Microspheres, which are spherical microparticles 1 to 1,000 microns in diameter, are innovative raw materials with superior functionality that help improve the quality of final products and reduce costs. In recent years, microspheres have experienced excellent growth due to the emergence of new high-value, high-growth markets. These markets include biomedical, cosmetic, personal care and specialty applications, among others. Microspheres are increasingly found in many companies’ toolboxes.
The global market for microspheres reached nearly $2.3 billion in 2014. This market is expected to reach $2.4 billion by 2015 and $3.5 billion by 2020, registering a five-year (2015–2020) compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8%. While this projected CAGR rate is significant, it is more conservative than projections in the 2013 version of this report. Estimates for the microspheres market reflect the state of the constantly changing global economy, which has taken longer to recover from the recession than originally forecast by economists.
The microspheres segment of the composites industry is expected to experience a CAGR of 8.2% over the forecast period, driven primarily by the recovering construction, automotive and aerospace industries in North America. In contrast, the Asian market, which has experiences strong growth over the last decade, is expected to see slower growth.
Medical technology, the second-largest market for microspheres, should register the second-highest five-year CAGR among all industries, at 10%, leading to a market value of $810 million in 2020. Medical technology for microspheres was valued at for $504 million in 2015, for a 21% market share.
“Polymer microspheres, in particular, injectable polymer particles with a diameter in the range of 30 to 300 microns, are becoming widely used as biomaterial in clinical fields such as cosmetic surgery, reconstructive surgery and urology.