Widening Applications of Magneto Rheological (MR) Fluid to Fuel Market Growth

Over the past decade, magneto rheological fluid technology has witnessed significant development. Magneto-rheological fluids are increasingly being used in an array of applications, including robotics, aerospace, military & defense, electrical & electronics, building & construction, and automotive, among others. In addition, the magneto-rheological fluid technology is largely deployed in numerous low to high volume applications. Structures based on magneto-rheological fluids are likely to be the future, as the design of products in which accuracy, density, and the overall dynamic performance are important features. Since the discovery of magneto-rheological fluids in the late 1940s, research and development activities have played an imperative role in the development and growth of the magneto rheological (MR) fluid market.

Owing to the numerous benefits of magneto-rheological fluids, its scope of applications is expanding. The meteoric progress made by the robotics industry in the last decade has presented significant opportunities for market players to expand their footprint in the global magneto rheological fluid market landscape. In addition, due to the unique properties of magnetorheological fluids, it has garnered significant popularity as a smart material in recent times.

Increasing applications of magneto rheological fluids in dampers, fluid clutches, aerospace, and pneumatic artificial muscles is expected to generate significant demand for the same during the forecast period (2019-2027). Due to these factors, the global magneto rheological fluid market is expected to reach a value of ~US$ 4.3 Bn by the end of 2027.

magneto rheological fluid market infographic

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Surge in Demand for Magneto Rheological Fluid in Biomedical Field

Materials that change one or more than one of their properties, including color, size, and shape due to external factors such as stress, temperature, moisture, or magnetic fields are classified as ‘smart materials’. These materials play a significant role in the functioning of a device. Magneto rheological fluids have emerged as one of the most important smart materials in recent times, and research activities to discover new applications of these fluids are expected to fuel the growth of the magneto rheological fluid market.

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Moreover, magneto rheological fluid is increasingly being used in the biomedical field in a range of applications, including design of prosthetic devices, design of dental implant devices, and development of rehabilitation devices and the teleoperation technology. The demand for these fluids for the development and design of biomedical equipment is expected to grow during the forecast period. Within the magneto rheological (MR) fluid market, despite having a 5% market share in 2020, the medical & prosthetics application segment is projected to grow at a CAGR of ~20% during the forecast period – presenting stakeholders, in the current market landscape, with lucrative growth avenues.

Adoption of ‘Smart Materials’ in Haptic Actuators to Propel Demand

Despite steep prices, the demand for robotic surgery continues to grow at a steady pace, particularly in developed regions, including North America and Europe, due to multiple factors, such as minimal risk of infection and faster recovery process. Over the past five to six years, within the magneto rheological fluid market, several studies have been carried out to explore the potential applications of magneto-rheological fluids with haptic actuators. The demand for magneto rheological fluids largely made from silicone oil and iron particles in the robotics industry is growing at a rapid pace, as these fluids have the ability to change viscosity as per the magnetic field strength. The benefits of magneto-rheological fluids, such as minimal consumption of energy, straightforward system configuration, and faster response time, are anticipated to drive the demand for these fluids during the forecast period. Of the expanding applications of magneto rheological fluids, the robotics application segment of the magneto rheological (MR) fluid market is projected to reach a value of ~US$ 189.5 Mn by 2020, accounting for a share of ~18% of the magneto rheological fluid market in the same year.

magneto rheological fluid market segmentation

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The global magneto rheological fluid market is projected to expand at an impressive CAGR of ~21% during the forecast period. Surge in demand for ‘smart materials’, increase in awareness pertaining to the benefits of magneto-rheological fluids, and rise in investments in research and development activities are some of the major factors that are likely to propel the growth of the magneto rheological fluid market. Furthermore, ascending focus on the development of MR fluid-based equipment and systems, especially in North America and Europe, is expected to provide a major boost to the magneto rheological fluid market in the near future. Automotive and robotics sectors are expected to be at the forefront, in terms of the adoption of MR fluids, during the assessment period.  

