Advanced Materials

Advanced Materials

Advanced materials are future materials promising significantreturn on investments to manufacturing firms. The Technology Strategy Board(TSB) defines advanced materials as: ‘materials designed for targetedproperties. Investment in research and development of advanced materialsrelates to enhancing the properties of traditional materials (viz. metals,polymers, ceramics, glasses and composites) to obtain superior performance fora targeted application.

Advanced materials can be broadly classified into the followingtypes:

Structural materials- The major classes include metals, metallicalloys and metal matrix composites (MMC); polymers and polymer matrixcomposites (PMC); ceramics and ceramic matrix composites (CMC); together withconcretes, glasses and natural materials, e.g. wood

Functional materials- These materials generally exhibit somenon-structural properties; such as electronic, magnetic or optical properties,and are incorporated into associated functional devices and systems; forexample, microelectronics, photonics and electrical machines. Materials underthis field are classified under plastic electronics, superconductors, magneticmaterials, electronic materials for use in extreme environments (e.g. SiC),compound semiconductors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and opticalmaterials.

Multifunctional materials- These materials represent a diverse andmultidisciplinary area, with links to functional, structural and biomaterials.These materials have high value application in aerospace, transportation;healthcare; packaging; energy; construction; security; consumer products anddefense industries. In addition, there are strong environmental, energy-relatedand sustainability drivers, increasingly being underpinned by legislation. Twoexamples of applications to illustrate this field are: damage tolerant,self-diagnostic and self-healing materials; and fully-integratedstructural/power generating materials.

Biomaterials- Biomaterials can be defined either as materialsapplied to a biological system or materials derived from a biological source.Applications in biological system include implants, tissue scaffolds andsensors. An application of biologically sourced material, biopolymers offersthe prospect of a renewable source for new materials with low carbon footprint.Biomass-generated polymers include celluloses, starches, chitosan and proteins.

Nanomaterials- Nanomaterials cross function advanced materialsconsidered to be a subset of each of the above categories, operating at thenanoscale (less than 100nm dimension). An improved understanding of materialsat the nanoscale, and the ability to control their structure provides potentialto develop a range of products with novel characteristics, functions andapplications. Classes of nanomaterials include thin films and surface coatings(1-D); nanotubes, wires and fibers (2-D); and nanoparticles, quantum dots andnanocrystalline materials (3-D).

Prismane consulting helps companies identify opportunities withinadvanced materials industry and guides them in market entry and marketpenetration strategies for their specific products.