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Conductive Polymers Market Overview
The global conductive polymers market was valued at $4,441.7 million in 2017 and is projected to reach $7,341.2 million by 2023, witnessing a CAGR of 8.7% during the forecast period. The market growth is mainly driven by the growing preference for lightweight and high performing electronic products, and rising demand of these polymers for a wide range of applications.
GLOBAL CONDUCTIVE POLYMERS MARKET, BY TYPE, KILO TONS (2013-2023)
Conductive polymers are organic polymers which conduct electricity; most organic polymers are insulators by nature. These compounds may have metallic conductivity and can be semiconductors as well.
Based on type, the conductive polymers market is categorised into polyphenylene based resin, polyaniline, polycarbonates, inherently conductive polymer (ICP), and others. ‘Others’ include acrylonitrile, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride, and nylon. The applications of polyaniline are in batteries, fuel cells, sensors, and supercapacitors. Of all types, polyaniline held the largest share in the market, contributing more than 30.0% revenue in 2017. The largest share of polyaniline is attributable to its attractive properties such as good stability at high temperature and in aggressive media.
On the basis of application, the conductive polymers market is segmented into ESD & EMI protection, actuators, antistatic packaging, sensor, capacitors, batteries, solar cells, and others; ‘others’ include medical, corrosion control, and display devices. The ESD & EMI protection application category contributed the largest revenue in the market, accounting for more than 25.0% share in 2017. This can be attributed to its properties of mitigating damaging transient surges, overvoltage, and overcurrent, in various industrial and consumer applications.
Globally, North America was the largest conductive polymers market, with a revenue contribution of more than 55.0% in 2017. This can be ascribed to the ongoing technological advancements by the major industry players for the development of electronics products in the region. The use of these polymers is increasing for different applications due to the various advantages they offer, such as electromagnetic shielding of electronic circuits, and the ability to be used as anti-static coating material to prevent electrical discharge exposure on photographic emulsions used in electroluminescent displays (mobile telephones) and others.
Along with that, the major advantages of these polymers are that they possess electronic and optical properties of metals and inorganic, which is driving their sales in North America.
Conductive Polymers Market Dynamics
Major trends identified in the conductive polymers market are the increasing adoption of these polymers in smart material production and evolving application in shape shifting and molecular electronics.
Increasing adoption of these polymers in smart material production is the recent trend observed in the conductive polymers market. Smart materials or intelligent materials are the materials whose properties (electromagnetic, mechanical, chemical, optical etc.) can be altered according to the specific function desired of them. Smart materials produced using these polymers exhibit optical, physico-mechanical, and electrical properties which can be altered with much ease. Such materials are increasingly being used to manufacture artificial muscles along with other prosthetic medical devices which utilize the ability of these polymers to change shape and size of artificial limbs.
Companies all across the world are investing heavily in research and development (R&D) activities in order to meet the growing demand for newer and innovative products. These polymers also offer a large scope for developing advanced products for the medical and technological sectors.
Growing preference for lightweight and high performing electronic products, and rising demand for these polymers in wide range of applications are the key drivers identified in the conductive polymers market.
Conductive polymer offers immense scope for developing advanced technological products for industries related to electrical and electronics. Nowadays, there is high demand for flexible and wearable electronics, displays, and other flexible organic semiconductors. Moreover, there is a growing demand of lightweight, high-performance materials used in the manufacturing electronic items such as cell phones, laptops, gadgets, and others.
Globally, the total value of electrical and electronics industry was around $4.3 trillion, with China, the U.S., and Japan being the leading manufacturers in the world. With the rising income levels in developing countries and fast-changing consumer preference for lighter and advanced electronic products, the demand for these polymers is growing as they are used in the production of lightweight electronic items, thereby driving the conducting polymers market growth.
The high cost of production of these polymers is serving as the major restraint in the market.
The major factor hindering the growth of the conductive polymers market is the high cost of production, including the raw material cost and the manufacturing processes. However, with advancements in technology, the overall cost of production is expected to fall as the production volume increases during the next few years. Also, producers are looking beyond the cost restraint and focussing on the overall cost benefits of using these polymers, which is expected to overcome the high cost restraint.
Conductive polymers market competitive landscape
Some of the major players operating in the global conductive polymers market are DowDuPont Inc., Solvay SA, RTP Company, 3M Company, The Lubrizol Corporation, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Heraeus Holding GmbH, Covestro AG, and Premix Oy.