According to their latest report, Technavio analysts expect the global piezoelectric smart materials market for 2016-2020 to exceed USD 42 billion by 2020 growing at a CAGR of almost 13 percent.
According to Chandrakumar Badala Jaganathan, lead research analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals, “The global piezoelectric smart materials market is expected to be vibrant during the forecast period due to increasing investment in R&D for product innovation and the rising demand from the automotive industry. In addition, high demand from APAC is expected to further drive market growth.”
Technavio’s lead chemicals and materials market research analysts have identified the following three factors that will drive the global piezoelectric smart materials market:
-Increase in demand from military and aerospace sector
-Growing demand from construction industry
-Rise in R&D efforts
Increase in demand from military and aerospace sector
The spacecraft industry has provided a tremendous boost to the piezoelectric smart materials market globally. Materials with enhanced functional properties such as shape memory, electrochromism, and piezoelectricity, are gaining demand in the aerospace industries. These materials help in controlling the airflow across the wings of an aircraft, maintaining it in takeoff, flying, and landing it more efficiently with less noise.
Some applications for aircraft include wing morphing and flapping wing technologies. These materials are used to solve some common problems with the aircraft such as engine vibration, high cabin noise levels, ice formation on wings, flow separation due to turbulence, and control surfaces in cold climatic conditions.
In the military, piezoelectric materials are used in applications such as smart sensors, smart nanorobotics, smart combat suits, and smart skins. The majority of the demand from aerospace industry is expected to come from the US followed by Europe.
Growing demand from construction industry
The application of piezoelectric smart materials in the construction industry falls into three categories: structural health monitoring, vibration control, and environmental control. Structural health monitoring is where piezoelectric smart materials find their most widespread applications. The primary focus of structural health monitoring lies in the monitoring of loads and detection of damage in the structures. In addition, the trend toward longer and more slender cables has given rise to the demand for piezoelectric smart materials for use in structural monitoring and vibration control.
North America has the highest level of activity involving structural health monitoring. In the US, optical fiber grating systems are used to monitor traffic and composite repair monitoring. Additionally, embedded and surface-mounted MEMS sensors are used to monitor concrete and metal structures. “The growing construction sector will lead to a greater demand for piezoelectric smart materials,” says Chandrakumar.
Rise in R&D efforts
Transportation, healthcare, and smart packaging are among the sectors that have been receiving tremendous attention with respect to R&D. In the transportation sector, the military and aerospace sector, followed by the automotive and marine sectors account for the major R&D.
In the US, a considerable amount of funding has been offered by organizations such as the Naval Research Laboratory, Army Research Laboratories, Air Force Research Laboratories, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. A lot of this funding has been offered to the universities that have given rise to a lot of startup organizations in the field of smart materials.
In Europe, many similar initiatives involving Central European Chapter funded plans. In addition, defense programs, financed by the Western European Union, and a few of the large aerospace companies, are being undertaken by many institutions.
Technavio is a technology research and advisory company.