Electroactive polymers are one of the most versatile elastomers that can be stimulated by applying suitable external electric field. They have emerged as promising in a variety of electronics and automotive applications. The burgeoning application of electroactive polymers in the electronics industry, especially in developing regions, is driving the evolution of the market. Electroactive polymers have wide applications as actuators and sensors in various end-use industries.
Advances in materials used in developing electroactive polymers and recent cutting-edge innovations in manufacturing processes have resulted in actuators being robust, efficient, and more functional. As a result, electroactive polymers find extensive demand from the automotive industry in making a variety of components such as sensors and accelerometers. In the coming years, advances being made in the actuator segment will open up promising applications in the healthcare sector with their use in biomimetic-robotics.
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A large untapped market in various regions such as North America and Europe are expected to open up lucrative growth avenues for companies. Witnessing numerous promising opportunities, the electroactive polymers market is projected to rise at 7.6% CAGR during the forecast period of 2016–2024, in terms of revenue. The estimated revenue of the market was US$3.15 bn by the end of 2016 and by the end of 2024, it is anticipated to garner a value of US$5.69 bn.
Protection of Electronic Devices against Electromagnetic Interferences to Boost Uptake
The major application segments of the electroactive polymers market are electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) protection, actuators, sensors, antistatic packaging, plastic transistors, inks, and paints. Among these, the ESD and EMI segment is projected to lead the market. The mounting threat of electromagnetic interferences and electrostatic discharges in consumer electronic devices and semiconductors. High-performance electroactive polymers find use in making various EMI-shielding components.
Compared to traditional polymers, these polymers can prevent the formation of static electricity, leading to the impressive growth of the sector. The electroactive polymers for ESD and EMI protection segment is projected to reach a value of approximately US$2bn, globally. The burgeoning demand for sensors and actuators for automobiles is also anticipated to expand the applications of these polymers. Meanwhile, the conductive polymer segment is projected to generate maximum revenue by the end of the forecast period.
North America Market to Dominate in Applications of Electroactive Polymers
Regionally, the global electroactive polymers market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. Of these, current North America dominates the global market and is projected to remain so throughout the forecast period. The U.S constitutes the major chunk of demand for electroactive polymers, attributed to the presence of large number of prominent players. The North America market for electroactive polymers is projected to occupy a share of 62.3% of the aggregate value held in demand for electroactive polymers, by the end of the forecast period.
The growth of the market is driven by the substantial demand for inherently conductive polymers (ICPs). The North America regional market is trailed by the Europe and Asia Pacific markets. The lack of awareness of the functionalities of electroactive polymers has led to a subdued demand in these regions. This scenario is likely to alter with time as market players explore lucrative avenues in untapped markets across the globe. Global as well as regional players are exploring growing opportunities in several countries of Asia Pacific.
The information presented in this review is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled, “Electroactive Polymers Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2016 – 2024.”