Acoustic insulation application is the fastest growing application segment in the global aerogel market. The high porosity of aerogel reduces the sound velocity inside it, resulting in high sound absorption capacity. This is an important characteristic of aerogel that promotes its use as an acoustic solution. Efficient thermal resistance, reusability and recyclability of aerogel, lighter and thinner alternatives to conventional insulations, high durability and protection from fire are the key factors driving the adoption of the aerogel market.
Production of aerogel involves conventional evaporation in which the liquid is dried off slowly without affecting the concrete matrix in the gel to disintegrate from capillary action. Initially, aerogels were produced from silica gels. Aerogel is a material that is 98.2% air, and due to the lack of solid material aerogel is almost weightless.
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On the basis of applications, the aerogel market is divided into building insulation, oil and gas industry, aerospace, automotive thermal management, chemicals, electronics, acoustic insulation, healthcare. Based on forms, the global aerogel market is divided into powder, blankets, blocks and panels. In 2013, blanket constituted the largest segment in the aerogel market by form and is expected to experience substantial growth in coming years.
Aerogel can be inserted in firefighter’s protective gears, due to its thermal protective performance. Due to its high heat resistance along with extreme lightweightedness; it can be used as apparels in the cold regions. Besides, by having a high surface area, carbon aerogel can also be used for electrical energy storage and hydrogen.
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High production cost is the most important restraining factor for the global aerogel market, as the rising cost burden affects the consumers directly. High cost of production and dependence on general economic conditions are some other factors obstructing the global aerogel market.
Some of the major competitors operating in the global aerogel market are Aspen Aerogels, Inc., Cabot Corporation, and The Dow Chemical Company. However, there are various small scale companies spread across the other parts of the globe trying to increase aerogel production.
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