Printed, Flexible and Organic Electronics Report

Electroactive Polymers and Devices 2013-2018: Forecasts, Technologies, Players

Dielectric elastomers, electronic & ionic EAPs and their applications

A $2.5bn opportunity by 2018
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Electroactive polymers are one of the most promising technologies. Compared to inorganic materials the versatile polymers have various attractive properties, such as being lightweight, inexpensive and easy to manufacture. Tremendous amount of research and development has led to Electroactive Polymers (EAP) that can also change size or shape when stimulated by the right external electrical activation mechanism, meaning they can convert electrical energy into mechanical energy.
Especially in the actuators segment vast R&D activity can be seen for specialized applications such as medical devices and biomimetic-robotics. Here the features of electroactive polymers are used to enable movement and generate force as well as electrically control surface properties.
Haptics for consumer portable touch screen devices and peripherals is going to be the next big application and potentially the first large-scale implementation of EAP actuators in general with an expected penetration of 60% for haptic feedback in mobile phones for 2018.
Today, EAPs are available that produce large strains and show great potential for applications. In comparision to only small response in the early development years electroactive polymers show significant deformation in the range of two to three orders of magnitude.
Some types of EAPs
Source: IDTechEx
Until now, despite several decades of R&D and first applications, the EAP field is far from mature and several subjects, such as perfomance and long-term stability, still need further development to tailor the properties of these polymers to the requirements of each application.
The large-scale penetration of the touchscreen market will finally take the technology to the next level. IDTechEx forcasts a penetration of the haptics for consumer electronics touch display market exceeding 60% by 2018. This success will account for over 40% of the expected total revenue in 5 years.
Other applications with great potential in +5 years from now include energy harvesting from see waves, medical applications, both invasive and non-invasive, large-area sensors, speakers etc. Especially for energy harvesting and the medical sector the technology needs to prove its suitability and improve efficiency as well as long-term stability before it can finally become commercial.
Five year forecasts 2013-2018
The report provides forecasts for electroactive polymer (EAP) devices for the following application segments. For each, it gives the number of EAP devices units forecast to be bought and the total spend in US $.
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Actuators
  • Energy Harvesting
  • Sensors
  • Sensors (large scale)
  • Medical
  • Others
Revenue in US$ million 2013*
*For the full 2013-2018 forecasts please purchase this report
Source: IDTechEx
This new report from IDTechEx covers the wide range of EAP materials and form factors available, from thin films to different shapes and sizes. It profiles the latest work commercially and academically.The report provides eight detailed interviews with the international market leaders and 19 more company and supplier profiles.
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Table of Contents
2.1.1.Dielectric Elastomers
2.1.3.Liquid Crystal Elastomers (LCE)
2.1.4.Electrostrictive Graft Elastomers
2.1.5.Electro-viscoelastic Elastomers
2.2.1.Conductive Polymers
2.2.2.CNT Actuators
2.2.3.Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites
3.1.Electroactive paper
5.2.Braille Display
5.3.1.Fibre Speakers
5.4.1.Screen Printed Piezoelectric Sensors
5.5.Medical / Artificial Muscles
7.1.Arkema / Piezotech
7.2.Bayer MaterialScience LLC / Artificial Muscle (AMI)
7.3.Danfoss PolyPower A/S
7.5.Solvay Specialty Polymers
7.6.Strategic Polymers, Inc. (SPS)
8.1.Airmar Technology
8.2.Biomimetics Laboratory
8.3.CFS Medical
8.6.Dow Corning
8.7.EAMEX Corporation
8.9.Environmental Robots Inc (ERI)
