Published February 24, 2023

According to The Insight Partners, “Wearable Materials Market Forecast to 2027 – COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis by Type (Silicones, Polyurethanes, Fluoroelastomers, and Others), Function (Energy Harvesting, Sensing, Thermoelectricity, Luminescent, Warming and Cooling, and Others), and Application (Consumer Electronics, Medical, Industrial, and Others)”, the global wearable materials market size is witnessing extensive growth by rising demand of wearable and portable electronic devices, popularity of IoT and adoption of wearables in multiple application areas.

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Global Wearable Materials Market: Competitive Landscape

The major players operating in the global wearable materials market include Arkema, Momentive, The Lubrizol Corporation, Wacker Chemie AG, Covestro AG, DSM, Solvay S.A, Shin-Itsu, BASF SE and DuPont among many others. The major players in the wearable material market are focused on strategies such as expansion and research and development to increase the geographical presence and consumer base globally.

Wearables are being used more and more in aerospace and defense, and this trend is likely to pick up momentum as the technology matures. Wearable devices and displays have a vital role to play. In a defense system the performance is entirely dependent upon the soldiers’ physical condition, armed forces are using smart biosensors for monitoring and sensing soldiers’ vital signs and injuries. Various types of sensor can be attached to their clothes to monitor breathing, heart rate and hydration, for example. A smart wearable material for human motion detection, stretchable sensors, and stretchable light‐emitting diodes (LEDs), comprising carbon nanotube (CNT)/fluoroelastomer (FKM) nanocomposite is developed. A double‐percolated CNT network with ultralow filler contents provides a wide range of low to high stretchability with high sensitivities. The sensor is mechanically robust and distinguishes applied deformations of various body movements. Smart clothing’s wireless communication capabilities enable soldiers’ location, safety and potential hazards to be monitored with greater accuracy. Advances in materials and robotics are driving innovation in smart wearables for defense. Wearable e-wearable materials are a new field with opportunities to build innovative products that can revolutionize the way that soldiers interact with their garments. For example, carbon nanotubes can be used to make devices lighter and more flexible. They are used, among other things, to make flexible touchscreens that can be integrated seamlessly into clothing.

The increase in adoption of wearable technology has generated a significant amount of demand for materials, which could withstand the wear and tear due to daily usage. Further, such materials are comparatively lighter in weight and are perceived to be comfortable and flexible, thus preferably find application across diversified application bases in terms of wearable devices. Such materials are used in the production of fit bands, smart watches, fitness trackers, medical devices to gauge the actual body conditions.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Global Wearable Materials Market:

The COVID-19 first began in Wuhan (China) during December 2019 and since then it has spread at a fast pace across the globe. As of August 2020, US, Brazil, India, Russia, Spain and UK are some of the worst affected countries in terms confirmed cases and reported deaths. The COVID-19 has been affecting economies and industries in various countries due to lockdowns, travel bans, and business shutdowns. Consumer electronics is one the world’s major industries suffering serious disruptions such as supply chain breaks, technology events cancellations, and office shutdowns as a result of this outbreak. For instance, China is the global hub of manufacturing and largest raw material supplier for various industries and it is also one of the worst affected countries. The lockdown of various plants and factories in China is affecting the global supply chains and negatively impacting the manufacturing, delivery schedules, and sales of various materials. Various companies have already announced possible delays in product deliveries and slump in future sales of their products. In addition to this, the global travel bans imposed by countries in Europe, Asia, and North America are affecting the business collaborations and partnerships opportunities. All these factors are anticipated to affect the industries in a negative manner and thus act as restraining factor for the growth of various markets related to this industry in the coming months.

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In 2019, Asia Pacific contributed to the largest share in the global wearable materials market. Growth in urbanization and surge in the middle-class population support the wearable materials market in Asia Pacific. China is considered one of the significant markets for wearable materials, in terms of production and consumption, followed by Japan, India, South Korea, and Vietnam. Rapid urbanization coupled with increase in disposable income and shift in consumer lifestyle are some of the potential drivers facilitating the growth of the wearable materials market in Asia Pacific. Further, the growth of end-use industries, such as medical and healthcare, automotive, and electrical and electronics, along with strong presence of leading manufacturers has significantly driven the growth of the wearable materials market in the region.

Based on type, the wearable materials market is categorized into silicones, polyurethanes, fluoroelastomers, and others. In 2019, the silicones segment held the largest share in the global wearable materials market. Silicone is a versatile material and it is well known for its permeability, adhesion, transparency, and biocompatibility properties. Silicones are considered noncytotoxic. They are quite skin friendly with low interfacial bonding and greater flowability for stable adhesion. These materials can be modified according to specific requirements and are, therefore, considered as ideal materials to be used in skin care applications. Furthermore, compared to other organic polymers, silicones are much more breathable and comfortable to wear. Such materials are being used increasingly in the production of wearable medical and consumer electronics devices. These factors further propel the growth of the wearable materials market globally.

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