Conductive Polymers: Technologies and Global Markets
The global market for electroactive polymers was $1.9 billion in 2010 and is expected to be about $2.1 billion in 2011. It is forecast to grow to over $3 billion by 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1%.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This report will cover both ICPs and conductively filled thermoplastics in terms of their competitive scenario as well as to assess ICP markets independent of traditional conductive plastics.
Typical applications for conductive plastics include ESD/antistatic packaging, electrostatic spray painting, as well as other applications, while, as noted, ICP applications include batteries, transistors, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), capacitors, corrosion-resistant coating products, membranes, sensors, etc.
It should be made clear that mention of new conductive polymer activities are a very frequent occurrence in the trade press and/or company press releases.
To quantify estimated volumes for basic ICPs such as polythiophenes, polyanilines, or polypyrroles is exceedingly difficult mainly because these materials are usually not used as existent solids or liquids in the “neat” form, except for several types of films or “pastes.”
Polythiophenes, for example, are mostly sold in very dilute solutions (less than 5% concentration), while polyanilines are often used as 25% emulsions. ICP “volumes,” therefore, are almost always reported by weight as dilute solutions or emulsions and overall global estimates derived from various suppliers, the trade press, or reports vary by several hundred percent. The major players in the ICP business are almost always unwilling to provide even the broadest estimates because of the wide disparity of concentrations of the ICPs along with the proprietary nature of this information.
The overall market data is global, but further segmentation into major geographic areas was not feasible.
Research analyst Mel Schlechter has more than 40 years in the chemical industry, and specializes in plastics market research. He has been with BCC Research for more than 10 years and holds a B.S. in chemistry, an M.S. in organic chemistry, and an M.B.A. in marketing.
- The global market for electroactive polymers increased from 290 million pounds in 2007 to an estimated 315 million pounds in 2008. It should reach 410 million pounds by 2012, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4%.
- Conductive plastics will continue to dominate the market, but ICPs will significantly increase their market share in volume and dollar value over the next 5 years.
- Capacitors are the largest ICP application followed by electrostatic dissipation, sensors and textiles.
The electroactive polymer market reached about 130 million pounds in 2003. Rising at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 9.8%; this market is expected to cross 200 million pounds in 2008.
The market currently is dominated by conductive plastics, but over the next five years, ICPs will increase their market share in volume, and, more dramatically, in dollar value.
ICPs will rise at an AAGR of 33.4% to over 15 million pounds in 2008, with a value of some $600 million.
By contrast, conductive plastics will continue to rise at an AAGR of 8.7%, exceeding GDP, but less than ICPs and will reach 190 million pounds in 2008.
Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) currently are the largest ICP application.