Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/14/2014 -- Nanoclays are naturally occurring or chemically synthesized inorganic minerals. They are clay minerals optimized to be used as nanocomposites. Nanoclays are used as adhesives for polymers to improve its thermal, mechanical, flame resistance and barrier properties. End user industries of nanoclays include aerospace & aviation, flame retardant, automotive, cosmetics & toiletries, biomaterials, medical, packaging, dyes and pigments and paints & coatings among others.
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Growing demand from packaging and coatings application is expected to drive the market for nanoclays. Packaging application of nanoclays is expected to be the highest growing application due to high performance and hygienic nature of nanoclays based materials. Packaging application include consumer packaging, flexible packaging, food packaging and protective packaging. The factors boosting the demand for packaging are lifestyle, end use product demand, distribution and renewability. In addition, growing demand for nanoclays based nanocomposites is expected to drive the market growth.
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Nanocomposites find applications in automotive parts and marine coatings as well as engine parts. Nanoclays are used as coatings and adhesives to protect the materials from corrosion, other chemicals and heat. Additionally, nanoclay composites replace the metal and steel parts to reduce the weight in automobiles and marine. Reducing the weight of machine parts helps in improving the efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Further, rising demand from medical industry is expected to fuel the nanoclays market growth. Nanoclays are claimed to have application in developing new bones in humans in patients having bone damage and bone decay. They can be also used for drug delivery for treatment of various diseases. For example, calcium nanoclays are used in treatment of colitis, hemorrhoids, intestinal problems acne, stomach ulcers and anemia.
However, huge capital investment and high production cost are expected to hamper the market growth. Production of nanoclays requires state of art machineries as quality and purity of the nanoclays are very important. Nanoclays are inorganic minerals hence; mining issues and supply of raw materials are major concerns for the players that may hamper the market growth. Research & development leading to technological advancement in the field of nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities for the players in this market.
North America was the largest market for nanoclays in terms of consumption and production. Growing demand from coatings and packaging application is expected to drive the market for nanoclays in this region. Composites made from nanoclays are used in aerospace and automotive applications. This application segment is expected to show highest growth rate in this region. North America was followed by Asia Pacific in terms of consumption. High demand from automotive and paints and coatings industry is expected anticipated to drive the market for nanoclays in this region. Changing lifestyle and growing income of middle class in countries such as China and India are expected to drive the demand for nanoclays in packaging application. The demand for nanoclays based composites is from wind energy and automotive applications where reducing weight of machine parts is the primary focus to reduce carbon emissions.
Global market for nanoclays is concentrated with few multinationals having high shares. The companies are required to have high end technology to produce nanoclays, hence the capital and production cost is high. High capital investment and high production cost is affecting entry of new small entrants. Some of the market players in this industry segment are FCC China, Southern Clay Products Inc., Techmer, Nanocor Corporation, Elementis Specialties, Kowa Company Ltd., Sum Chemical, Unicoop, Ube Industries and Kunimine Industries Co. Ltd. among others.
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