Smart Materials

Smart Materials: The Future of Innovation and Adaptability

Smart Materials Market Overview

The Smart Materials market size is forecast to reach US$110.7 billion by 2027 after growing at a CAGR of 12.8% during 2022-2027. Smart materials have inherent and extrinsic qualities that are adaptable and clever in operation. Technological advancements in material science have enabled the growth of this market for the production of smart materials like photovoltaic-integrated electrochromic devices for smart applications, having specific required purposes that were earlier hard to manufacture using conventional materials like polymers, plastics, metals, glass, and ceramics. Smart materials hold some special properties that allow them to get back to their original state after removal of the external stimuli, like electric and magnetic fields, temperature, pressure, mechanical stress, hydrostatic pressure and others.
Piezoelectric materials (PZT), shape memory alloy materials (SMA), electrostrictive materials (PMN), magnetostrictive materials, and phase change materials have gained wide industrial acceptance in recent times. Moreover, ferromagnetic shape memory alloys, conductive polymers, nanotube actuators, and electroactive polymers are a couple of emerging smart materials used within the market, with strong application potential. Increasing use of smart transducers, actuators, sensors, and structural materials, is expected to drive the demand of the smart materials market during the forecast period.
Smart materials innovation among offshore industry companies has dropped off in the last year
Analysis of patent filings shows a shrinking level of smart materials related applications in the industry over the past year. Figures for patent grants related to smart materials followed a different pattern to filings – growing from 26 in the three months ending April 2021 to 27 in the same period in 2022.

Saudi Arabian Oil Company was the top smart materials innovator in the offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in Saudi Arabia, filed 13 smart materials-related patents in the three months ending April. That was up from 10 over the same period in 2021. Saudi Arabian Oil Co has recently ramped up R&D in smart materials. It saw growth of 23.1% in related patent applications in the three months ending April compared to the same period in 2021 – the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies sector.

The increased adoption of Smart Materials in the Sensors & Controls industry is due to high workability, Stability of structure, good quality, and Demand for making things better. The demand for Smart Materials also has other significant aspects, such as analysis, purchasing volume, costs, pricing analysis, and regulatory framework. Additionally, the increased demand of Smart Materials in many sectors also boosts the market growth during the forecast period.

End Use Industry

The Aerospace and Defense have the largest share of 44% in the Smart Materials market in 2021. The rising aircraft fleet and defense expenditure have increased the production of aircraft across the world, creating immense demand for smart materials, as it helps in maintaining and guiding the airflow across the aircraft wings and while take-off and landing. Also, these smart materials are applied to solve some common complications associated with aircraft engine vibration, flow separation due to turbulence, ice formation on wings, and high cabin noise levels. Every year, countries allocate a specific amount of budget for their defense sector, especially in such countries as the United States, China, and India, the governments have been increasing the national defense budget regularly, which is predicted to boost the smart materials market. These smart materials are widely used as nanorobots, sensors, combat suits, and others in the military and defense sectors extensively. For instance, China’s military spending is increasing every year, with around a 25% rise in almost every following year over the past two decades, which was around USD 10 billion in 1999 and has increased to over USD 250 billion in 2020. Overall, the market for smart materials in the aerospace and defense industry is expected to recover gradually through the forecast period and grow consistently.

Smart Materials in Healthcare industry

Smart materials are consistently gaining attention in the healthcare industry owing to their benefits and properties. These materials are utilized in biomedical devices mainly for their biocompatibility and biodegradability. The increasing consumption of smart materials like sensors and actuators to develop smart medical devices and supply a greater understanding of piezoelectricity within the medical industry is driving the expansion of the market. Also, the rising investments in medical devices in the healthcare sector are another major factor driving the growth of the market. For instance, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), in May 2020, the government of India announced incentivization plans of at least USD 4.9 billion over a five-year period to further facilitate investments in manufacturing medical devices, which will involve the use of smart materials. Thus, all the aforementioned factors are therefore expected to drive the smart materials market growth in the healthcare industry during the forecast period.


