"Smart polymers" market to grow 15% – report

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Photo by University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster A multiple-exposure image of a new shape-memory polymer reverting to its original shape after being exposed to body temperature.

The "smart polymers” polymer market is set to grow at a CAGR rate of 14.7% through 2023, according to a recent market research report.

Published by Dublin-based Research and Markets, the report, titled “Smart polymers - global market outlook (2017-2023)" suggests that demand for the materials will grow from $1.52bn (€1.27bn) in 2016 to reach $3.98bn (€3.33bn) by 2023.

Smart polymers also known as “stimuli-responsive” polymers are high-performance materials that respond to changes in the environment. The polymers are used in a number of applications, including in healthcare, biotechnology and automotive industry, due to their chemical properties. 

Drivers of growth, said the report, include the application of shape memory polymers in the automotive industry, usage in controlled drug delivery as well as growing demand for efficient technologies.

The downside is the high costs associated with the use of smart polymers and changes in healthcare industry - these are the key factors hampering the growth of the market in the forthcoming years, the report noted.

Among the polymer types, the shape memory polymers segment holds the highest share in the market, due to the broad range of applications, which run the gamut from inexpensive, reusable custom moulds and deployable components to dynamic configurable parts.

North America, according to the report, leads the global market with largest share.

The region is likely to remain in the leading position throughout the forecast period due to technological advancements.

Asia-Pacific is, however, expected to witness the fastest growth as a result of the rapid industrialisation of the main product end-users primarily automotive, textile, and electrical & electronics sector.

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