Magneto Rheological (MR) Fluid Market: Overview

  • Magneto rheological fluid is made of magnetizable particles dispersed in either conducting mediums such as glycol or water or insulating oils, including silicone or mineral oils. A variety of lubricants or surfactants are usually added to magneto-rheological suspensions to avoid the settling of suspended particles and enhancing the MR effect.
  • Magneto rheological fluid rapidly changes its apparent viscosity and becomes a viscoelastic solid once it comes in contact with magnetic field. Similarly, in the absence of a magnetic field, the magneto-rheological fluid changes back to its original liquid state. Therefore, magneto-rheological fluid is extensively used in various applications such as clutching, braking, and damping systems in industries such as optics, robotics, building & construction, automotive, and aerospace. 

Automotive Sector to Witness Rise in Application of Magneto Rheological Fluids 

  • Magneto-rheological fluid is widely employed in damper systems, braking systems, and clutching systems, as the rheological property of magneto-rheological fluid can be changed by using the magnetic field. Within milliseconds, magneto-rheological fluid can transform from free-flowing liquid state to viscous or even solid state and back to the free-flowing liquid state. This property allows magneto-rheological fluid-based dampers, braking systems, and clutching systems to become more effective and responsive to changing road conditions and other factors, such as weight carried by the vehicle. Several vehicle platforms, such as Cadillac and Corvette, already use magneto-rheological fluid based suspension systems. Nearly 50% of all automotive dampers would be using magneto-rheological fluids in the next 15 to 20 years.
  • Thus, growth in automobile fleet is expected to drive the magneto rheological fluid market during the forecast period 

Lack of Awareness among Consumers to Hamper Magneto Rheological Fluid Market

  • Magneto rheological fluid is a new product. Consumers are not yet aware of all the benefits associated with the product. Therefore, adoption of the fluid is low. Thus, lack of consumer awareness is adversely affecting the magneto rheological fluid market.
  • Consumer knowledge about the product is expected to improve during the forecast period, as manufacturers of magneto-rheological fluids are taking initiatives to educate consumers about its cost-related and other benefits 

New Application Areas of Magneto Rheological Fluid to Offer Lucrative Opportunities

  • New applications of magneto rheological fluids in existing industries provides major opportunities for market players. For instance, magneto-rheological fluid was initially used in damping, braking, and clutching systems in the automotive industry. Later, its usage was extended to engine mounts and seat-adjustment systems.
  • Initially, magneto rheological fluids was employed in household appliances such as washing machines for damping. However, the recently developed haptic knobs, which are based on magneto-rheological fluid, are likely to be integrated into these appliances as well as electric and electronic products in the next few years.
  • Thus, rise in application of magneto-rheological fluid in several industries offers lucrative opportunities to the magneto rheological fluid market

Recent Developments, Expansions, Acquisitions, and New Contracts

  • In December 2018, Anton Paar GmbH opened a subsidiary in Spain, with offices in Madrid and Barcelona, with an aim to strengthen the company’s presence in Europe. It also opened a subsidiary Anton Paar Taiwan Co. Ltd. in Taipei, Taiwan, to expand its footprint in the market in Asia Pacific.
  • In May 2018, CK Material Lab obtained a patent for tactile information providing device. Tactile information providing device offers tactile information to users by using variation in shapes of magneto-rheological elastomers or electrorheological elastomers in response to an externally applied magnetic field or electric field.
  • In July 2017, Anton Paar ShapeTec BA opened a new manufacturing facility in Bosnia with the aim to double its current production capacity
  • On October 1, 2015, Kurimoto, Ltd. opened a representative office in Jakarta, Indonesia, to collect information for business expansion in the country

Asia Pacific to Dominate Magneto Rheological Fluid Market

  • North America dominated the magneto rheological fluid market in 2018. The market in the region is estimated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period, due to the increase in adoption of industrial robots in various industries, such as building & construction, automotive, and aerospace.
  • Europe also accounted for a considerable share of the magneto rheological fluid market in 2018. Increase in demand for haptic devices and rise in focus on the development of nanomaterial technologies are some of the factors propelling the demand for magneto rheological fluid in the region.
  • The magneto rheological fluid market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period, owing to the ongoing trend of automation and continued technical innovations in the manufacturing sector
  • The magneto rheological fluid market in Middle East & Africa is likely to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period. Growth of the market in the sub-region can be ascribed to the introduction of several housing and infrastructure projects due to population migration from neighboring countries. 

