Microporous Insulation Market size is forecast to reach $144.6 million by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 5% during 2020-2025. There is an upsurge in the demand for microporous insulation in various end-use industries such as oil & gas, aerospace & defense, due to its extensive set of characteristics such as low thermal conductivity, excellent durability, high compression resistance, low heat storage, and more. The microporous insulation material is fully inorganic which makes it non-combustible and suitable for passive fire protection applications. In addition, the microporous insulation materials are less thick owing to which they are extensively used in high-temperature environments such as in the aerospace industry, low-temperature refrigeration, and cryogenic applications. Thus, these extensive properties of microporous insulation are the major factor driving its demand in various end-use industries during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific dominates the microporous insulation market, owing to the increasing demand of microporous insulations from the automotive industries. According to OICA, the production of light commercial vehicles has increased by 10.2 % in 2018 in the APAC region.
Microporous insulation materials are less thick, making them suitable for use in high-temperature environments such as aerospace, low-temperature cooling, cryogenic applications, and other thermal insulation applications.
Microporous insulation products and materials are a composition of fibers, silica, and specially developed infrared opacifiers capable of reducing the process of heat transfer by absorbing and reflecting the radiant heat.
Also, the high manufacturing cost of microporous insulation acts as a restrain for the microporous insulation market during the forecast period.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, most of the countries have gone under lockdown, due to which operations of various industries such as automotive and aerospace have been negatively affected, which is hampering the microporous insulation market growth.
By Product Type – Segment Analysis
The flexible panel segment held the largest share in the microporous insulation market in 2019, owing to its superior set of characteristics such, non-combustible, high compressive strength, no harmful respirable fibers, environmentally friendly, resistant to most chemicals, and easy to handle. Also, flexible panels exhibit excellent dimensional stability and improved mechanical resistance to vibration and impact. They are energy-efficient and can be conveniently handled and transported. Thus, the superior characteristic of the flexible panel over other product types is anticipated to boost the demand for the flexible panel during the forecast period.
By End-Use Industry – Segment Analysis
The industrial sector held the largest share in the microporous insulation market in 2019 and is growing at a CAGR of 6.2%, owing to the wide demand of microporous insulations in the industrial industry. This is due to the increasing use of microporous insulation in various segments of industrial applications such as furnaces, bakes, ladles, foundry, and boilers in iron & steel, non-ferrous metal, cement, ceramic and glass industries. The microporous insulation material provides high performance and has fire protection characteristics owing to which it is highly utilized in the production of metal, iron & steel, nonferrous metals, and ceramic fiber materials industries. Thus, the increasing demand of microporous insulation from the industrial industries is anticipated to drive the microporous insulation market in the industrial sector during the forecast period.
By Geography – Segment Analysis
Asia Pacific region held the largest share in the microporous insulation market in 2019 up to 30%, owing to increased demand for aircraft in the region. The aerospace industry is increasing in countries, such as India and China. Also, microporous insulations are widely used in the aerospace parts such as insulating engine nacelles, and encasements, to prevent heat loss from the engine. This improves internal operating temperature consistency, by increasing the operating efficiency and protecting the outer casing. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), in 2019 China was the world’s second-largest civil aerospace and aviation services markets and one of the fastest-growing markets. By the end of 2018, China had more than 59 airlines and 3,615 civil aircraft, an increase of 10% over 2017. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), in 2018 the Indian government spent a total of $645 in the civil aviation sector. Also, according to Boeing India is expected to drive the demand for 2,300 aircrafts worth US$320 billion over the next 20 years. Thus, with the increasing aerospace sector in the region, the demand for microporous insulation will also substantially increase, which is anticipated to drive the microporous insulation market during the forecast period.
