Sol-gel coatings are a combination of inorganic and organic compounds prepared by sol-gel technology. The sol-gel process is used to convert small molecules to solid materials and involves converting monomers into a colloidal solution, which acts as a precursor for a network of particles. Sol-gel derived coatings have characteristics such as antifungal, antibacterial, wear resistance, UV protection, semiconducting or conducting, antistatic and others. They also show good oxidation control and chemical stability. They can be applied to substrates such as ceramics, metals, and plastics using various techniques such as dipping, inkjet printing, and spin coating. Some applications of the sol-gel coatings are the production of interference mirrors for optical systems, anti-reflection treatment of glass, conductive films in electronics and various types of protective coatings such as waterproof, corrosion-resistant and anti-scratch among others.

Rising demand for various sol-gel coatings such as self-cleaning, corrosion-resistant, and IR and UV energy resistant from the automotive and aerospace industry is driving the growth of the sol-gel coatings market. Moreover, the sol-gel technique is environment-friendly method for the protection of surface and can be used to replace toxic pretreatments and coatings such as chromate conversion coatings, which in turn has augmented the growth of this market.  Furthermore, increasing demand for nanostructured thin films and water-based coatings is propelling the growth of the sol-gel coatings market. However, the high cost of these coatings is restraining the growth of the sol-gel coatings market.

Sol-gel Coatings Market Taxonomy:

On the basis of Product Type, Sol-gel Coatings Market is segmented into:

  • Corrosion Resistant
  • Water-Resistant
  • Wear Resistant
  • Photocatalytic Self-Cleaning Energy Resistant
  • Others

On the basis of End-use Industry, Sol-gel Coatings Market is segmented into:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Building and Construction
  • Electrical and Electronics
  • Medical and Healthcare
  • Others

The automotive industry is the largest end-user of sol-gel coatings, owing to their applications in coating metal parts, paint surface treatments, metal structures, lamps, mirrors, and plastic hoods. For instance, sol-gel coatings containing fluorine functionalized alkoxy silane are used in the windshield and side mirror, while low refractive index material coatings are, is used in the rear-view mirrors.

Sol-gel Coatings Market Outlook

North America is the largest market for sol-gel coatings, owing to the stringent U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations such as 183(e) of the Clean Air Act (Act), which is increasing the demand for environment-friendly coating such as sol-gel coatings. Also, the increasing demand from the automotive and aerospace industry is further driving the growth of the sol-gel market in this region. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicles Manufacturers (OICA), representative of the global automotive industry, the registration, and sales of new vehicles in Canada were around 1,939,517 1 in 2015, which increased to 1,983,745 in 2016.

Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region in the sol-gel coating market due to the growing demand for coatings from various end-use industries such as automotive, building and construction, and others. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the automobiles industry in India is expected to reach US$ 260 to 300 billion by 2026 and the electronics market is expected to reach US$ 400 billion in 2022. Also, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicles Manufacturers (OICA), total motor vehicle production in China was 24,503,326 in 2015, which increased to 28,118,794 in 2016. Increasing demand for the automotive industry in India and China is fuelling the growth of the sol-gel coating market in this region Europe is a lucrative sol-gel market owing to the rising demand for environment-friendly coating materials due to the stringent environmental regulations. For instance, Directive 2004/42/EC of the European Parliament limits the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in vehicle refinishing products, paints, and others thereby driving the market for coatings low or free of VOCs such as sol-gel coatings.

Key players operating in the sol-gel coating market include 3M Company, Akzo Nobel N.V., PPG Industries, Inc., Socomore S.A.S., CG2 NanoCoatings Inc, CMR Coatings GmbH, Praxair, Inc., Nano Tech Coatings GmbH, Nanovations Pty Ltd., and Nanogate AG.

Sol-gel Coatings Market Key Developments:

  • In September 2014, Beneq Oy, (a Finland based supplier of production and research equipment for thin-film coatings), launched ‘nFOG’ wet coating technology. This technology can be used to scale-up the sol-gel coating process from the lab-scale into a full industrial scale. It employs a unique contact-free deposition method to coat the most sensitive substrates.
  • In November 2014, SCHOTT AG launched permanently anti-reflective and oleophobic (DARO) coating which can be used on SCHOTT’s glass ‘CONTURAN’. SCHOTT uses sol-gel coating technology for its CONTURAN DARO glass. The company claims that this is the first coating that protects the glass against fingerprints and soiling.
  • In August 2018, EPG AG announced that it has developed a colored sol-gel coating for aluminum parts used in the aerospace industry. This sol-gel coating offers good resistance against high mechanical loads and offers the uniform surface appearance
  • In August 2019, EPG AG introduced a new sol-gel coating system, ‘Saphiral’ used for sensitive aluminum surfaces used in the kitchen area. This coating is expected to offer excellent protection to the surface against scratches and chemical attacks by acids and alkalis.
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