Piezoelectric Ceramic, Ceramic/Polymer Composite and Polymer Materials

Published - Mar 2001| Analyst - Thomas Abraham| Code - AVM031A
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Report Highlights

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

  • The U.S. market for piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites and polymer films now equals $200 million and is expected to reach $294 million by 2005.
  • Among the three segments, piezoelectric ceramics is the largest and most mature market. It is likely to grow at an annual rate of 8%.

INTRODUCTION

The piezoelectric effect was discovered in the late 1800s by Jacques and Pierre Curie. In just over 100 years, piezoelectricity has moved from being a laboratory curiosity to becoming a big . During this period, several technologies have been developed that use the piezoelectric effect. In turn, each of these technologies has become an essential component of many types of electronic products.

The U.S. piezoelectric industry has gone through several boom and bust cycles. However, in the last five years several applications have emerged for piezoelectric materials. This is a result of the revolution in wireless and wireline communications. Markets have boomed in these areas, especially for piezoelectric crystals. Also, new developments in piezoelectric ceramics and ceramic/polymer composites have evolved into new markets. Even though piezoelectric quartz crystal still holds the largest market segment, several new piezoelectric ceramic and piezopolymer materials are being developed. These represent good, attractive market segments in terms of growth, competition and investment.

In a previous BCC report, Piezoelectric Ceramics, Ceramic/Polymer Composites and Polymers - New Developments and Markets, published August 1993, we covered piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites, and polymer film materials and their components. In yet an earlier report published on the same subject in 1987, we also included piezoelectric crystals. This time, because of new applications and expanded growth in markets for piezoelectric crystals, we have included it as a separate report (GB-260). However, compared to the piezoelectric quartz crystal industry, there has been much more activity in research, development and commercialization in the piezoelectric ceramic, ceramic/composite and polymer film segments.

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

First, this BCC report has been created because piezoelectric ceramic elements are becoming an established market and certain segments still are growing. Second, there have been new developments in materials, processing and applications in the areas of piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites and polymer films. These have contributed to a need to provide a full analysis of technological trends, emerging applications, issues and domestic and foreign competition.

Following are the objectives of this report:

  • to provide an overview of the various piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites and polymer films, and their production technologies and applications.
  • to identify the technological and issues related to commercial production of piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites and polymer films and their compounds.
  • to analyze domestic and foreign competition among companies within piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites and polymer films.
  • to determine the current size and future growth of the markets for piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites and polymer films.
  • to ascertain which piezoelectric technologies and applications will be winners until 2005.
  • to identify and profile all U.S. developers, producers and suppliers of piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites and polymer film.

CONTRIBUTION TO THE STUDY

This BCC technical and economic study covers markets, materials, fabrication techniques, new developments and recent patents in piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites and polymer films and sheets, and includes current and emerging applications and a market analysis. Current size and future growth of the markets are estimated for the period from 2000 to 2005. The report analyzes the competitive environment within each of the market segments and applications. It also profiles all U.S. producers and suppliers of piezoelectric ceramic and polymer components.

FORMAT AND SCOPE

For each market segment, the report provides an analysis of material types in that category, processing technologies, properties, applications, new developments and U.S. markets.

The qualitative and quantitative judgments embodied in this report are a valuable contribution to the current knowledge of piezoelectric ceramics, polymers and ceramic/polymer composites, their processing techniques, applications and markets. Moreover, this study was conducted at a vital stage in the development of this growing industry. This is the point where decisions have to be made by a number of companies with regard to their future strategies of involvement, expansion and reorientation from military to industrial and consumer markets.

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

The findings presented in this report are based on information obtained from interviews with almost all producers, potential producers and suppliers of piezoelectric ceramics and polymer materials, together with industry experts and those conducting research and development. In addition, many end users were contacted to evaluate present and future demands for these materials and devices. In all, about 150 people from 120 companies and a dozen institutions were contacted. Secondary data were obtained from the World Wide Web, trade publications, technical journals and the NTIS.

WHO SHOULD SUBSCRIBE?

This report is directed to the various levels of companies that are interested in developments in this field, such as:

  • companies involved in developing, manufacturing and supplying of advanced materials
  • manufacturers and suppliers of piezoelectric ceramics, ceramic/polymer composites and polymer film materials and elements
  • companies involved in the development and manufacture of electronic components
  • manufacturers of transducers, hydrophones, sensors, speakers, sonar, sonobuoys and ultrasonic elements and systems
  • those involved in smart materials, nanotechnology and MEMS devices
  • ceramic companies interested in diversification
  • venture capital companies and financial institutions interested in new and attractive investments.

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