Auxetic materials are metamaterials or man-made materials having a particular structure on a macroscopic level. These structures contain hinge-like features which change shape when a force is applied. Auxetic materials often possess a foam structure and have relatively low-density. These materials may occur in nature; however, they are very rare to find. For instance, some rocks and minerals demonstrate auxetic properties. These materials have negative Poisson’s ratio, and they become thicker if stretched along their length. Furthermore, it becomes thinner when compressed length-wise. Auxetic materials are resistant to denting as well as fracture, thus have potential to fill major cracks in various end-use applications. Auxetic materials are utilized in various fields such as biomedical, filters, and auxetic fibers.
They are used to dilate blood vessels during heart surgery and can be utilized in surgical implants and prosthesis. They are also employed as anchors to hold sutures, muscles, and ligaments in place. Filters made from auxetic foam materials are easy to clean due to their pore structure; therefore, are widely used in the food & beverage industry. Auxetic materials play an important role in the manufacturing of crash helmets, body armors, and sports clothing, as they provide resistance against cracks and dents. These materials are also utilized in the aerospace industry.
Based on the material structure, the global auxetic materials market can be segmented into: structural material structure and functional material structure. Structural materials provide improve the mechanical or physical properties of these materials. Functional materials are designed to detect events or stimuli that occur during their lifetime. These materials are still in their developing stages and various research institutes are working towards scaling up the production of auxetic material into industrial level. Demand for these materials is expected to rise significantly during the forecast period.
Rising need for protective clothing in industrial and defense sectors and in the field of biomedical due to its superior energy absorption and impact resistance properties are prime factors driving the market. These materials possess few drawbacks such as they are often too porous and are not dense enough for load bearing. This is anticipated to hinder the auxetic materials market. However, rise in research & development activities, by various research institutes, to enhance their properties in load bearing applications are expected to provide lucrative opportunities to manufacturers.
In terms of geography, the auxetic materials market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. In terms of consumption, North America is leading the market followed by Europe. Rise in research activities for protective clothing and accessories by various automotive and space research organization such as NASA, is projected to increase the demand for auxetic materials in the region.
For instance, recently, the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) has filed proposal in field of “Applications of Auxetic Textiles for Military Protective Clothing” under the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. This would influence the demand for auxetic textile in turn auxetic materials in the U.S. market. Demand for auxetic materials in Asia Pacific is expected to rise significantly in the near future. Rapid industrialization in developing economies such as China and India is expected to fuel the market. In terms of consumption, the auxetic material market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is expected to expand at a low growth rate. However, product launch and capacity expansion by various manufacturers are expected to boost the demand for auxetic materials in these regions.