Posted: May 13, 2009

Nanotechnology and Growth in Niche Markets Nurtures Innovation in High Performance Fibers

(Nanowerk News) Research and Markets has announced the addition of Frost & Sullivan's new report "Global Technology Developments and Trends in High Performance Fibres (Technical Insights)" to their offering.
This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Global Technology Developments and Trends in High-Performance Fibers reviews and analyzes the developments that have impacted or might impact high-performance fiber technology. The types of high-performance fibers being considered in this research service include carbon fibers, carbon precursor fibers, fluorocarbon fibers, fibers made from high-density polyethylene and melamine, meta-aramid fibers, para-aramid fibers, polybenzimidazole fibers, polyimide fibers, polylactide fibers, polyphenylene benzobisoxazole fibers, and polyphenylene sulfide fibers.
Technology Overview
Nanotechnology and Growth in Niche Markets Nurtures Innovation in High Performance Fibers
In recent years, high performance fibers are being increasingly utilized in an array of applications across various industry verticals. "Innovation within the industry is alive and well, with the larger corporations investing millions to come up with newer fibers, fabrics, and designs," notes the analyst of this research service. "Industrial trends indicate that the huge investments are aimed at establishing new profitable niche markets." Synthetic fibers and polymers find favor over natural fibers such as cotton and wool and innovative strategies revolve around key themes such as safety, comfort, durability, and convenience. As goals vary for each application, properties such as tensile strength and elongation, weight, elasticity, non-flammability, moisture transport, and durability are doctored to meet the expectations of target applications. Potent forces are driving innovation in high performance fibers, the most prominent of all being the emergence of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology has helped push the frontiers of fiber technology.
Demand for State-of-the-Art Equipment in Ultrahigh Performance Application Fields Drives Market Prospects
The ability of high performance fibers to be deployed in a variety of applications is evident in the wide range of use in multiple sectors. In the protective clothing segment, para-aramids and meta-aramids are utilized in protective vests and face masks to afford protection for military personnel. Fire fighters wear fiber enhanced turnout coats to provide superior flame resistance. Manufacturers are striving to create coats for firefighter clothing that are softer on the skin. In the aerospace, marine, and automobile domains, metal structures are being increasingly replaced by fiber-reinforced composites for aircraft components and bodies. Substitution of metal structures by fiber-based polymers and composites is a clear indication of the extent to which progress has been achieved. The requirement for safer and stronger products in the industrial sector has triggered innovations in fiber usage, especially in the food industry. In the sports segment, high performance fibers have enabled the development of outstanding products such as high-tech swimsuits and racquets. The demand for tougher and lighter products is on the upswing in the military and construction sectors.
Application Sectors
Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following application sectors in this research:
  • Carbon fibers
  • Carbon precursor fibers
  • Fluorocarbon fibers
  • Meta-aramid fibers
  • Para-aramid fibers
  • Polybenzimidazole fibers
  • Polyimide fibers
  • Polylactide fibers
  • Polyphenylene benzobisoxazole fibers
  • Polyphenylene sulfide fiber
  • Source: Research and Markets (press release)
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