Conductive inks are electrically conductive and are usually infused with conductive materials such as silver, copper, and aluminum. The conductive particles in the ink allow for flow of electric current across the circuit. These inks are mainly characterized by key properties such as high electrical conductivity, crease resistance, and flexibility. They are used in wide range of applications such as in solar panels, automotive circuits, consumer electronics, and medical devices. The global conductive inks market size was pegged at US$ 3.2 billion in 2016 and is projected to witness steady growth in the near future. Governments across the globe are increasing focus on cutting down carbon emissions and in turn leaning towards adoption of renewable energy. Solar energy is the most accessible source of energy and is actively being harnessed across the globe. Increasing deployment of solar panels in turn drives growth of the conductive inks market. Conductive inks are emerging as a key substitute for conventional, bulky, and energy consuming wire circuits.
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Global Conductive Inks Taxonomy
The global conductive inks market is classified on the basis of the following segments:
- Product Type
- Silver Conductive Inks
- Silver flakes
- Silver nanowires
- Silver nanoparticles
- Copper Conductive Inks
- Copper flakes
- Copper nanoparticles
- Copper oxide nanoparticles
- Silver-coated copper nanoparticles
- Conductive Polymers Ink
- Carbon Nanotubes Inks
- Dielectric Inks
- Carbon/Graphene Ink
- Gold-based Ink
- Aluminum-based Ink
- Nickel-based Ink
- Silver Conductive Inks
- Membrane Switches
- Radio Frequency Identification
- Printed Circuit Board
Prevalent Scenario in Conductive Inks Market
Rising concerns about carbon dioxide emissions have led to increasing use of renewable resources in residential and industrial sectors. This has resulted into rapid growth of consumption of solar panels, which in turn is fueling growth of the conductive inks market. Also, smart packaging, which deploys conductive inks, plays a key role in the supply chain of food and pharmaceuticals industries. Rapid strides in technology have led to healthcare and medical devices manufacturers to focus on enhancing the functionality and precision of devices, which in turn offers potential growth opportunities for players in the conductive inks industry. Though conductive silver inks account for a major market share, it has experienced high price fluctuations and end users are opting for low silver formulations. Silver is has high electrical conductivity, durability, and thermal stability, though it is relatively expensive to deploy. Copper shows similar properties as compared to that of silver at lower costs, though has relatively low conductivity. Technological advancements have led to development of cost-effective substitutes such as carbon and graphene which can be used in conductive inks. Key players are investing in research & development of these products to capture the market share which in turn has fueled growth rate of these types of conductive inks. A key factor likely to restrain the conductive inks market is the high cost of silver, which is the most preferred conductive material. Also, lack of awareness about the chemical compatibility of different types of conductive inks with most of the polymers that are essential to provide mechanical endurance hampers growth of the market.
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Emerging economies such as China, and India account for a large market share due to rising government investments to set up solar plants and presence of the matured electronics market in these countries.
The global conductive inks market is highly fragmented due to the participation of many established and emerging players in the industry. Major players involved in the market include E. I. Dupont De Nemours and Company (U.S.), Henkel AG & Co. KGAA (Germany), Heraeus Holding GmbH (Germany), Johnson Matthey PLC (U.K.), Poly-Ink (France), Sun Chemical Corporation (U.S.), Novacentrix (U.S.), Creative Materials Inc. (U.S.), Conductive Compounds Inc. (U.S.), and Vorbeck Materials Corporation (U.S.).
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