Of the applications recorded for nanocomposites in 2005, automotive parts, energy and packaging earned top marketshares of 29%, 28% and 19% respectively, according to BCC Research. And although mainstream use of nanocomposites in personal care is still on the horizon, the right technology could place it in the running as a primary application.
Clay nanocomposites accounted for 24% of total nanocomposite consumption in 2005, followed by metal, metal oxide and carbon nanotube composites. By 2011, clay nanocomposites are projected to reach 44% of the marketshare—and it is this area that provides opportunities in personal care, as recent research by one manufacturer of naturally occurring nanotubes and other nanomaterials, NaturalNano Inc., has shown; specifically, its halloysite nanocomposites. Cathy Fleischer, PhD, president and chief technology officer of NaturalNano, is excited to explore the cosmetic applications for the nanotubes.