The global aerogel market size was valued at USD 1,096 million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 4,103 million by 2031, growing with a CAGR of 15.8% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Aerogel is an open-celled, mesoporous, solid foam consisting of a network of interconnected nanostructures and exhibiting a porosity of more than 50%. It has low thermal conductivity, which makes it an ideal insulation material. Aerogel sponge is recyclable, making it environmentally friendly. Aerogels can be utilized in numerous industries, including aerospace, oil & gas, healthcare, building insulation, electronics, etc., due to certain properties. Innovations in the production process, better thermal insulation capability, and the easy and abundant supply of raw materials are the key forces driving the market. However, inadequate mechanical strength and high production costs are among the factors impeding the growth of the market. It has been dubbed the material of the future; if certain limiting factors are addressed, the worldwide aerogel industry may develop in the next years. It contains 99.98% air by volume, making its production incredibly complex, but no other solid substance comes close to aerogel's qualities, making it the current preference of experts. The players in the industry are investing in R&D to reduce manufacturing costs and increase production capacity in preparation for the anticipated increase in demand.
Traditional insulating materials such as polyurethane foam, mineral wool, rock wool, and stone wool have several disadvantages. In new construction, for example, substantial layers of these materials are necessary to achieve the requisite R-value, resulting in the loss of valuable floor space. Installing insulation as additional layers in older structures is more difficult and results in alterations to the building's look. Aerogels are anticipated to be a suitable replacement for existing insulating materials in new constructions to meet energy standards imposed by various regulatory agencies and to prevent structural compromises. As a result of its low thermal conductivity and thinness, aerogel materials can save a substantial amount of energy that would otherwise be used for heating and cooling. The increased industrialization and commercialization of areas, which has led to the creation of high-rise buildings, is anticipated to contribute to the expansion of the construction market, which will subsequently contribute to the aerogel market expansion.
The high cost of production is one of the major factors restraining the growth of the aerogel market. The high price of raw materials, the complexity of the manufacturing process, and the installation of production capacity by businesses all contribute to the high price of silica aerogels. Aerogel materials require extensive research and development, making the process costly. Due to the highly specialized production techniques, aerogel manufacturing requires a complicated facility. Supercritical drying is the most expensive step in the manufacture of aerogels.
On the basis of type, the market is segmented into silica, polymer, carbon, and others.
The silica aerogel product segment dominates the market for aerogels. This is due to the inorganic structures of these materials, which are not flammable and can withstand temperatures of up to 1,400°C. Consequently, their superior heat resistance and thermal insulation capabilities increase their demand. Silica aerogel is utilized in the production of aerogel blankets with fiber reinforcements, which transform inelastic aerogels into robust, stretchable, and hydrophobic materials.
On the basis of foam, the market is segmented into blanket, particle, panel, and monolith.
Aerogel blankets have significant applications in the construction industry. The structure of the blanket transforms the fragile aerogel into a flexible and resilient material. As they are very breathable, flexible, bendable, water-repellent, and wrappable, they can be employed as thermal insulation in buildings, industrial, and textile industries. In addition, they have low dusting and low powdering qualities.
On the basis of application, the market is segmented into oil and gas, transportation, construction, performance coating, daylighting LVHS, and others.
The transportation area is subdivided into the automobile, aerospace, and marine industries. The aerospace sector is gaining traction in the aerogel market. According to a Hindawi Publishing Corporation article, NASA utilized aerogel in various aeronautical missions because of its lightweight, excellent thermal insulation, and other advantageous features. The aviation, military, and defense sectors also require high-performance thermal insulation materials like aerogels.
Geographically, the global aerogel market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America dominates the global aerogel market. Aerogel is widely used in the region's maritime, automotive, and aerospace industries. The United States is the largest shale producer in the region; hence, the usage of aerogel in shale gas pipelines contributes significantly to market growth. This makes the United States the world's leading consumer of aerogel materials. In its space missions, NASA has successfully used aerogel to trap hypervelocity particles and as a thermal insulator. Other factors propelling the market in the region include the U.S. government's stringent requirements on the creation of energy-efficient insulated buildings and consumer awareness of eco-friendly products. In addition, extensive research in process and product development has a good effect on the market. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is concentrating on innovative insulating materials that assist industrial sectors in saving energy and money. The U.S. government also continually offers subsidies and promotes the usage of Electric Vehicles (EVs). In addition, the government is providing Manufacturers and component suppliers with various aids for product development and increasing EV production. Consequently, the recent development of a product line of aerogel thermal barriers for use in lithium-ion batteries in EVs is anticipated to create market expansion potential.
Europe is projected to be the second-largest contributor to the global aerogel market. Industrial establishment, expansion of the construction sector, and renovation of old buildings are some of the primary factors boosting the market growth. The major factor driving the regional market is the European Union's energy efficiency policy, which requires all buildings in countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy to reduce their energy consumption by 20%. The European government’s initiative, ‘Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings,’ can be achieved using silica aerogel as an insulation material for buildings, owing to its superior thermal insulation property. In 2018, Svenska Aerogel, one of the key players in Europe, launched a new material, ‘Quartzene,’ which helps increase energy efficiency by 90% and is less expensive. The European blanket aerogel market is anticipated to be dominated by Germany, followed by the United Kingdom and Russia. This is due to the high number of oil refineries in the country. In addition, Germany is home to the world's largest automakers, where demand for insulating materials such as blanket aerogel is consistently high. In addition to increasing demand for aerogel blankets during the projection period, the high rate of industrialization in Germany relative to other nations in the region will sustain demand over the next years.
Asia-Pacific holds a significant share of the aerogel market, owing to the region's expanding automobile and construction sectors. Rising countries such as China and India are broadly using aerogel as a thermal insulator for safer and more effective construction of buildings. Moreover, rapid industrial development in the region has encouraged the use of silica aerogel in various sectors such as automotive, oil and gas, construction, and others. Population growth in India and China is bolstering the silica aerogel market by providing impetus to the growing consumption of oil and gas. Aerogel's properties, such as ultralight thermal insulation material, have led to its widespread use in the development of spacecraft in China. The Aerospace Institute of Advanced Material and Processing Technology creates aerogel goods for Chinese space missions, as these materials are utilized to manage aircraft temperature and resist external heat, which would provide ample growth potential. However, volatile raw material prices and high aerogel production costs are anticipated to be significant market growth restraints in the Asia Pacific.
LAMEA is an emerging region in the global aerogel market. In Africa, aerogel is widely used in various industries, such as automobile production, construction, and oil and gas, among others. Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves, which thrives the aerogel market in the region. Mexico is the top revenue-generating country in the Latin American aerogel market due to the rising demand for aerogel in the construction industry, as well as the increased use of aerogel in the oil & gas and automotive sectors. In addition, the increase in the number of residential and commercial development projects drives the expansion of the building and construction industry, which is anticipated to increase demand for aerogel over the projected period. The housing sector uses aerogel as an insulator, utilizing the materials’ potential. The Middle East, a dominating oil exporter worldwide, is extensively using aerogel in pipelines, as aerogel blankets prevent pipeline compression resistance and reduce the amount of steel required in pipeline construction.
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