Chemical indicator inks are primarily used in the manufacture of chemical indicators. Chemical indicators are usually used in the sterilization monitoring process. These provide a visual indication through change in color of the ink on exposure to certain sterilants and specific conditions. Sterilization is one of the most important processes carried out in the healthcare industry. Appropriate sterilization of surgical instruments, supplies, and equipment used in direct patient care and surgery is a critical aspect of the modern health care delivery system, as it directly impacts patient safety. Chemical indicators are one of the primary products that are used to check the efficacy of the sterilization process, thereby assessing the level of sterilization and assuring successful sterilization of various instruments and devices. Inks used in chemical indicators change color when exposed to specified conditions of sterilization that are generally irreversible. Change in color guarantees effective completion of sterilization.
Steam sterilization, which is extensively used in medical sterilization, was the largest sterilization process segment of the global chemical indicator inks market, accounting for more than 40% share in 2013. Ethylene oxide is expected to be the fastest growing sterilization process segment of the chemical indicator inks market in the next few years. Rapid growth in low temperature sterilization coupled with substantially high microbial disinfection through ethylene oxide can be mainly attributed to the fastest growth of this segment in the chemical indicator inks market.
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In terms of product segments, water-based chemical indicator inks was the largest segment of the chemical indicator inks market with over 50% share in 2013. The segment is anticipated to be the fastest growing product segment of the chemical indicator inks market, expanding at a CAGR of 7.7% between 2014 and 2020. Extensive usage of water-based ink formulation in chemical indicators is leading to lower emission of volatile organic compounds. This is estimated to drive the global chemical indicator inks market during the forecast period. Under the printing processes, flexographic printing segment was the largest printing segment in the chemical indicator inks market with share of over 75% in 2013. Flexographic printing is projected to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period. Ease of printing, low cost of components, and better adaptability of printing on numerous substrates are likely to boost the demand for flexographic printing in next few years in the chemical indicator inks market.
In terms of application segments, tapes was the largest application segment with market share of more than 25% in 2013and is expected to be the fastest growing segment over the forecast period. Tags and labels and pouches are also anticipated to have significantly high share in the chemical indicator inks market in the next few years. Ease of usage and immediate identification of completion of sterilization is estimated to boost the demand for tapes in the chemical indicator inks market in the near future.
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In terms of regions, the global chemical indicator inks market has been bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World (the Middle East, Latin America & Africa). North America was the largest regional market for chemical indicator inks, constituting over 35% share in 2013. Increasing demand for chemical indicators in medical sterilization is projected to drive the chemical indicator inks market in North America in the next few years. Furthermore, Asia Pacific is likely to be the fastest growing region in the global chemical indicator inks market during the forecast period. Rising awareness about hospital-associated infections, increasing need for effective sterilization monitoring techniques, and entry of China-based manufacturers with economical chemical indicators are expected to drive the chemical indicator inks market in Asia Pacific in the next few years. The chemical indicator inks market in North America is anticipated to expand at a steady rate over the next six years, due to the slow but steady recovery of the economy in the U.S. The chemical indicator inks market in RoW is also estimated to grow at moderate pace in the next few years, owing to rising demand for chemical indicator inks in the Middle East and Latin America.
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