Drivers – Microporous Insulation Market
Increasing Aerospace Industries
The aerospace industry is increasing in various regions such as Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific. According to International Trade Administration (ITA), in 2018 U.S. aerospace exports to Germany amounted to $8.92 billion, and the trade surplus was USD 6.36 billion, representing a 67 percent increase over 2016 (USD 3.8 billion). In 2018, the U.K. civil aerospace turnover was approximately $44.6 billion, and the sector had almost a 17% global market share. And in 2017, Canada was the United States’ fourth-largest foreign market for aerospace exports, valued at approximately US$9.2 billion, a ten percent increase over 2016. Also, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is targeting US$ 7 billion in investment in MROs and aviation-related industries in Thailand over the next 5 years. And since microporous insulation is often used in the aerospace industries for high-performance thermal management and to maintain consistent operating temperature, it acts as a driver for the microporous insulation market.
Increasing Oil & Gas Industries
Microporous insulations are being extensively used in the oil and gas industry for applications such as cracking furnace, hydrogen reformer, furnace linings, and more due to its extensive set of properties such as good resistance to abrasion and burner gas flows, no shrinkage, lightweight materials, stabilized chemical composition, and more. According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commitment, Mexico is the world’s 10th largest producer of oil and holds approximately 11.1 billion barrels of oil reserve. Mexico has the world’s eight tightest oil resources, with 13 billion barrels of oil. Mexico’s oil production is also predicted to double to 5 million barrels per day by 2030. According to the Projections of UK Oil and Gas Production and Expenditure Report the oil and gas production over the period 2016–2050 is projected to be 3.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent higher than projections four years ago (in March 2015). In 2018, China consumed 276.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas, an increase of 16.6% over 2017. The increasing demand for oil and gas will raise demand for new oil and gas plant facilities, which acts as a driver for the microporous insulation market during the forecast period.
Challenges – Microporous Insulation Market
High Manufacturing Cost of Microporous Insulation
The base ingredients used to manufacture microporous insulation boards and panels are inorganic oxides of silica, zirconia, among others. Another element used in the process is opacifiers, which are thermally stable and have controlled particle size, and are distributed uniformly along the surface area. The end product obtained using these materials has the lowest thermal conductivity possible. But the cost associated with the whole process, and technology is three to five times greater than that of conventional insulating materials. In addition, the lack of commercialization and low industrial production capacity is also responsible for the high manufacturing cost. Thus, the high manufacturing cost of microporous insulation materials may restrain the market growth during the forecast period. However, higher volume production using more efficient chemical manufacturing technologies is expected to lower the cost of microporous insulation.
Covid-19 Impact on The Microporous Insulation Market
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the aerospace industries are facing issues such as delays in receiving insulation materials from the manufacturers due to the restriction on import and export of materials. Also, the shipment orders are being heavily affected due to the non-availability of vessels and blank sailing. Moreover, COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on the aviation industry. The production of aircraft has been disruptively stopped, contributing to a major loss in the total aerospace sectors. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), worldwide domestic flights have dropped by 70% and the loss of passenger revenue is reaching $314 billion. According to the Welsh Government services and information, globally (overall manufacturers) demand for production of short-haul sized aircraft is likely to drop by 15% (around 1,500 fewer aircraft out of 10,000) and by 30 – 65% for long haul sized craft, by the end of 2025, (around 600 – 1,300 fewer aircraft out of 2,000). With the decrease in aircraft production, there is a disruption in the demand for microporous insulation, which is having a major impact on the microporous insulation market.
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the microporous insulation market. In 2019, the market of microporous insulation has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the microporous insulation market are Promat International N.V., Morgan Advanced Materials plc, Isoleika S. Coop., Unicorn Insulations Ltd., Siltherm, Johns Manville, ThermoDyne, Unifrax, Elmelin Ltd., and NICHIAS Corporation.
In September 2015, Morgan Advanced Materials launched Min-K® Microporous Insulation with Exceptional Thermal Management Performance for Demanding Rail Applications.
In November 2019, Johns Manville acquired ITW Insulation Systems to expand its insulation solutions to the industrial market