacturing or 3D printing are being considered for the manufacturing of polymer nanocomposites.
Increased focus on identifying solutions to challenges persisting in the industry is supplementing industry growth remarkably. As per a research report by Global Market Insights Inc., the polymer nanocomposites market is projected to be valued at over $26.89 billion by 2028.
What are polymer nanocomposites?
Polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) refer to materials that are widely used for research as well as industrial purposes. They are applied extensively in the energy, packaging, sensors, transportation, safety, defense systems, electromagnetic shielding, catalysis, and information sectors. These materials could potentially solve numerous daily challenges, which is why different types of polymer nanocomposites have found usage in diverse industrial applications.
Following are some major trends that are slated to augment polymer nanocomposites industry expansion over the forecast period:
- Prominent development in nanomaterials
Polymer nanocomposites are a key application of carbon nanofillers, including graphene. They are a multiphase solid material, wherein one of the phases has two, one, or three dimensions less than 100 nanometers (nm) in different polymer matrices.
These materials are ideal for usage as high-performance composites, wherein good dispersion of the filler can be attained. Graphene with superior thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties is suitable for use as a nanofiller in polymer matrices to develop high-performance nanocomposites.
Among carbon nanomaterials, graphene has excellent properties in particular surface areas and conductivity as it is one of the thinnest two-dimensional layered materials. Thus, advancements in the product technology are a notable polymer nanocomposite market trend that is set to be favorable for industry expansion.
2. Increasing usage in the aerospace sector
The structure of polymer nanocomposites is complex and is heavily influenced by the interfacial interactions, composition, and individual property components. The rising potential of product uptake in aerospace applications and prospective space missions is supplemented by their various features, such as the electrical, chemical, biodegradable, and mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites.
Polymer nanocomposites have demonstrated notable potential in the aerospace technology area. Their use in the structure of aero vehicles has helped improve the performance of these vehicles by enhancing structural strength and fatigue life, reducing weight, and complying with the stringent manufacturing and material requirements of the aerospace sector.
Aerospace systems are exposed to different environments, such as changes in moisture, temperature, and dynamic pressure. Since they must function in stormy weather frequently, the material of aero vehicles needs to be able to endure UV radiations and lightning strikes. Polymer nanocomposites have exceptional resistance to corrosion, fatigue life, toughness, impact resistance, strength, and scratch resistance, which makes them ideal for use in the aerospace industry.
3. Product adoption in electronics applications
Polymer nanocomposites have gained massive interest and numerous practical applications in wide-ranging science & technology fields as they not only offer superior processability but also other exceptional features. Their electrical conductance is driven by the conductive filler networks in the polymer matrix and thus, any variation in the conductive networks can alter the output electric signal of polymer nanocomposite.
By using this stimuli-responsive performance of conductive networks on physical parameters, the material can be utilized to make novel sensitive sensors that can detect crucial physical characteristics like stress/strain, temperature, solvent, pressure, or vapor. Due to their beneficial qualities, polymer nanocomposites find usage in varied sensitive detectors and sensors. Surging adoption of the material in electronics is foreseen to support overall polymer nanocomposites industry growth in the forthcoming years.
Towards a greener future
Even though there is prevalent need for further advancements in the field, the future of polymer nanocomposites seems positive due to its ever-increasing applications in various industries. The development of innovative solutions, such as green polymer nanocomposites, is expected to prove beneficial for the product scenario.
Green polymer nanocomposites are completely biodegradable, environmentally friendly, renewable, and benign materials. These materials have witnessed an upsurge in consumer interest as they promote sustainable development. Such products could potentially help mitigate the carbon footprint of the overall industry. Subsequently, the advent of newer and more efficient solutions for the fabrication of these products is anticipated to be favorable for the growth of the global polymer nanocomposites industry in the upcoming years.