Evolving Plastics Market in Electronic Components

Published - Jul 2002| Analyst - Melvin Schlechter| Code - PLS027A
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Report Highlights

  • The total annual consumption of plastics in electronic components in North America was just over 415 million pounds in 2001 and will rise at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 3.9% to 503 million pounds in 2006.
  • Thermoplastics account for 65% of the market, and growing at a higher AAGR of 4.8% will take nearly 68% in 2006.
  • Thermosets will rise at an AAGR of just 2.2% from 145 million pounds to 162 million pounds.
  • Three specific applications, namely PCB laminates, encapsulation, and connector molding account for more than 80% of total market volume of the market.
  • Nearly 57% of plastics are consumed in stationary computers and peripherals, a number that will dip slightly by 2006.
  • The share for portable applications will rise from 7.1% in 2001 to 11.1% in 2006.





This study focuses on plastic usage in the electronics industry. It is not a review of the entire electronics industry, but deals with development of resins and resin grades to meet requirements of electronic technologies related to computers, telecommunications, automotive, and other industries that employ electronic components.



This study does not cover all electronic components, only those where plastics are used to a significant extent. In addition, fiber optics, wire and cable, enclosures and recording media are excluded. This study covers single devices (e.g., connectors, capacitors, switches, bobbins), multiple-component devices (e.g., printed circuit boards, interconnects, etc.) and encapsulants.


In addition, the study describes key participants in the electronic components industry in terms of resin producers and molders, key technologies and the competitive resin scenario.



Resin consumption in electronic components had been growing at rates well above the GDP for over a decade. The last quarter of 2000 saw a significant deceleration in sales of electronic products that continued through 2001 and has been exacerbated by the events of September 11th. A new appraisal of this market is clearly needed during these uncertain times, especially since the overall economy is the midst of a serious downturn.



A comprehensive review was undertaken of literature relating to resins used to produce electronic components, their applications, technology, markets, and new developments. Included in the review were supplier trade literature, texts, and monographs. Unresolved issues were clarified by contact with those involved in the industry.



In order to ease reading of this report, many acronyms are used throughout that mostly deal with resin names. The terms "plastic," "resin" and "polymer" are used interchangeably as are "unsaturated polyesters" and "thermoset polyesters," and "epoxies" and "epoxy resins." The term "alloy/blend" is most often used to denote either an alloy or a blend except in special cases where producers call their resins "alloys" or "blends." The following is an alphabetical list of acronyms used in the study:


  • BGA - ball grid array
  • BMC - bulk molding compound
  • COB - chip-on-board
  • DAP - diallyl phthalate
  • DGA - die grid array
  • DMT - dimethyl terephthalate
  • E/E - electric/electronic industry
  • EMI – electromagnetic interference
  • ESD – electrostatic dissipation
  • ETP - engineering thermoplastic (also engineering resin)
  • FEP - fluoroethylenepropylene copolymer
  • FR - flame retardant
  • GDP - Gross Domestic Product
  • HDT - heat deflection temperature
  • HTN - high-temperature nylon
  • ICs - integrated circuits
  • LCP - liquid crystal polymer
  • MCM - multichip module
  • PAI - polyamide imide
  • PBT - poly(butylene terephthalate)
  • PC - polycarbonate
  • PC - personal computer
  • PCB - printed circuit board
  • PCT - polycyclohexyl dimethylene terephthalate
  • PEEK - polyetherether ketone
  • PEI - polyetherimide
  • PES - polyether sulfone
  • PET - polyethylene terephthalate
  • PPA - polyphthalamide
  • PPS - poly(phenylene sulfide)
  • PTFE - polytetrafluoroethylene
  • PVC - polyvinyl chloride
  • PWB - printed wire board
  • RFI - radio frequency interference
  • RIM - reaction injection molding
  • SMC - sheet molding compound
  • SMT - surface mount technology
  • SPS - syndiotactic polystyrene
  • TAB - tape automated bonding
  • Tg - glass transition temperature
  • TSPE - thermoset polyester
  • UL - Underwriters Laboratory
  • UTH - under-the-hood automotive market

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