Technavio has published a new report, which states that the superhydrophobic coatings market is set for impressive growth through to the year 2021.
Entitled Global Superhydrophobic Coatings Market 2017-2021, the report projects the market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33% between 2017 and 2021, making for strong growth over the forecast period.
According to Technavio, the study covered the present superhydrophobic coatings market and its growth prospects, and lists fluoropolymers, silica, metal oxides, and carbon nanomaterials as the four major product segments.
The carbon nanomaterials segment of textiles is one in particular -- which is seeing significant investment around the world. With the emergence of graphene in 2004, R&D in this area has grown exponentially due to the wide range of benefits it can bring to a variety of application areas.
Hailed as somewhat of a “wonder material” when it was first isolated at the University of Manchester, UK, in 2004, the one atom-thick material holds properties such as good electrical and thermal conductivity, a higher tensile strength than steel, and energy storage qualities.
Due to this, there has been a growing demand for superhydrophobic coatings in electronic goods, according to the report. As electronics are sensitive to moisture and water, superhydrophobic coatings are vital to protect them.
The report states: “Electronics manufacturing companies are also emphasizing on the development of waterproof coatings. For instance, Sony launched waterproof Xperia Z1 Android phone in the market in 2013, earning the highest sales in the market. In recent years, many electronic manufacturing companies have been launching waterproof electronic gadgets to increase the sales of electronic products.”
The electronics industry is expected to post a high growth rate in the Asia Pacific region and the Americas. This will influence the consumption of superhydrophobic coatings during the forecast period.
Use in textiles
These coatings, as previously mentioned, are finding more and more use in textiles, in part due to the rising scientific and industrial interest as a result of their wide-ranging applications in outdoorwear and protective textiles.
Adding to the extensive list of properties that superhydrophobic textiles exhibit, the report also states that they possess self-cleaning properties, which reduce the need for them to be frequently washed.
This reduced need for washing, therefore, means that they maintain their durability and overall functionality for longer, and lowers the consumption of resources, detergents, and water.
Kurva Samba Sivudu, a lead analyst at Technavio for paints, coatings, and pigments research, says: “Superhydrophobic and self-cleaning properties are being developed for textiles by lowering the surface energy of the textile fibres using materials such as carbon nanotubes, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and silica.
“The superhydrophobic property is attained by the 3D nanostructures, and self-cleaning titanium dioxide imparts antibacterial property and acts as a photocatalyst that treats organic compounds.”
Demand from solar energy
With the need for sustainability growing in both the industrial and domestic spheres, many countries have been working on the development of cleaner and green energy sources, the report states. Fuel cells, wind turbines, and solar cells are some of the potential technologies that are capable of harnessing energy from renewable sources, helping to fight the greenhouse effect.
As the cost of solar cells is one of the lowest compared to other renewable energy sources, it creates its own demand around the world. However, solar cells encounter a problem when dust collects on the panels, lowering efficiency by 10-20%.
Cleaning solar cells is a costly and dangerous process, but by applying superhydrophobic coatings which are capable of cleaning themselves through rain or sprayed water, the need for manual cleaning is eliminated. The growing demand for this renewable form of energy will subsequently see the demand for superhydrophobic coatings rise in the coming years.
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