According to the study “Asia Conducting Polymers Industry Situation and Prospects Research report”, conductive polymer materials are electroactive in nature and provide good optical property, excellent mechanical flexibility and high thermal stability. ABS, polycarbonates (PC), polyphenylene resin, nylon, polyethylene terephthalate (PPS) and polyvinylidene chloride (PVC) are the majorly used conductive polymers products. The rapid growth in the electronics sector in China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore will witness more consumption of conductive polymers in the manufacture of smartphones and other electronics. Samsung and LG are the major consumers of conductive polymers. India is aiming at internet connectivity coupled with digital electronics on a domestic level which will promote the production of electronic digital goods such as smartphones, web camera, and tablets using conductive polymers which are likely to open more opportunities. There is also a demand for lightweight materials in the automotive industry along with improvement in fuel economy which use ABS and PPS in wiring systems as conducting materials. Few parts of military aircrafts are also manufactured using conductive polymers to make the aircraft lightweight which promotes the usage of conductive polymer materials.
Asian consumers are aware about the importance of electronics devices with reduced sound levels due to stringent regulations imposed to control noise pollution, therefore, majority of the manufacturers are using conductive plastics including ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PPS (Polyphenylene Polymer) in place of conventional metals and ceramics. The increasing significance of ionic polymers in electronics industry is providing excellent dimensional stability and good conducting characteristics which are the key factors affecting the conductive polymers market in Asia. There is also a rising awareness about shielding sensitive electronic devices from electrostatic discharge (ESD), radio frequency interference (RFI), and electromagnetic interference (EMI) which is increasing the market size of sensitive electronic devices.
Inherently conductive polymer is a variant of product in the conductive polymers that is available in the forms of polyacetylene, polythiophene, and polypyrrole. These products are used for manufacturing flat panel displays, lighting objects, PV cells and bioelectronics because they are lightweight with excellent corrosive characteristics. ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is the most widely used conductive polymer product and it accounts for a major share in Asia’s conductive polymer market. The trend will continue over the next few years due to its superior properties such as high impact strength and excellent durability at varying temperatures. ABS is used in electronic applications such as IC chip carriers, IC tray & tray dividers, and tote boxes. Polyphenylene polymer is used in the manufacture of under-the-hood vehicle components with excellent chemical resistance and good high temperature.
Asia’s conductive polymers market is categorized into electrically conducting polymers and thermally conducting polymer. The conductive polymers are used as ESD/EMI shielding, antistatic packaging, electrostatic coatings and capacitor. Conductive polymers are used in industries such as aerospace, electronics, automotives, healthcare, industrial and other sectors. The leading players in Asia’s conductive polymers market are Henkel, Agfa-Gevaert NV, Celanese Corporation, The Lubrizol Corporation, Covestro AG, Heraeus Holding, 3M, Solvay, Polyone Corporation, Sabic, Arkema, Cabot Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, Electriplast Corporation, Ensinger, Ferro Corporation, and Kemet.
With advanced technology controlling many sectors, many manufacturers are focussed on development of organic photovoltaics. This development is promoting the usage of conductive polymers as an absorption medium of solar radiation in form of actuators and sensors. There is a demand for electrochemical actuators due to highly compatible with sophisticated semiconductor devices. Conductive polymers form a part of organic polymers with thermal conducting properties, electric conducting properties, molecular stability, chemical resistance, malleability, and flexibility. They are engineered to become biodegradable, biocompatible and porous. Organic polymers are used in fuel cells, biosensors, surgical tools and computer display.
The development in Asia’s automotive and electronics industries will surely drive the conductive polymers market. The automotive industry is coupled with regulatory measures is encouraging the usage of conductive plastic materials in engine boxes and wire hose. There is an increasing adoption of electroactive polymers in electronics, solar energy, healthcare and automotive industries because many manufacturers are investing heavily in the research and development. The increasing demand for piezoceramics in electronics will definitely hinder the growth of Asia’s conductive polymers industry. The demand for smart materials, advancement in the electrical and electronic sector, rising demand for display devices, increasing demand for lightweight electronic components, new technology advancements in biomaterials are propelling the growth in Asia’s conductive polymers industry.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications