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The global thermal interface material (TIM) market is showing significant growth, due to the growing demand in thermal management to make electronic equipment function smoothly. Moreover, the increasing demand is due to its application in sectors, such as computer hardware, electrical & electronics, telecom and automobile. The increasing demand for thermal interface materials is largely driven by better connectivity, faster computing, and increasing awareness about the energy efficient lighting solutions in form of LED Lights, stylish electronic equipment, and electrification of transportation modes. With electronic systems becoming smaller, durable, compact and portable, the opportunities for betterment of TIM in the consumer durable and industrial computing hardware application will increase.
A thermal interface material (TIM) is a thermally conductive material, which acts as an interface between the heat sink and heat source. To minimize the interface, the thermal resistance between the source and heat sinks, while the small imperfections/void is filled with thermal interface materials. With the ongoing increase of power densities in electronics, the thermal interface between heat source and heat-sink becomes a larger challenge. Basically, TIM’s have been micro-structured, but the R&D is keenly focused on nano-Structuring. This includes using nano-materials, such as carbon nanotubes or graphene, using metallic nano particles as fillers for polymeric TIMs, and nano-structuring of bulk ceramic or metal forms.
Thermal grease and adhesives allow very thin bond line, and therefore has a very small thermal resistance. It is widely used in the electronics industry. Among the various types, the grease and adhesive segment accounted for a major market share in the global market, followed by the tape and filament segment. The unique capability of grease and adhesives to flow into any void of the application makes it preferable for OEM’s. Among the various applications, the computer hardware segment dominated the market, followed by the telecom sector. Medical sector is booming sector for the TIM, as the demand for effective, durable, smaller and lighter medical equipment is increasing enormously. Thermal interface materials have significant application in the transportation and automobile sector. The use of electronic vehicle in transportation requires efficient thermal management system.
Asia-Pacific dominated the global thermal interface market in 2014, followed by North America. Asia-Pacific has witnessed significant growth in the transportation, electronics & telecommunication sector over the past few years, thus resulting in increasing demand of thermal interface materials. As a result, a prominent market has emerged in the developing countries, such as China, India, Japan and South Korea. With the increasing buying power of end users, the region will show significant market growth during forecast period. The Middle East, Africa and Latin America are the emerging markets for TIM, due to substantial industrial growth in the regions.
Some of the key players competing in the market include, Henkel Corporation, 3M Company, Dow Corning, Fujipoly, Kitagawa Industries, Laird Tech, Parker Chomerics, Honeywell International, Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials, Zalman Tech & Wakefield-Vette Inc.
Global Thermal Interface Material Market Segmentation