Nanotube is a nanometer-scale tube like structure that is available in different types such as carbon nanotubes, silicon nanotubes, inorganic nanotubes, boron nitride nanotubes, membrane nanotubes and DNA nanotubes. Nanotubes are sometimes also referred to as buckytubes.
Nanotubes may look like powder or black soot, but they are the rolled-up sheets usually manufactured using graphene. Nanotubes generally form hollow strands that are only one atom thick. Nanotubes were developed from fullerene which is a structure that is similar to that of geodesic domes. Nanotubes which are produced in the laboratories are generally strong and exhibits electrical and thermal properties. Nanotubes can be generally differentiated by the number concentric cylinders, cylindrical length and cylindrical radius. Few nanotubes also exhibit various properties such as chirality which is a general expression of twisting longitudinally. Multiple nanotubes can also be assembled into microscopic mechanical systems called as nanomachines.
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Carbon nanotubes are one of the widely used types of nanotubes. Nanotubes find a wide range of applications in manufacturing solar cells, actuators, paper batteries, acoustics environmental remediation and in several medical devices. However, the usage of nanotubes is largest in manufacturing several electrical devices such as circuits and batteries.
Developing technologies coupled with increasing demand for high end electrical products is expected to boost the overall growth of electrical industry. Thus, growing electrical industry is expected to augment the overall demand of nanotubes market. Nanotubes are also used in manufacturing a wide range of batteries such as paper batteries, solar cells and hydrogen storage among others. The growing applications of nanotubes in the medical devices are also expected to drive the overall growth of the market. Nanotubes are also used in the textile industries especially in fiber spinning to improve the mechanical as well as physical properties of the textile material.
Nanotubes are similar to that of direct dyes. Thus, the increasing applications of nanotubes in various industries are expected to escalate the overall growth of the market. High prices, environmental concerns coupled with several health risks are expected to hamper the growth of this market.
North America is the largest manufacturer of nanotubes market. The presence of large number of nanotubes manufacturing companies with several patented technologies is expected to further boost the growth of innovative technologies in the region in coming future. Asia Pacific is expected to be the major producer of the nanotubes market. China is the leading producer of the nanotubes in the region. Asia pacific represents the fastest growing regional market for nanotubes. Europe is expected to grow rapidly as a consumer, as well as a manufacturer of nanotubes.
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Arkema S.A. (France), Showa Denko K.K. (Japan), Nanocyl S.A. (Belgium), Hyperion Catalysis International Inc. (U.S.) and CNano Technology Ltd. (U.S.) are some of the key participants of the global nanotubes market. The companies in the market are majorly focused towards developing proprietary technologies that are advanced as well as innovative in nature in order to achieve competitive advantage in the market. Companies also strive towards developing their production technologies such that they can successfully achieve economies of scale and hence, capture a larger market share in the market.