The market for smart composites will exceed 5 ktpa by 2029

Multifunctional Composites 2019-2029: Technology, Players, Market Forecasts

Fiber reinforced polymers with: Enhanced electrical & thermal conductivity, embedded sensors & actuators, energy storage & harvesting, data transmission, self-healing, and adaptive response (morphing) mechanisms

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Fiber reinforced polymers have gained market maturity in numerous sectors and are forecast to maintain a consistent growth in both the medium and long term. This uptake is driven by their favourable blend of properties most notably being the lightweight mechanical performance.
The key next iteration for these products will be the concept of multifunctionality. This is the idea of making a structural part carry out additional role(s) beyond their current primary mechanical task. The added functionality can be diverse, and the emerging applications be outlined below.
This technical research was carried out through extensive primary research from IDTechEx analysts. For commercial or near-commercial technologies granular 10-year market forecasts are provided and company profiles of key emerging players are provided alongside this report. The overall market for smart composite material with embedded functionality is expected to exceed 5 kilotons by 2029.
Enhanced thermal and electrical conductivity is already commercially employed and is gaining more traction. This report explores the many routes into enhanced conductivity most notably through the inclusion of nanocarbon (graphene and CNTs) or metallic additives, coatings, mats, and wires. The main drivers for thermal conductivity are de-icing, heated tooling, and thermal dissipation. Electrical conductivity is again driven by the transportation sector with lightning strike protection, EMI shielding, electrostatic coating, and complete circuitry the main applications.
Embedded sensors can provide real-time part monitoring both in-production and in-operation. Structural health monitoring is challenging for composite parts with the aim to detect delamination, cracks or any other sign of mechanical fatigue. There are numerous competitive technologies in this field including a range of fiber optic sensors (FOS), piezoelectric wafers, and more. The obvious application is again in aerospace and defense but the role in Oil & Gas, overwrapped pressure vessels, and more should not be overlooked and are outlined in this report.
Energy harvesting and storage is a key area in an increasingly electrified transport sector. There has been minimal success in truly embedding energy harvesting devices with the continued emergence of solar skins deployed on the surface. However, energy storage is an important multifunctional development. IDTechEx believe this will go through two stages: the first-stage is embedding conventional Li-ion batteries within the composite laminar structures and the final goal is to have the composite act as a battery or supercapacitor itself. It is this second stage that has coined the termed "massless energy" where there are the greatest long-term opportunities.
Data and power transmission carried out by the composite part could remove the need for wires or signals and provide both robust and lightweight solutions. There are numerous attempts to achieve this utilising very diverse technology approaches ranging from the utilisation of electrically insulative coatings on carbon fibers to propagating surface waves between different dielectric layers.
Adaptive response mechanisms with embedded actuators is not a new concept with the idea or morphing or shape-changing wings over a century old. However, new innovations and deployment tests in both active and passive actuation makes this idea all the closer.
Self-healing does not enable any electric functionality but is highly explored within the research community and sought after by end-users. Autonomic vs Nonautonomic and extrinsic vs intrinsic strategies and advancements for fiber reinforced polymers are outlined and analysed.
Fully embedded circuitry and electronic componentry can be perceived as a future end-goal for this field. This report looks at the different routes into enabling this utilising both in-mold electronics and 3D printing.
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Table of Contents
1.1.Introduction to multifunctional polymer composites
1.2.Status of multifunctional composites by application
1.3.What is structural electronics?
1.4.Multifunctional composite forecasts
1.5.What is the end goal?
2.1.Introduction to composites
2.2.Composite combinations
2.3.Innovations at each step to manufacture an FRP part
2.4.Main CFRP players
2.5.Global forecast for carbon fiber
3.1.Role of nanocarbon as additives to FRPs
3.2.Routes to incorporating nanocarbon material into composites
3.3.Types of nanocarbon additives: CNT
3.4.CNT market and main players
3.5.Trends and players for CNT sheets
3.6.Types of nanocarbon additives: CNT yarns
3.7.Nanocarbon as fiber sizings
3.8.Types of nanocarbon additives: Graphene
