Top Advanced Materials & Technologies in the Electronics Industry

The electronics industry is extremely dynamic as technologies, materials, and business models are continuously restructured to meet evolving consumer demand. The demand for miniaturized (i.e., smaller, lighter, and thinner electronics products), improved connectivity and computing power, faster data speeds, and most importantly, sustainability, is encouraging innovations in this industry.

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Computer Hardware & Networking Manufacturing & Construction Energy & Resources Industry Insights Heavy Industry

Oxygen in a Can: Why Recreational Oxygen Is Gaining Traction

Consumer oxygen is used by football players and movie stars. Professional athletes generally use supplemental recreational oxygen to help recover from stress in the body due to exertion.

The oxygen seems to help recovery, give more stamina, and provide an energy boost when needed. You see football players use it on the bench in between stints on the field. 

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Industry Insights Heavy Industry

What Makes Superplasticizers Super?

In concrete production, water and cement react to bind together fine aggregates (primarily sand) and coarse aggregates such as crushed stone or natural gravel. A relatively small amount of water is needed to initiate this chemical reaction (hydration) to transform the ingredients into concrete. 

However, additional water is often required to make the mix workable enough to be poured and finished, and the addition of too much extra water can decrease the strength of finished concrete. Reduced durability in concrete can lead to a premature need for repairs or replacement in the residential and nonresidential building sectors, as well as in such public projects as highways, streets, bridges, and dams.

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Water-Based Industrial Coatings: It’s Getting Easier Being Green

Watching paint dry? That’s boring. But knowing that as the paint dries, it’s water – not toxic chemicals – evaporating into the air? Now that’s exciting.

Water-Based vs. Solvent-Based Coatings

Water-based coatings, which employ water as their liquefying agent rather than chemical solvents, have made huge inroads worldwide over the past few decades. Consumers, professional painters, OEMs, as well as government regulators, have increasingly recognized the advantages of eco-friendly water-based paints, including low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, easy cleanup, and low odor.

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Ashes to Ashes: Precast Concrete Adapts to a Changing Funeral Market

2015 marked a turning point for the US funeral and cemetery industry. For the first time, more Americans were cremated than buried underground.

Cremations have been on the rise since the beginning of the 21st century, due to changing religious and social preferences, and a desire to economize funerals. This trend has put many segments of the funeral industry under pressure, including the precast concrete industry.
Topics: Materials & Chemicals Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

The Post-Election US Steel Industry

During the final two presidential debates of 2016, the candidates broadly discussed trade. In a brief exchange, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton asserted that the dumping of steel and steel products from China, Japan, and South Korea into US markets has damaged the domestic steel industry.

Now that he is the President-elect, Trump’s plans for the beginning of his presidential term include tenets that reflect these concerns, such as withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and working with the Secretary of Commerce to end unfair trade. 

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Oil & Gas Production Fueled Hose Sales Over 2010-2015

Among the various hose types, demand for fluid power hose stood out as a star performer due to robust growth in US oil and gas production. Over the 2010-2015 period, sales of fluid power hose increased at an impressive average annual rate of 21%, largely attributable to rising sales in the US oil and gas industry. US oil and gas output (in terms of British thermal units) saw average annual gains of 7.6% over the 2010-2015 period, nearly three times the 2.6% average yearly growth from 2005 to 2010.

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Heavy Industry

Eco-Friendly Products in the Commercial Window and Door Industry

Design trends in nonresidential buildings are increasingly making energy efficiency and environmental friendliness a priority. In few markets is this more evident than in the commercial window and door market. 

How is the commercial market different from the residential market?

The residential market is more directly impacted by energy standards, such as those of the ENERGY STAR program. These are regularly updated and often come with federal tax breaks for homeowners. Additionally, homeowners immediately benefit from the energy bill savings and more comfortable indoor environments associated with efficient windows and doors. 

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Shaw Acquisition Highlights Rising Demand for WPC Flooring

The recent announcement from Shaw Industries that it intends to acquire USFloors demonstrates the increasing demand for wood-plastic composite (WPC) flooring in the US.

WPC flooring — which consists of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) with a WPC core that serves as a backing — was introduced to the US by USFloors in 2013. This flooring’s attractive appearance and durability caused it to quickly gain acceptance among interior designers and homeowners. Seeking to capitalize on its popularity, several other hard surface flooring manufacturers developed their own lines of WPC flooring. 

Topics: Materials & Chemicals House & Home Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Material Trends in North American Remodeling Activity Begin to Favor Niche Products

Homeowners are remodeling again. They are on the lookout for products that compete with traditional high-end materials but come with a mid-range price tag. The underlying strength of the US housing market and the rising valuations of people’s homes are supporting robust activity in residential improvement, repair and remodeling.

This fact is underscored by the recent earnings of several big-box/DIY retail chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Home Depot reported in August that comparable (same store) sales rose by 4.7% in Q2 2016 over the same period in 2015 [1], and Lowe’s reported a similar 4.0% rise for its Q2 same store sales over 2015 [2]. Both stores expect full-year same store sales growth for 2016 to range between 4.4% and 4.9% as compared to the latest US Federal Reserve estimate of 2016 growth of approximately 2.0% [3]. Home Depot’s CEO, Craig Menear, specifically called out generally rising home valuations as the basis for his company’s optimism going forward regarding sales growth and overall residential renovation spending.

Topics: Materials & Chemicals House & Home Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group