Coating is referred to as a covering that is applied to the surface of an object to protect it from environmental pollution. Other purposes of coating include decorative or functional. Coating can be applied to completely cover the surface or only to certain parts of the object.Paints and lacquers are majorly used as coating materials to protect and decorate the surface of an object. Recently, smart coating has penetrated the market extensively. Smart coatings are layers or films made of coating materials, which have pre-defined characteristics of changing their properties in reaction to external stimuli. External stimuli may include electric current, light, and pressure .Smart coating can be customized to meet the requirements of customers. Smart coating has gained popularity majorly due to its competitive advantages over regular coating in a wide range of applications. Smart coating is capable of indicating damage on aero engine, and oil and gas platforms. Smart coating is also used to reduce the overall weight of an aircraft. Smart coating materials are chemical resistant and weatherproof; hence they are used as a coating medium by both industrial and domestic end-users.
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Based on function, the global smart coating market can be bifurcated into self-cleaning coating, anti-corrosion coating, self-healing coating, self-dimming coating, biomedical coating, and others.Self-cleaning coating dominates the global smart coating market. Smart coating materials are majorly used for medical and military applications. Other major applications of smart coating materials are in the fields of IT, aerospace, food packaging, automotive, construction, industrial, household, and personal care industries.Rising investment in infrastructure facilities in the construction industry is expected to drive the smart coating market in the near future.
Europe has the largest market share for smart coating materials, followed by North America and Asia Pacific. Europe and North America are expected to witness marginal growth during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is expected to witness highest growth during the forecast period owing to increasing domestic demand from end-users industries, especially in developing countries such as China and India.
Increasing demand from end-user industries such as medical, military, and construction is driving the global smart coating market. Additionally, upcoming popular world events such as the world expo trade convention in Dubai, FIFA world cup in Qatar, and the massive infrastructural development plan of the UAE are expected to increase demand for smart coating materials in Asia Pacific. In 2014, the government of Abu Dhabi approved an investment of USD 10.2 billion to enhance the infrastructure and economic growth of the nation. However, Smart coating materials increase the weight of the final products and impact the aesthetics, thus hampering the adoption of smart coating by end-user industries such as consumer electronics and apparels. Also, environmental impact is expected to hamper growth of the global smart coating market, even though at a very low level.
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Factors such as increasing demand for smart coating and willingness by end-user industries have influenced the coating material-manufacturing companies to invest more on the production of innovative smart coating, especially in the Asian countries. Some of the major companies operating in the global smart coating market are Bayer AG, 3M Company, the Dow Chemical Company, Royal DSM, Dupont, Eastman Chemical, Nippon Steel, Debiotech SA,Balcony Systems Solutions, Ltd., An Catt, Inc., Research Frontiers, Inc., New Energy technologies, and Nanoshell.
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