First developed in the 1930s, Aerogel continues to have a wide range of uses and demand is growing from the oil & gas and construction industries in particular.

According to a new report by MarketsandMarkets, the global market for aerogel is projected to be worth $547.9 million by 2019.

Aerogel is a porous, solid material with high thermal resistance, low density, low optical index of refraction, low dielectric constant, high degree of porosity, high specific surface area and excellent thermal, acoustic and impact damping properties.

The oil & gas industry is the biggest buyer of aerogel, accounting for around 74.5% of the market in 2013. Over the next few years, strong growth will also be seen in the automotive, marine and aerospace industries.

Geographically, North America is the largest market for aerogel, followed by the Asia-Pacific region. However, Europe is anticipated to be the most significant growth area in the coming years as a result of economic recovery and a growing focus on building insulation and energy savings.

Silica, polymer and carbon are the three main types of aerogel, with other types including metal and metal oxides.

Silica aerogel had the biggest market share in 2013 and is projected to continue to dominate the global market, with demand driven by factors such as its high insulating properties, cheap and abundant raw material availability and versatile process of manufacturing.

But the use of polymer aerogel, a more recent development, is increasing in several industrial applications and this type is expected to register higher growth. Several companies are conducting research to develop polymer-based aerogel materials for mass production, MarketsandMarkets noted.