Application of organo-modified montmorillonite (MMT), also known as “Nanoclay,” in the reinforcement of polymer-based composites has managed to attract a lot of attention from the industrial sectors. Addition of tiny amounts of nanoclay significantly augments the mechanical properties of pristine polymers. Nanoclay reinforcements are utilized in various applications for the enhancement of mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. This includes hybrid phenolic friction composites, medium density fiberboard (MDF), liquid silicone rubber, fibers, polymer films, nonwovens, and other composite materials. MDF is wood-based composite used primarily in the furniture industry. Nanoclay reinforcement has found an extensive application base across various industries including adhesives, cable inks, coatings, pharmaceuticals, and automotives.
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Nanoclay reinforcements is anticipated to grow into one of the most attractive segments in the nanotechnology market due to low manufacturing cost and ready availability of raw materials. The global nanoclay reinforcements market is anticipated to witness steady growth during the next few years due to rising demand for reinforced plastics in automobiles, aerospace, electronics, and construction industries. The nanoclay reinforcement market has expanded significantly during the past few years due to rising demand across companies manufacturing plastics. This trend is likely to continue during the forecast period. Rapid growth of these end-use industries is anticipated to further augment the nanoclay reinforcement market.
Production of MDF has been on a rise during the past few years owing to rapid growth of the furniture industry in Asia Pacific. This trend is estimated to boost the nanoclay reinforcement market during the next few years. Application of nanoclay reinforcement in liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is expected to witness strong growth during the next few years due to increasing demand for nanoclay-reinforced LSR in electrical, medical, automotive, and aerospace industries. Growth in application of nanoclay in reinforcement of polymer films, nonwovens, and fibers (including nylon 6, injection-molded polypropylene, and melt spun fiber) is projected to be one of the factors driving the market during the next few years.
North America has been the strongest market for nanoclay reinforcement in the past few years, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Increase in research and development activities related to nanomaterial and its technologies by major market players, which are supported by governmental initiatives, has proved to be a critical market driver in North American. Europe and Asia Pacific are anticipated to witness significant growth during the next few years due to rising demand for nanoclay reinforcement in end-use industries. Additionally, technological advancement along with increasing investment in nanotechnology research activities is expected to augment market growth in the near future. Development of bio-based nanoclay reinforcements such as soy-based unsaturated polyesters is likely to offer new opportunities for market growth during the next few years. Soy-based unsaturated polyester reinforcements exhibit much higher efficiencies.
Some of the major players in the nanoclay reinforcement market include Southern Clay Products Inc., Nanocor Inc., RTP Company, Crystal Nanoclay Pvt. Ltd., NanoClay and Technologies Inc, Nanoshel LLC among others.
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