The phase change material market size is projected to reach USD 1,004 million by 2026 from USD 477 million in 2021, at a CAGR of 16.0%. Phase change materials (PCMs) are compounds that absorb, store, and release a large amount of heat at a relatively constant temperature by changing their physical state. When an phase change material freezes, it releases a large amount of energy as latent heat whereas, when such a material melts, it absorbs a large amount of heat from the environment. Heat stored in the materials is called latent heat, due to which, phase change materials are also known as latent heat storage materials
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Inorganic phase change material accounted for the larger share in phase change material by type, in terms of both, value and volume in 2020. The increasing demand for inorganic phase change material from the cold chain & packaging; and refrigeration & equipment applications drives its demand globally. In addition, its non-flammable nature is another reason driving its growth and demand.
The cold chain & packaging application accounted for the largest market share and is projected to be the fastest-growing application in terms of value between 2021 and 2026. This is owing to the rising demand for phase change material in cold chain & packaging due to the increased demand for pharmaceutical packaging globally.
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The market for cold chain & packaging grew due to COVID-19 owing to the increase in demand for frozen and perishable food items. Lockdowns led to hoarding of these items by consumers, and supply of these products by the major online grocery stores increased leading to rise in demand for phase change materials globally. According to industry experts, with the development of vaccines for COVID-19, its demand is expected to increase further, thereby driving the demand for phase change material and leading to its high growth rate, during the forecast period.
Europe is the largest market for construction lubricants, followed by North America and Asia Pacific. The presence of stringent building codes, along with enhancements in energy efficiency in the region, drove the demand for phase change material. The initiatives of governments for the construction of green buildings boosted market growth as phase change material helps in saving carbon credits allotted to each building. The cost of energy is also high in Europe, which drives demand for phase change material in the region. In addition, variable climatic conditions in Europe also result in high demand for smart clothing and textiles for use under both, hot and cold conditions.
The phase change material market is dominated by key players such as Cold Chain Technologies, Inc. (US), Croda International Plc. (UK), Microtek Laboratories Inc. (US), Sasol Limited (South Africa), PureTemp LLC. (US), Henkel AG & Company KGAA (Germany), Outlast Technologies LLC (US), Advansa B.V. (The Netherlands), AI Technology Inc. (US), CoolComposites Inc. (US), Cryopak Inc. (Canada), Datum Phase Change Ltd. (UK), IoLiTec-Ionic Liquids Technologies GmbH (Germany), Salca B.V. (The Netherlands), Insolcorp. Inc. (US), Phase Change Energy Solutions Inc. (US), Climator Sweden AB (Sweden), Ciat Group (France), Honeywell Electronic Materials, Inc. (US), Phase Change Materials Products Ltd. (UK), Rubitherm Technologies GmbH (Germany), and Teappcm (India), among others. These players have a strong foothold in the global phase change material market as well as a strong distribution network across the globe.