Magneto Rheological Fluid Market Highly Competitive

  • The magneto rheological fluid market is dominated by large multinational players. Key players operating in the magneto rheological fluid market are
    • Lord Corporation
    • Arus MR Tech
    • Liquid Research Limited
    • QED Technologies
    • Industrial Metal Powders (India) Pvt. Ltd.
    • CK Materials Lab Co., Ltd.
    • Ioniqa Technologies
    • MRF-ENGINEERING
    • Kolektor Group
    • KURIMOTO, Ltd.
    • Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd.
    • Anton Paar GmbH.

Magneto Rheological Fluid Market - Overview

Magneto rheological fluid (MR fluid or MRF) can be defined as smart and controllable fluids. It is a non-colloidal mixture of ferromagnetic particles randomly dispersed in oil or water, along with surfactants used to avoid the settling of suspended particles. MR fluid, when subjected to magnetic field, quickly increases its apparent viscosity and becomes a viscoelastic solid. Similarly, when the magnetic field is removed, the MR fluid changes back to its original liquid state. These properties are highly useful in applications such as damping and braking and clutching systems in industries such as automotive, aerospace, building & construction, military & defense, optics, and robotics. MR fluid requires state-of-the-art technology and is a capital intensive market. Therefore, just a few companies operate in the MR fluid market. However, increase in consumer awareness about the benefits of using MR fluid technology is expected to boost the usage of the fluid in the near future. Asia Pacific was the dominant consumer of MR fluids in 2017. This trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is estimated to be followed by North America, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.

This report analyzes and forecasts the MR fluid market at the global and regional level. The market has been forecast based on volume (liters) and revenue (US$ Mn) from 2017 to 2026. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global MR fluid market. It also covers the impact of these drivers and restraints on demand for MR fluid during the forecast period. The report also highlights the opportunities in the MR fluid market at the global and regional level.

The report comprises a detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global MR fluid market. Porter’s Five Forces model for the MR fluid market has also been included to help understand the competitive landscape in the market. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein applications are benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness.

The study provides a decisive view of the global MR fluid market by segmenting it in terms of base fluid, application, and region. These segments have been analyzed based on present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes the current and forecast demand for MR fluid in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The report also covers demand for individual segments in all the regions.

The study includes profiles of major companies operating in the global MR fluid market. Just 10 companies operate in the global MR fluid market. They are Lord Corporation, Arus MR Tech, CK Materials Lab, Liquids Research Limited, Ioniqa Technologies, QED Technologies, Industrial Metal Powders (I) Pvt. Ltd., ArProDEC, Kolektor Group, and MRF Engineering LLC. Market players have been profiled in terms of attributes such as company overview, financial overview, business strategies, and recent developments.

The report provides the estimated market size of MR fluid for 2017 and forecast for the next nine years. The global market size of MR fluid has been provided in terms of revenue and volume. Market numbers have been estimated based on key base fluids, applications, and regions of the MR fluid market. Market size and forecast for each major type has been provided in terms of global and regional/country markets.

Key Takeaways of Study

  • The report provides an extensive analysis of the MR fluid market trends from 2017 to 2026 to identify market opportunities and industry development
  • The report provides consumption and production of MR fluids by base fluid, application, region, and country to help understand the manufacturing opportunities and developments
  • The report also provides key industry developments of various manufacturing companies operating in the MR fluid market
  • The report identifies key factors responsible to build upcoming opportunistic roadmap for the MR fluid market at the global, regional, and country level
  • It provides comprehensive analysis with respect to investments, regulatory scenario, and price trend that are likely to impact the outlook and forecast of the global MR fluid market between 2018 and 2026
  • The report provides details of various stakeholders in the value chain to understand the opportunities for them as well as their role in the market
  • It offers a detailed competition landscape for key players dominating the industry to understand the competition level and the leading players in the world
  • Porters’ Five Forces and SWOT analysis highlight the potency of buyers and suppliers to enable stakeholders to make profit-oriented business decisions and analyze the strength and weakness to gain strategic position in the market.

The global MR fluid market has been segmented as follows:

Base Fluid

  • Silicon Oil
  • Mineral Oil
  • Synthetic Hydrocarbon Oil
  • Paraffin Oil
  • Hydraulic Oil
  • Water
  • Others

Application

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Building & Construction
  • Military & Defense
  • Optics
  • Electrical & Electronics
  • Medical & Prosthetics
  • Robotics
  • Others

Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

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Magneto Rheological Fluids Market

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