While the global nanotechnology market is expected to experience steady growth in the coming years, it is market’s smallest segment set to make the largest splash. Nanofibers currently make up just 3.1% of the market, but since BCC Research first began tracking the nanofiber segment in 2005, the market has grown at a remarkable pace – approximately 27% compound annual growth rate.
Nanofibers may be small, but they are mighty
Nanofibers have a diameter of less than 1,000 nanometers, making them incredibly small. In fact, if you took 100 of them and lined them up, they would be about as long as a human hair is wide. However, their size belies their potential.
In fact, in recent years, nanofibers have proven themselves to be incredibly useful, providing an array of benefits in the fight against coronavirus. When utilized in mask technology, their unique and tough threading are used to block dangers, such as viruses, bacteria and pollution, from penetrating the threshold of the mask. In turn, this enhances protection for mask wearers.
Because of this, several start-up companies have produced nanofibers that help to capture aerosol droplets more effectively than competing technologies, while also providing additional breathability. With some of these manufacturers producing millions of masks every month, nanofibers are becoming a fundamental requirement in a post-COVID world.
Nanofibers at a glance
Nanofiber products across the life science sector represented the second-largest segment in 2020, with total revenues reaching $617.3 million across wound dressings, tissue engineering scaffolds and biomedical membranes.
While energy, electronics and optoelectronics currently account for smaller, but still relevant, shares of the market at 10.6% and 8.5% total, the remaining applications – i.e. consumer, sensors, transportation, instrumentation, thermal and acoustic insulation, defense and security – represent a combined share of 7.4%.
Looking to the regions, North America takes the lion’s share, closely followed by Asia-Pacific, where several countries in the region have declared nanotechnology as a strategic sector of technological and scientific importance.
In fact, NEDO, a national research and development agency based in Japan, have focused on the development of potential cellulose nanofibers across various applications. Prominent industrial fields with green growth strategy plans include the household, office, energy, transportation and manufacturing industries. Such initiatives are expected to create lucrative opportunities for market growth in the coming years.
Nanofibers are shaping the future
Nanofibers are making serious advances across a wide range of applications. Nanofiber-based products for the life science sector are achieving the fastest market penetration, while new generations of electronic and optoelectronic devices are being built utilizing nanofibers and nanowires.
What’s more, emerging applications are poised to leave the development stages and enter mainstream commercialization, while an increasing number of players are entering the nanofiber market, introducing new products and manufacturing process.
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