A consolidated global competitive landscape for aerogels was seen in 2014, with the four leading companies collectively holding 76.8% of the market in that year, reports Transparency Market Research. Aspen Aerogels, Inc., Cabot Corporation, Aerogel Technologies, LLC, and Surnano Aerogel Co., Ltd. – the leading aerogels producers – show a few common traits, including backwards integration. The leading players also follow up on a consistent trend of forming mergers and acquisitions across multiple regions to modify their market shares and to gain regionally diverse demands for aerogels.
TMR says that the influx of new players from China that is adding to the competition through the sales of low-priced and economical aerogels will eventually lead to more intensified competition for larger revenue shares. However, this stonewalling effort of smaller companies can be countered by monetizing the rapidly expanding scope of applications for aerogels across multiple industry verticals.
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Oil and Gas Companies Boost Aerogels use in Pipe Insulation, Players to Benefit from Demand Growth
“Good insulation is a key requirement for all oil and gas producers,” states a TMR analyst. “They use aerogels to insulate pipes internally as well as externally. The producers require insulation for miles of pipeline within individual installations, thus showing a high demand for aerogels,” he adds.
Additionally, the applicable areas of insulation in the oil and gas industry are often unfeasible for conventional insulators, thereby allowing more ground for aerogels to cover across the pipelines and electrical systems.
Slow Commercialization and High Costs Deter Growth of Aerogels Applications
The overall cost of aerogels depends on the raw materials used and the energy taken to produce the final product. Both of these are costly affairs for aerogels players, making the final cost of their products too high for some buyers. This is further complicated by the fact that there are cheaper substitutes available in almost all its current application segments.
As a result, the overall penetration of aerogels in developing regions is restricted, as these markets tend to focus more on price over quality. Silica aerogel, for example, is almost nine to ten times as expensive as mineral wool and polystyrene, two of the more commonly used insulating materials, which easily puts buyer preference on the cheaper ones over aerogels despite the superior insulating properties they possess.
Oil and Gas Industry’s Demand for Aerogels to Pump Market Revenue till 2023
The global aerogels market is progressing at a CAGR of 15.2% within a forecast period from 2015 to 2023. This market is expected to pull in a revenue of US$403.8 mn by the end of 2016 and US$1.09 bn by the end of 2023. The total volume of aerogels is expected to cross 44 kilo tons by the end of 2023.
Most of the aerogels producers are driven by the high demand from the oil and gas industry, which is expected to take in 64.4% of the total aerogels volume by the end of 2023. Approximately 63% of the total aerogels produced by the end of 2023 will be silica aerogel, making it the most consistently high demand aerogel in the market till then.
The information presented in this review is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled, "Aerogels (Silica, Metal Oxide, Carbon and Others) Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023.”
- North America expected to take up 55.6% of global aerogels volume by 2023.
- Most end-users prefer silica aerogel which is expected to constitute 63.2% of the global volume by 2023.
- Booming construction industry to take up second-largest aerogels volume of 12.6% by 2023.
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