8.12.Meggitt Sensing Systems
8.13.Philips Research
8.14.pmTUC - Institute of Print and Media Technology at Chemnitz University of Technology
8.16.SBM Offshore
8.17.Santa Fe Science and Technology
8.19.University of Tokyo
9.FORECASTS 2013-2018
9.3.Consumer Electronics
9.4.Medical Applications
9.5.Braille Display
9.6.Energy Harvesting
9.7.Aerospace Applications
9.8.Market size by application
2.1.List of main electro active polymers (EAP)
2.2.Dielectric Elastomers, Advantages vs. Disadvantages
2.3.Ferroelectric Polymers, Advantages vs. Disadvantages
2.4.Advantages vs. Disadvantages
2.5.Electrostrictive Graft Polymers, Advantages vs. Disadvantages
2.6.Electro-viscoelastic Elastomers, Advantages vs. Disadvantages
2.7.CP Actuators, Advantages vs. Disadvantages
2.8.CNT actuators, Advantages vs. Disadvantages
2.9.IPMC actuators, Advantages vs. Disadvantages
3.1.Comparison of EAPs with electroactive ceramics and shape memory alloys
3.2.Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic vs. Ionic EAP
3.3.Matrix, Electronic vs. Ionic EAP
5.1.Classification of Actuators by Actuation Mechanism
5.2.Market players in Printed Piezo-electric sensors
7.1.Configurations of PolyPower DEAP material
7.2.Properties of back to back laminated film
8.1.EAMEX portfolio comparison
9.1.EAP for Actuators*, in millions of units and total revenue (US$ million) 2013-2018
9.2.EAP for Sensors*, in millions of units and total revenue (US$ million) 2013-2018
9.3.EAP for Sensors (large area), in millions of units and total revenue (US$ million) 2013-2018
9.4.EAP for Consumer Electronics, in million of units and total revenue (US$ million) 2013-2018
9.5.EAP for Medical Applications, in million of units and total revenue (US$ million) 2013-2018
9.6.EAP for Energy Harvesting, in million of units and total revenue (US$ million) 2013-2018
9.7.Revenue (US$ million) by application 2013-2018
9.8.Units (million) by application 2013-2018
2.1.Dielectrical elastomers from Danfoss PolyPower A/S
3.1.Self-powered piezoelectric sensors are developed by the Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems at VirginiaTech
5.1.Competitive tactile technologies
5.2.A haptic touch screen shown by Visteon at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2010 shows an automotive "infotainment" panel demonstrating the implementation of an 8-in. multifunction touch screen as part of an integrated cont
5.3.A refreshable Braille display developed at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea, uses dielectric elastomer EAP with bubble shape dots. The prototype is shown being tested by a blind person in an overall view and a close up on the
5.4.Seoul National University Acoustic PVDF actuator consists of a graphene-based transducer connected to the sound source and amplifier
5.5.Paper-based flexible PVDF and PEDOT:PSS speaker from pmTUC
5.6.Paper-based FleXpeaker from ITRI
5.7.Fabric that can interact with its environment
5.8.Touchless interface with Electrochromic display: developed together with Joanneum Research, Fraunhofer ISC, Acreo, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 3PLAST Fig.
5.9.Piezoelectric Sensor Device (Meas Spec DT Series)
5.10.Synap Tech's articulating neural interfaces
6.1.The EAP context in which the piezoelectric energy harvesters can be applied
7.1.Headphones using ViviTouch(R)
7.2.PolyPower DEAP material
7.3.Touchless interface with Electrochromic display: developed together with Joanneum Research, Fraunhofer ISC, Acreo, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 3PLAST
7.4.Actuator developed with Fraunhofer IOF
7.5.Strategic Polymer Stress-Strain-Comparison
7.6.Strategic Polymer Roadmap
7.7.SynapTech's articulating neural interfaces
8.1.EAP based hand
8.2.Examples of EMPA EAP activities
8.3.ERI EAP actuator relaxed and deformed
8.4.ITRI EAP FleXpeaker, 2009
8.5.Installation at Taipei Expo Park, 2011
8.6.Artificial eyelid from MCNC
8.7.Example of motion sensor printed on paper
8.8.Panion CP EAP
9.1.Market share by application in 2018
9.2.Revenue (US$ million)by application 2013-2018
9.3.Units (million) by application 2013-2018

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