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Current uses of carbon nanotubes lie in the strengthening of material used for mechanical or protective functions. Carbon nanotube-based films are rapidly replacing indium tin oxide coatings as the optimum top layer for touchscreens as the former is superior in strength and thermal stress endurance. The high mechanical strength and lower weight of wind turbine blades that include carbon nanotubes is creating a major scope in the renewables sector.

Additionally, most key players are investing a lot into research and development efforts while simultaneously expanding production capacities. This is complemented by the growing demand for carbon nanotubes across major industry verticals owing to steady price reduction and increasing scope of applications.

Due to these reasons and other minor factors, the global carbon nanotube market is expected to progress at a CAGR of 22.1% within a forecast period from 2015 to 2023, in terms of revenue. This market is expected to be valued at US$1.6 bn by the end of 2016, and US$6.8 bn by 2023. By volume, this market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 20.1% from 2015 to 2023.

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By the end of 2016, the overall volume of carbon nanotubes is expected to reach 3.2 mn tons. This is expected to be the largest volume consumed by any of the major regions. Asia Pacific also shows the leading growth rate for carbon nanotube consumption and revenue till 2023.

Carbon nanotube demand in Asia Pacific is expected to receive a massive boost through an accelerated increase in demand from nations of India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China, in the industries of electronics and electrical components. The Asia Pacific polymers industry has found a large scope of use for carbon nanotubes, making it the largest application segment between 2015 and 2023.

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There is a major disparity in demand for single-wall and multi-wall carbon nanotubes, which arises due to the scope of use of each product type and the properties that they enhance. Multi-wall carbon nanotubes possess enhanced thermal conductivity and mechanical strength, allowing it to gain high demand from the manufacturers of super-capacitors, batteries, construction materials, and coatings.

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Key manufacturers of carbon nanotubes include Showa Denko K.K., Cnano Technology Ltd., Nanocyl S.A., Bayer MaterialScience AG, Arkema Inc., and Hyperion Catalysis International Inc.