Conductive inks: analysing truly diverse markets | IDTechEx Research Article
The conductive ink market is extremely diverse. This diversity has given this market long-term resilience, allowing it to sustain a growing application pipeline over multiple decades. Indeed, the industry has reinvented and rejuvenated itself multiple times as the application mix has been altered. Today, conductive inks find use in all manners of applications, as described in our report "Conductive Ink Markets 2019-2029: Forecasts, Technologies, Players."
Sep 11, 2019 Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh
The conductive ink market is extremely diverse. This diversity has given this market long-term resilience, allowing it to sustain a growing application pipeline over multiple decades. Indeed, the industry has reinvented and rejuvenated itself multiple times as the application mix has been altered. Today, conductive inks find use in all manners of applications, as described in our report Conductive Ink Markets 2019-2029: Forecasts, Technologies, Players.
This report covers many applications including photovoltaics, power electronics, EMI shielding, in-mould electronics (automotive, home appliance, etc.), electronic textile and wearable electronics, 3D antennas and conformal printing, flexible hybrid electronics (FHE), touch screen edge electrodes, automotive (defoggers, seat occupancy sensors, seat heaters, etc.), 3D printed electronics, multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), ITO replacement (hybrid, direct printing, etc), printed piezoresistive, capacitive and bio sensors, PCB (DIY/hobbyist, professional, seed-and-plate), RFID (HF, UHF), printed TFT and memory, OLED and large-area LED lighting, flexible e-readers and reflective displays, large-area heaters (battery, plant, seat, etc.), conductive pens, digitizers, and more.
Furthermore, the technology landscape is also segmented. There is segmentation is by material (e.g., Ag, Cu, etc.), by particle size and morphology (e.g., nano vs micro, spherical vs flake, etc.). Each technology will have a different proposition in each market. They often differ in terms of conductivity, thickness, curing temperature and time, printing technology, and cost. The wonderful ability of inks to be customized has also created many non-traditional performance criteria on which inks or pastes seek to differentiate. These include formability, stretchability, substrate compatibility, mechanical bond strength of sintered pastes, and many more.
The chart below demonstrates a part of our market forecasts. This particular version presented herein excludes solar panels because its sheer size makes it difficult to view other forecast lines. This forecast chart has some 24 forecast lines. We also provide forecasts in tonnes and separate out nano materials, for example.
Market forecasts for conductive inks and pastes. Note that the legend is not in order. Solar cells not shown. LTCC applications excluded. Source: IDTechEx Research
Challenge of analysis
This diversity also makes the market difficult to understand and to analyse, which is why we invest heavily in primary research. Indeed, our report is based upon years of research. In the past five years alone, our analysts have interviewed more than 120 industry players, visited numerous users/suppliers across the world, and attended more than 25 relevant conferences/exhibitions globally. The image below shows logos of various suppliers which we have interviewed. Note that the logos of printers or end users are not included for the sake of clarity. Furthermore, we have worked with many industry players to help them with their strategy towards this market. For example, in the last four years alone we visited around 35 tradeshows in Japan, USA, Taiwan, Korea, Germany, UK and so on to update our report. Prior to this, our analysts played an active role in commercializing conductive pastes, particularly in the photovoltaic industry.
In parallel to this, IDTechEx has organised the leading global conferences and tradeshows on printed electronics for the past decade in Asia, Europe and USA. These shows bring together the entire value chain on printed electronics, including all the conductive ink suppliers, printers, and end users. This has given us unparalleled access to the players and the latest market intelligence. This puts us in an unrivalled position to understand and analyse the market.
Logos of some of the suppliers which we have interviewed as part of our research. Note that the logos of printers or end users are not included.
For more information about the conductive ink market please visit Conductive Ink Markets 2019-2029: Forecasts, Technologies, Players.. This report provides the most comprehensive and authoritative view of the conductive inks and paste market, giving detailed ten-year market forecasts segmented by application and material type. The market forecasts are given in tonnage and value at the ink level.
It includes critical reviews of all the competing conductive inks and paste technologies including firing-type pastes, sintering pastes, PTFs, laser-cut or photo-patterned pastes, nanoparticles, stretchable inks, in-mould inks, copper, copper/silver alloys, nanocarbons, and more. Here, we outline the latest performance levels/progress, technology challenges, key suppliers, existing and emerging target market, and forecasts where appropriate.
It also provides a detailed assessment of more than 27 application sectors. Here, we analyse the market needs/requirements, discuss the business dynamics, market leadership and technology change trends, competing solutions, latest product/prototype launches, key players and market forecasts in tonnes and value.