The smart materials market is growing with a considerable rate due to the high convenience offering property of the smart materials technology to the increasing aging population in the world. Smart packaging in consumer goods is one of the major trends that can be seen in the smart materials market. The main focus of the manufacturers is expected to be on better design and optimal use of materials for producing packages that could easily be opened. Investment in research and development is increasing due to the factors such as reducing waste, legislation and demand for higher quality of life from consumers end. The smart materials market is expected to grow in the coming years due to rise in demand of the smart materials from the construction industry.
A material is considered as a smart material when the input stimulus of a variable changes the output of other variables which were not given as input. If there is a change in external environment such as light, pressure, temperature and electricity, then the smart materials would change some of its properties with respect to the change in environment. The reaction of different smart materials varies with the chemical structure of the materials. The materials sense the change in the environment and reacts to it by varying their properties for adopting the surroundings. Suitably designed structures are made from smart materials that can expand, bend or contract when a voltage or electricity is applied to them. There is a need for smart materials due to its certain properties such as lightweight, functionality, performance optimization and facility of preventive maintenance.
On the basis of type of products, the Smart materials market can be categorized as Piezo-electric materials, biomimetic materials, magnetostrictive materials, halochromic materials, shape memory materials, smart fluids, thermally responsive materials and smart hydrogels. If mechanical stress is applied to piezo electric materials, then they produce electricity, whereas shape memory restore to its original shape if there is any change in temperature. Magnetostrictive materials change its shape under the power of magnetic field and under the influence of mechanical stress; it shows change in their magnetization.
The smart materials market can be categorized on the basis of applications as sensors, structural materials, actuators and motors, transducers, energy harvesting devices, and mechanical structures. On the basis of end users, the smart materials market can be categorized as agriculture and food, leisure and sports, construction and infrastructure, transportation, and healthcare. Under construction industry, smart materials are mostly used in structural health monitoring, whose main focus is to monitor detection and loads of damage to the structures.
Rising piezoelectric devices usage and burgeoning artificial organ and bionics industry are some of the factors driving the growth of the smart materials market. Increasing number of end user applications for the smart materials is an opportunity for the smart materials market to grow at a considerable rate in the coming years. A challenge in transforming research and development of smart materials to end user applications is a factor that is restraining the growth of the smart materials market to some extent.
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