Monday, 22 January 2018

Structural Foams to Affect Construction Sector

Structural foams are thermoplastics produced primarily with the help of injection molding technique. They are lighter in weight and possess better weight to strength ratio compared to other plastics. Materials used for production of these foams are polyurethane (PU), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and polyethylene (PE). Due to characteristics of durability, heat resistance, and strength, it has found applications in construction, manufacture of automotive components, electrical components, wind turbines, and others. An instance includes structural foams by Aramcell International S.A., which are considered ideal for low-weight components such as wind turbine blades.


Innovations in Structural Foams

Customization of components or parts due to consumer demand has encouraged 20/20 Custom Molded Plastics Limited to use multi-nozzle injection control technology. The technology saves production cycle time and limits the number of molds to prevent scraps. In addition, industrial robots are integrated into the production process to save on labor costs.

The construction industry is increasingly relying on these plastics to conserve environmental resources like wood. For instance, Nomaco’s structural foam-based composites have high resistance and low weight and possess the potential to be used in marine and transportation sectors.

3D printing technology is also gaining traction due to its user-friendly, direct-ink-write features. It can be a viable replacement for foams created by conventional methods.

Market Insights

The global structural foam market is projected to exceed a valuation of USD 42 billion by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc. Increasing demand from automotive, material handling, and electronic and electrical sectors is expected to drive market volume from 2014 to 2025, the forecast period. Furthermore, demand for lightweight materials in light of stringent environmental policies is predicted to spur global demand. On the down side, fluctuating prices of raw materials as well as concerns regarding disposal of structural foams can impede market growth.

Prominent market players include Covestro AG, The Dow Chemical Company, Diab International AB, and SABIC.

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Friday, 19 January 2018

Smart Airports for Hassel-free Passenger Experience

Increasing competition in the aviation industry has inspired airline companies to develop airports beyond their basic facilities of getting passengers from one destination to another. Smart airports are developed by employing smart technologies to provide hassle-free travelling experience to passenger. The development of smart airports entails combination of multifaceted system of infrastructure, business, and different processes. 


Various technologies used to achieve overall efficiency at airports may include advanced security systems, communication systems, ground/air traffic control, and cargo, passenger, and baggage ground handling control.

Enhancing Personalized Experience

Airport applications comprise aeronautical operations as well as non-aeronautical operations. The non-aeronautical segment is estimated to show substantial growth over the forecast period (2014 to 2021). Non-aeronautical services like Wi-Fi, restaurants, retail outlets, smart parking, advertising, boarding facilities, conference rooms, and personalized services are driving the growth of this sector. Additionally, airports are putting in more efforts to improve customer satisfaction and user experience by offering many facilities and providing personalized information by recognizing the exact requirement and habit of customers. Several airports have also started offering a wide range of personalized benefits to customers, which includes discounts and offers.

Improving Efficiency of Baggage Handling with Smart Glasses

Smart airport solutions may include beacon technology, smart gates, mobile devices to navigate the airports and face recognition systems, air traffic management, baggage management, IP-based security monitoring, ticketing, information systems, and airways analytics.

Recently, Vuzix Corporation, a provider of smart glasses and AR and VR technologies, declared that the company has distributed M300 Smart Glasses to SATS. SATS is a provider of gateway facilities and food solutions based out of Singapore. SATS has started making use of Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses to digitize its ramp handling operations. Using these, the ramp handling staff will be able to scan QR codes on baggage.

Market Overview 

According to Grand View Research, Inc., the worldwide smart airport market is predicted to reach USD 3.8 billion by 2021. Factors including increasing competition in commercial aviation, construction of new airports, and upgradation of old airports can propel the market. Extensive use of automation processes can also create positive avenues for the market. Asia Pacific is expected to show significant growth over the forecast period due to rise in passenger traffic, upgradation of existing infrastructure, and implementation of novel technologies.

Some of the leading companies operating in the market are Siemens AG; Thales Group; Cisco Systems Inc.; Amadeus IT Group SA; and International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Polymer Gel Manufacturers to Tap into New Industrial Verticals with Extensive R&D Activities

Polymer gel is a synthetic water-soluble polymer that has a three-dimensional cross-linkage structure. The structure givesit excellent absorption and deformation capabilities. Spiraling demand for personal care products will translate into greater uptake of polymer gels.


Personal Care Segment to Hold Prominence through 2025

Key areas of application of polymer gel are construction, personal care, wastewater treatment, agriculture, and drug delivery systems. Among these, the personal care segment will be the leading segment through 2025. Polymer gels are highly effective absorbents of water and other aqueous solutions, owing to which they are widely used in personal care products such as diapers and female hygiene products. Widening base of infant population, growing number of working mothers, and rising disposable income are triggering the sales of baby diapers. This, in turn, is contributing to the growth of the segment.

