The carbon nanotubes market size is estimated to be USD 876million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 1,714million by 2026, at a CAGR of 14.4% between 2021 and 2026. The demand and use of CNTs are rapidly increasing in medical, aerospace & defense, coatings, and other applications, especially in the APAC region.
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Technological advancements and higher production capabilities are making the production of CNTs more feasible for manufacturers. NASA uses a technology that does not involve the usage of a metal catalyst, resulting in simpler, safer, higher yield, and much less expensive production of CNTs. Companies are coming up with new technologies which can ramp up their production volumes and decrease production costs. Some of the technologies are based on recycling methods. For instance, throwaway plastic bags can be converted into multi-walled CNTs that can be easily used in lithium-ion batteries. The technique for converting carrier bags to nanotubes was developed by Vilas Ganpat Pol at the Argonne National Laboratory, Germany. The technological advancements in the production technologies of CNTs have made CNTs cheaper for various end users. These factors are supporting the growth of the market.
APAC is expected to dominate the market for CNTs, in terms of value, during the forecast period. The automotive, building & construction, and electrical & electronics, are the key end-use industries of CNTs. The expansion of road and transportation networks in APAC, coupled with the initiatives of governments toward industrial and infrastructure development, is expected to increase vehicle sales in the region, which is expected to generate a favorable impact on the market during the forecast period.
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Structural composites application was the largest end-use industryof carbon nanotubes, in terms ofvalue, in 2020. In the aerospace & defense industry, CNTs are used in protective coatings, thermal management systems, composites, energy storage, aircraft braking systems (carbon/carbon composites), electromagnetic interference (EMI), radio frequency interference (RFI), electrostatic discharge (ESD), and for lightning strike protection in aircraft. These sub-applications drives the growth of the structural composites application.
Continuous developments in the market, including new product launches, investment & expansion, merger& acquisitions, and partnership & agreementare expected to help the market grow. Several products are being introduced, and investments are made on increasing the production capacity of carbon nanotubes by manufacturers for different applications. New product launch has helped companies enhance their product portfolio.