The sensors segment held the largest share of 34% in the Smart Materials market in 2021. A piezoelectric sensor is a smart device that helps to convert changes in strain, pressure, acceleration, temperature, or force into an electric charge using the piezoelectric effect. These sensors offer a variety of advantages like good frequency response, availability in the desired shape, negligible phase shift, and is of small size. The industrial segment employs piezoelectric sensors for a number of uses such as pressure sensors and sonar equipment. Moreover, the increasing use of piezoelectric sensors in industries like aerospace and defense, automotive, healthcare for medical applications, as pressure sensors in the touchpads of mobile phones, and as tilt sensors in electrical and electronic devices, is expected to accelerate the global smart materials market. Furthermore, the actuators segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period of the global smart materials market, as they are highly employed in the aerospace and defense industry. Hence, a positive growth curve for the smart materials market in various applications is expected during the forecast period.


North America region held the largest share in the Smart Materials market in 2021 up to 40%, owing to the increasing demand from the aerospace and defense industry, which has increased at a rapid rate, due to the rise in the exports and consumer base of the region. The United States accounts for the most important manufacturers of the aerospace and defense industry in the world. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), “the entire commercial aircraft fleet is predicted to reach 8,270 by 2037, due to the expansion in air cargo.” Also, the US mainliner carrier fleet is predicted to grow at a rate of 54 aircraft per annum, thanks to the prevailing fleet getting older. According to the International trade association, “Canada ranks first in civil flight simulation, third in civil engine production, and fourth in civil aircraft production”. It is the sole nationally ranked within the top five of all the key categories. The aerospace industry led the Canadian manufacturing sector in innovation-related investment such as R&D activities with an expenditure of over USD 1.4 billion annually (nearly a quarter of all manufacturing R&D). Hence, all the aforementioned factors driving the aerospace and defense segment are expected to cause a significant impact on the demand for smart materials market within the region over the forecast period.

Secondly, Asia Pacific is predicted to be the fastest-growing region over the forecast period. Europe is the second major exporting region for Smart Materials due to its capacity. Hence, with all such applications and robust demand within all the regions, the Smart Materials market is predicted to witness healthy growth globally during the forecast period.

Top Smart Materials Companies

  1. APC International Ltd.
  2. Harris Corporation
  3. CeramTech GmbH
  4. Kyocera Corporation
  5. TDK Corporation
  6. Noliac A/S
  7. Ametek Inc.
  8. CTS Corporation
  9. LORD Corporation
  10. Arkema
  • Harris
  • View
  • Solvay
  • ChromoGenics
  • G.RAU
  • Johnson Matthey
  • LCR Hallcrest
  • ATI Wah-chang
  • Arkema
  • Nitinol Devices and Components
  • Meggitt Sensing
  • Fort Wayne Metals
  • SAES Getters
  • Piezo Kinetics
  • Gentex Corporatio
  • Saint-Gobain (Sage Glass)

High cost of smart materials

Smart materials are very efficient materials and have high performance, however, it comes with high costs associated with the high level of investments made in the research and development of the product. End-use industries usually prefer and are searching for products that have greater efficiency with lower costs. Due to which, the industrial sector is cost-intensive and manufacturers are still searching for both effective and low-cost alternatives of smart materials. Additionally, in the automotive industry, active smart materials are gaining attention, but the growth might get hampered due to the high costs involved and would become a barrier to penetrate into the majority class of middle-stream background and would be seen upon as a futile investment, therefore, limiting the market only to high-end users. Hence, the high cost of smart materials will remain a restraint for the smart materials market growth during the forecast period.

Key points

  • North America was the leading region for the smart materials market, thanks to the rising demand for smart actuators and motors in end-use industries like automotive, electrical and electronics, and aerospace.
  • Europe accounted for the second-largest share of the market, followed by the Asia Pacific, and is anticipated to be the fastest-growing region of the market during the forecast period.
  • Growing consumption of piezoelectric devices in numerous end-use industries has accelerated the demand in the smart materials market, thereby being the most important shareholder within the product type segment.
  • The dominance of the piezoelectric product segment care is often primarily attributed to the rising demand in applications such as hydrophones, sonar, speakers, buzzers, gas igniters, and sporting equipment.
  • The use of smart materials within the aerospace and defense segment has increased and is predicted to grow at a rapid rate as compared to other industries during the forecast period.