Demand for polymer gels in estimated to experience a sharp rise in the agricultural sector in coming years. Polymer gels are economical and save resources such as water and fertilizers. Their application saves 40 to 70 percent of irrigation water. They are highly beneficial in areas with water scarcity. Shortage of agricultural land in urban areas is also promoting the adoption of polymer gels. Increasing shift towards smart farming techniques can supplement the growth of the segment.

Recent Development

Apart from the aforementioned verticals, polymer gels are gradually finding application in other sectors as well, thanks to increasing research and development activities. For instance, in October 2017, a research group from the Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo developed fluids that show amoeba-like spontaneous sol-gel oscillation. The fluid is made up of a polymer with a special molecular arrangement and improved its properties by incorporating a metal complex. This would help the polymer be a gel in reduced state and a sol in oxidized state. The liquid can be used for studying the movement of cancer cells from one part of the body to another, immune cells development, and cell division.

Market Insights

According to a report by Grand View Research Inc., the global polymer gel market is poised to rise at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2017 and 2025. Rising awareness regarding merits of polymer gel along with increasing hygiene consciousness among people can stoke the growth of the global polymer gel market. Robust growth of the cosmetics industry is anticipated to help the market in gaining significant traction.Asia Pacific will account for a large share in the global arena throughout the forecast horizon (2014–2025).

Some of the prominent companies operating in the market are Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd., BASF Corporation, Dow Chemicals, LG Chemicals Ltd., and FIMA Group Ltd.

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Photocatalyst market is expected to reach USD 4.58 billion by 2025

The global photocatalyst market is expected to reach USD 4.58 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Growing demand for photocatalysts as a self-cleaning material in construction industry owing to their low maintenance cost is expected to propel growth.

At present, the industry is in its nascent stage, with few manufacturers. Japan is expected to lead the industry, owing to the early adoption of the technology. In addition, high investment in R&D pertaining to the product coupled with several patents by the Japanese researchers are key factors contributing to the high growth.

The industry was dominated by the TiO2 photocatalysts, owing to early research on this product. However, initiatives taken by the manufacturers to develop innovative photocatalysts materials using zinc oxide (ZnO), and cadmium sulfide (CdS) is likely to challenge the existing material and open new avenues for the industry growth over the projected period.

The product has the ability to decompose organic compounds, which makes them suitable for air purification and water treatment application. Furthermore, in building and construction, the technology through its self-cleaning mechanism acts as a barrier for dust and stains, which is expected to propel growth over the next eight years.

High initial investment in the commercial manufacturing of photocatalysts coupled with proprietary on the existing technology by the manufacturers and researchers are expected to be the key barriers for the new entrants. However, wide scope in R&D for innovative technology development is expected to compel new players to invest in the business.

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Further key findings from the report suggest:
  • Titanium dioxide accounted for over 85% of the global demand as the compound is inexpensive, and has a high chemical stability on account of which it is a preferred material as a photocatalyst in several application industries
  • Self-cleaning application dominated the industry and is expected to be the fastest growing application, accounting for 51.9% of the overall demand in 2016 owing to its superior property including eliminating unwanted plants
  • The demand in Europe was valued at USD 400.8 Million in 2016 and is expected to witness significant growth over the projected period owing to economic recovery and growing building & construction industry in the region
  • Japan is projected to witness a growth of 9.2% over the forecast period with the industry growth primarily driven by self-cleaning owing to increasing technological advancements in the sector

Monday, 15 January 2018

M&As Keep Business Flowing for Pharmaceutical Fine Chemicals

Pharmaceutical fine chemicals or fine chemicals are pure chemical materials, in contrast togeneric commodity chemicals, and are developed in limited amounts. These chemicals can be generally defined as a set of products, intermediates and finished active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), and associated services. These chemicals are mixed with basic chemical substances to make complex chemicals, which find application in a wide range of sectors such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and agriculture.


Popular Market Trends

Fine chemicals manufacturers are focusing on collaborating with or acquiring other companies and increasing their capacities to expand their global presence.In the recent past, W. R. Grace & Co. expanded its fine chemicals development and production capabilities with a new Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP)-compliant Kilo Suite at their Oregon facility. The new lab can produce high-quality advanced intermediates with better consistency and control.

Its high-tech and cGMP-compliant research and development scale-up facility is equipped to manufacture multi-kilogram amounts. The new lab also includes an Aurora filter dryer, a variety of all-glass reactor systems with varied ranges (15-100 liters), integrated air-lock system, and a walk-in hood.According to the company, this expansion will help fulfill needs of their customers in a better manner.