3.9.Types of nanocarbon additives: Graphene platelets
3.10.Graphene main players
3.11.Introduction to incorporating metal to polymer composites
3.12.Embedded metal foils and meshes
3.13.Metallized fiber and fabrics for composites - copper
3.14.Metallized fiber and fabrics for composites - nickel
3.15.Incorporation of metal nanowires
4.1.Key drivers for electrical conductivity enhancements
4.2.Routes to electrically conductive composites
4.3.Technology adoption for electrostatic discharge of composites
4.4.Lightning Strike Protection
4.5.EMI shielding
4.6.Nanocarbon for enhanced electrical conductivity - CNTs
4.7.Nanocarbon for enhanced electrical conductivity - Graphene
4.8.Enhanced thermal conductivity - application overview
4.9.Composite de-icing - introduction
4.10.Composite de-icing strategies - overview
4.11.Composite de-icing strategies - comparison
4.12.Electrothermal de-icing - fixed wing aircraft
4.13.Electrothermal de-icing - helicopters
4.14.Electrothermal de-icing - Nanocarbon patents
4.15.Electrothermal de-icing - CNT research
4.16.Electrothermal de-icing - Graphene research
4.17.Electromechanical expulsion - de-icing composites
4.18.Thermomechanical expulsion - de-icing composites
4.19.EU projects related to De-Icing
4.20.De-icing wind turbines
4.21.Composite material with embedded de-icing technology market forecast
4.22.Heated composites tooling
4.23.Conductive composites for thermal dissipation
4.24.Pitch-based carbon fiber for higher thermal conductivity
4.25.Nanocomposites for enhanced thermal conductivity - CNTs
4.26.Nanocomposites for enhanced thermal conductivity - graphene
5.1.Embedded sensors for structural health monitoring of composites - introduction
5.2.Embedded sensors for structural health monitoring of composites - types
5.3.Embedded sensors for structural health monitoring of composites - methods
5.4.Comparison of fiber optic sensors (FOS) for composite SHM
5.5.Advancements in FBG sensors for composites
5.6.Coating FBG for inclusion in a composite part
5.7.Advancements in distributed FOS
5.8.Interrogator for FOS in composite SHM
5.9.Piezoelectric embedded wafers and nano-fibres
5.10.Embedded piezoelectric transducers for NDT
5.11.Continuous Vacuum Monitoring for aerospace SHM
5.12.Printed sensors for SHM
5.13.Nanocarbon Sensors for embedded SHM
5.14.Utilising the structural fibers for sensing
5.15.Aerospace incorporation for SHM
5.16.SHM for wind turbine blades
5.17.Composite sensors for the oil & gas sector
5.18.Embedding sensors in composite overwrapped pressure vessels
5.19.Sensing infusion and curing in composite manufacturing
5.20.Patent Analysis
5.21.Market Forecast
6.1.Embedded energy storage for multifunctional composites
6.2.Introduction to structural energy storage
6.3.Composites with Li-ion embedded batteries
6.4.Lessons from Formula E
6.5.Utilisation of thin film batteries for embedded energy storage
6.6.Stanford University - MES composite
6.7.Carbon fiber is useable as an electrode
6.8.Evolution and status of structural composite batteries
6.9.Chalmers University and KTH - coated fibers
6.10.Structural composite supercapacitor - main components
6.11.Electrolyte options for supercapacitors
6.12.Imperial College London - carbon aerogels
6.13.Lamborghini Terzo Millennio - MIT research
6.14.BAE Systems - composite supercapacitor and batteries
6.15.Significant technology demonstrators
6.16.IMDEA - Structural EDLC
6.17.Metal oxide nanowires for structural supercapacitors
6.18.Structural composite hybrid energy storage
6.19.Key challenges still to be tackled
6.20.Embedding energy storage conclusions
6.21.Energy harvesting introduction
6.22.Solar Skins
6.23.Embedded Piezoelectric fibers
6.24.Other embedded harvesters.
7.2.Applications and Challenges
7.3.Morphing wings timeline
7.4.Introduction to modes of active morphing
7.5.Piezoelectric Actuator Materials
7.6.Piezoelectric actuators for morphing composites
7.7.Shape Memory Alloys
7.8.Electroactive polymer composites
7.9.Flexsys - adaptive compliant wing
7.10.Active morphing airfoil
7.11.Active winglets
7.12.Corrugated Morphing Skins
7.13.Passive Morphing
7.14.Response to UV-light
7.15.Bend-Twist coupling
8.1.Routes to "self-healing" composite parts
8.2.Self-healing through rapid polymerisation
8.3.Self-healing through reversible crosslinkers
9.1.Data and power transmission - introduction
9.2.Utilising surface waves for internal data transmission
9.3.Coated carbon fibers for data transmission
9.4.Horizontally aligned CNTs for data transmission
9.5.Embedded wireless sensor networks
10.1.What is the end goal?
10.2.What is in-mold electronics (IME)?
10.3.IME: 3D friendly process for circuit making
10.4.Molding electronics in 3D shaped composites
10.5.3D Printing of functional fibers
10.6.3D Printing of composites with embedded sensors - generative design and SHM
10.7.3D Printing of Structural Electronics
11.1.Acellent Technologies
11.3.Continuous Composites
11.5.Imperial College Composites Centre
11.6.Inca Fiber
11.7.N12 Technologies
11.8.Tortech Nano Fiber
11.10.Villinger R&D

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