Medical industry to drive smart microbial growth.
As drug-resistant microbes and hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) continue to spread, smart materials are being used to combat them. A new report by N-Tech Research quantifies the market for these "smart antimicrobials," which include antimicrobial peptides, smart polymers, silver preparations and superhydrophobic preparations. It also covers multifunctional materials that combine antimicrobial action with self-cleaning and self-healing capabilities.
The report provides eight-year revenue forecasts for smart antimicrobials coatings and surfaces, with breakouts by material type and application. Medical applications include implants, surgical tools, medical facility surfaces, medical uniforms and general medical equipment. Non-medical applications comprise clothing and textiles, consumer products, the food supply chain, buildings and construction, automotive and military.
Today, smart antimicrobials are dominated by silver-based materials, although some smart antimicrobials based on photosynthesis are also widely available.
The silver-based smart antimicrobials market will continue to grow, reaching $913 million by 2020, but will be hurt by the appearance of more effective smart antimicrobials such as peptides, as well as environmental concerns about silver itself, according to N-Tech.
The report sees a strong trend towards combining smart antimicrobials with additional self-cleaning and self-healing functionality. Self-cleaning adds to the antimicrobial effect by washing away microbes, while self-repair of cracks gives microbes no place to hide. By 2020, smart multifunctional coatings and surfaces are expected to generate sales of around $120 million.
Sales of smart antimicrobials will focus on medical equipment and medical uniforms. Growing the market for smart antimicrobials into non-healthcare markets will be a challenge. However, N-Tech still sees important niches outside of medical markets where smart antimicrobials are likely to sell well. These include high-use and high-traffic areas in buildings, and clothing and textiles. The interior surfaces of cars, truck, aircraft and marine vessels present additional opportunities for smart antimicrobial surfaces.
Healthy growth seen for global elastomers
A new study from Reportlinker looking at the global elastomers market through the year 2020 predicts growth at a healthy pace during the forecast period. The market is driven by cost-effectiveness and adaptability of elastomers in major end-user markets. The Asia pacific region leads in consumption and revenue generation, followed by North America.
Global elastomer production is estimated to be 7.31 million metric tons. The report says the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5%, to reach a production capacity of 9.8 mmt by 2020. The Asia Pacific region will remain the largest market and will continue to grow at a fast pace.
The study indicates that the growing demand from the automotive industry is the main driver for the elastomers market. Advancement in the processing industry and growing purchasing power in the developing economies are also anticipated to boost the industry. China is currently the most attractive market for elastomers in the world, and will be the principal driver of the global demand during the forecast period.