Market Insights

Based on the findings of a new research report by Grand View Research, Inc., the global pharmaceutical fine chemicals market is anticipated to reach around USD 154 billion by 2025. Growing demand for preventive healthcare is projected to be a key factor driving the growth of this market. In addition, rising geriatric population base along with increased health consciousness among consumers is estimated to contribute toward market expansion over the forecast period (2017 to 2025).

The global market is dominated by major manufacturers, some of which are Albermarle Corp.; Angelini Acraf S.p.A; Chemada Fine Chemicals; Kenko Corp.; and W. R. Grace & Co. Novel product development, joint ventures, and collaborations are some of the key strategies adopted by these companies to increase market penetration and cater to shifting technological needs for different applications.

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Friday, 12 January 2018

Rising Use of Glass Scintillators to Ensure Border Security

Increasing energy needs worldwide have led to demand for devices that can detect presence of radioactive materials. Scintillators are devices that emit light in the presence of radioactive emissions. Glass scintillators are derived from lithium or boron due to their greater neutron-catching capacity. In combination with photodetectors, they can be used in detecting radiation. DAWN, a space probe launched by NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to study Ceres uses glass scintillators in its Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND) to detect thermal neutrons.


Myriad Applications

Applications of glass scintillators include oil and gas, neutron radiography, neutron spectrometry, and radiation detection.

Nuclear Threat Detector: Recently, Sandia Laboratories developed organic glass scintillators that can discern radiation at ports or borders. This is expected to discourage terrorists and prevent national security threats by detecting different types of radiation.

X-Ray: Medical imaging is essential in detecting hidden abnormalities or maladies. The glass scintillator derived by BOROFLOAT glass can sustain effects of radiation. The glass scintillator used in X-ray machines can illuminate better outputs due to its high resistance to radiation. In addition, it can be implemented in radiation-resistant windows in X-ray viewing rooms.

Market Overview

The worldwide glass scintillator market is anticipated to reach a valuation above USD 27 million by 2025, according to a report published by Grand View Research, Inc. Demand from the oil and gas and nuclear energy sectors is expected to drive market growth over the forecast period (2014-2025). Measurement techniques such as measurement-while-drilling (MWD) needed in shale gas exploration activities use glass scintillators for accurate data. This can positively impact market demand.

Emerging economies such as South Korea that rely on nuclear power for energy are expected to drive market sales during the forecast period. Shortage of helium is also projected to play a major role in driving demand for lithium-based scintillators. 

Prominent market players include Amcrys; Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc.; Scintacor Ltd.; and Hamamatsu Photonics.

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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Eco Fibers Promises to Emerge in Mainstream Textile Manufacturing

Heightened interest of corporates and communities in the green movement has impelled a shift towards usage of sustainable products in the textiles industry. This had led to increased usage of eco fibers in the industry. Eco fibers are fibers that do not require pesticides or chemicals for growth. They are mostly disease-free and naturally resistant to mildew and molds. Gradually, applications of eco fibers are increasing across other industries as well.


Demand for Organic Eco Fibers to Remain High through 2025

On the basis of product, eco fibers can be divided into organic, regenerated, and recycled. Organic eco fibers will hold a prominent position in the global arena through 2025. Organic fibers offer several advantages over traditional synthetic fibers, including less resource consumption, more revenue generation, and higher biodiversity.

Inclination towardsrecycled eco fibers is also expected to witness a rapid increase in coming years. These fibers not only reduce the hazardous environmental impact but also ensure greater returns to farmers. Fiber manufacturers are also focusing onextensive research activities for developing recycled eco fibers, which can cater to different verticals of different industries.a case in point would be American &Efird (A&E)’s Magic® that uses REPREVE®, a new air-entangled, recycled, polyester sewing thread. It incorporates Unifi’s Repreve fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. It provides a highly environment-friendly thread that can be used to sew activewear, performance apparel, intimate apparel, and athletic apparel.

Market Insights

Conducive government policies regarding manufacturing of bio-based products, coupled with rising concerns pertaining to the usage of eco fibers, can drive the global eco fibers market. A booming textiles industry, especially in emerging countries, can provide a fillip to the market, finds Grand View Research,Inc. in a study.

Asia Pacific will command a substantial share in the market throughout the forecast horizon (2014–2025). The growth of the region can be attributed to rapid industrialization and a thriving textile industry.

Some of the prominent players in the global arena are Grasim Industries Ltd., Polyfibre Industries Pvt. Ltd., US Fibers, Wellman Advanced Materials, and China Bambro Textile (Group) Co., Ltd.

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