Grand Opportunity

Advanced Chemicals & Materials

Navigating through the technology hype

What is the grand opportunity?

More durable, sustainable, and cost-effective chemicals and materials are constantly being developed, and are making conventional solutions obsolete faster than ever before. Companies affected by this area find it increasingly difficult to remain at the forefront of the development curve, as recent advances have often been based on interdisciplinary research efforts. CamIn will guide you away from potential pitfalls and help you use the opportunities created by new, advanced chemicals and materials to enter new industries and markets, ahead of your competition.

Billion dollars expected minimum size of the global market for bioplastics and biopolymers by 2025


Percent compound annual growth rate of the protective coatings market, the fastest growing segment of the materials for the construction sector.

Which Industries Will Benefit The Most From Advanced Chemicals & Materials Technologies?

Download our latest insight identifying which industries will benefit the most from the advanced chemicals & materials over the next two years.
Which Industries Will Benefit The Most From Advanced Chemicals & Materials Technologies?

High-Performance Materials

Graphene-based Composites

Graphene-based composites can be used for efficient heat dissipation in smartphones, touch pads, and as a heat sink layer in electronics, offering low-cost, clean technology compared to silicon, glass or polymer-based solutions. Graphene is also proving useful for other heat-related applications, such as heat-adaptive clothing composed of graphene-enhanced smart textiles. These smart textiles can improve heat distribution in everyday garments and sportswear, and replace non-biodegradable synthetic textiles, offering lower-cost, lightweight, mechanically robust and adaptable solutions. Recently, graphene-enhanced smart textiles have begun to enter the market for heat-adaptive sportswear, clothing, and helmets.

Iron–cobalt–nickel–based Alloys

Iron–cobalt–nickel–based alloys containing aluminium and titanium additives are five times stronger and 1.5 times more ductile than the conventional iron–cobalt–nickel alloys. They can also remain thermally stable between -200°C to 1000°C, making them useful for demanding applications commonly found in the aerospace industry. The combination of nickel, cobalt, iron, titanium and aluminium nanoparticles achieved extended uniform deformation, preventing the formation of stress fractures, which are a frequent problem with high-strength alloys. This new alloy has potential applications in cryogenic devices, aircraft, and systems and equipment that must endure extreme temperatures.


Ceramic Ink for 4D printing

A novel ceramic ink for 4D printing, containing a mixture of polymers and ceramic nanoparticles, allows for the printed objects to re-shape themselves over time driven by external stimuli. For example, soft ceramic precursors printed with this type of ink can be stretched 3 times beyond their initial length, enabling the creation of complex shapes. By contrast, conventionally produced ceramics are too brittle for easy casting or shaping, making it difficult to produce ceramics with complex shapes using existing 3D printing technology. Applications of these 4D-printed ceramics will be found where complex shapes are required, ranging from 5G mobile phones to turbine blades and propulsion components in aerospace.

Multimaterial Multinozzle 3D Printing

Multimaterial multinozzle 3D printing allows for the printing of objects comprised of up to eight different printing materials and using multiple nozzles that can switch materials at up to 50 times per second. This technology enables more efficient printing of complex objects compared to current extrusion-based 3D printers, which can take several days to print large, complex, multi-material objects. A broad range of industries will be impacted by this advance, including aerospace, automotive, medical and robotics, and any manufacturers moving from conventional manufacturing processes towards digital manufacturing.

Speciality Coatings

IR-reflective Metal Oxidenanomaterial-based Pigments

Waterborne IR-reflective metal oxide nanomaterial-based pigments can now be produced using affordable and scalable solution synthesis and deposition processes. These inorganic IR-reflective coatings can be applied to cool windows, roofs, and house walls, resulting in energy reductions of over 10-15%, while offering wide operating temperature ranges (−30–60 °C). They can also provide long-term performance—lasting more than 10 years—as well as high IR light reflectance (>90%) and visible light transmittance (>90%). Such IR reflective coatings are already being used in the construction and automotive industries.

Antibacterial Coatings

Water-based epoxy antibacterial coatings with graphene additives have demonstrated capabilities in controlling the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and can provide surfaces that are 99.9% bacteria-proof. Compared to the current silver particle-based antimicrobial coatings, graphene-based coatings offer higher effectiveness, lower cost and most importantly, lower toxicity exposure to the end-user. These antimicrobial coatings can be applied to public areas and high-touch surfaces, and are of interest to many industries, including the construction, healthcare and medical, textiles, food packaging, and marine industries.


Polyethylene Furanoate

Replacing plastic packaging materials made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics with those made from polyethylene furanoate (PEF) plastics can provide benefits in terms of sustainability. PEF-based items have an enhanced ability to bio-degrade over time due to their heteroaromatic nature, but they will not degrade within the required time to be deemed bio-degradable. Nevertheless, PEF-based items will break down much more quickly than the similar oil-based PET-based items. Furan substituents can also serve as sustainable base chemicals for other materials, as bio-derived furan substituents are available and industrial processes to produce them at scale are under development.

Bio-degradable Alternatives to PE

Bio-degradable alternatives to PE-based plastic films can also provide benefits in terms of sustainability, as PE-based plastic is neither bio-degradable nor commonly recycled. Polymers based on polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) have recently been developed by BASF and shown to have excellent functional properties while remaining fully bio-degradable. PBAF-based materials can use a furan as its aromatic unit, making it fully bio-derivable as well, but is still at an early stage of development. Both PBAT and PBAF will completely bio-degrade, instead of fracturing into microplastics, making a huge number of plastic-based products more environmentally friendly.

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