Nanoparticle ink, often referred as conductive ink, is a 3D printing technology widely used in the manufacturing of electronic components, especially batteries and circuit boards. While saving significant time, these inks also prove cost effective in the desired application.
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3D printing has already been employed in various fields, such as consumer electronics with casings and some portable components being made on industrial 3D printers. The ink used is a suspension of nanoparticles of silver, copper, and other conductive material in a dense liquid medium like ethylene glycol. The mixture obtained is homogenized, then centrifuged to separate out larger particles, finally resulting in the ink used to print batteries.
These conductive inks are used in applications, such as sensors/medicine, printed electronics, photovoltaics, and consumer electronics. Owing to benefits, such as optimization of time with currency, replacement of bulky and energy-consuming wires with compact, more energy-efficient systems with greater durability than traditional wired circuits, the demand for nanoparticle inks is expected to increase, thus boosting the global market for conductive inks in the coming years.
The nanoparticle inks market can be segmented into three types: ingredients, applications, and geography. Based on the type of ingredients employed, a large variety of nanoparticle inks are currently available. These include copper flake conductive inks, dielectric conductive inks, silver conductive inks, copper oxide nanoparticle conductive inks, carbon nanotube conductive inks, carbon/graphene conductive inks, and polymeric conductive inks.
Nanoparticle inks are used to produce a wide variety of products. The type of ink used is reflected by the end-user application. These conductive inks are used in making solar cells, membrane switches, displays, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and printed circuit boards (PCB). The other uses of nanoparticle inks include the production of seat heating element and lightweight sensors for the automotive industry. Furthermore, these conductive inks are also used in the production of batteries, fuel cells, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding. The continuously increasing demand for nanoparticle inks in all such applications is predicted to drive the global nanoparticle inks market in the next few years.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest-growing market for nanoparticle inks market in the next few years. The Asia Pacific region is experiencing promising growth on account of its growing and expanding consumer electronics market, increasing use of solar cells, and the presence of the printed electronics industry. The conductive inks segment is dominated by China while Japan has the upper hand in the display segment.
Also, countries in Europe, the Americas and other regions are showing speedy economic growth after slowly recovering from the economic crisis of the last few years. All these factors are ultimately generating a positive outlook for the overall industrial dynamics. Germany is the leading consumer of conductive inks in Europe in various end-user industries, including automotive and electronics. New product development and capacity expansion are the highest priorities of manufacturers in this region.
Key factors that drive the nanoparticle inks market are the high demand for efficient and smaller compact devices in consumer electronics, which in turn increases the demand for nanoparticle conductive inks to replace the heavy, bulky, energy-consuming wires. Growing innovation and new product developments are rapidly widening the horizon of conductive inks’ use in numerous industries.
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Some of the major companies operating in the global nanoparticle inks market are Johnson Mathley Plc, Conductive Compounds, Inc, Showa Denko K.K, PPG Industries Inc, Vorbeck Materials Corporation, Inc, Sun Chemical, Creative Materials Inc, Cambrios Technologies Corporation.
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