The unexpected shifts in the global markets because of the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus have brought many major and minor tremors to industries of all sizes including the Thermally Conductive Additives Market.
It was estimated prior to this unanticipated outbreak that the Thermally Conductive Additives Market is to reach US$ 1,117.1 million in 2025. However, the gradual slowing down of industries will undoubtedly impose limits on the previously estimated growth rate.
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Thermally conductive plastics are challenging traditional materials, such as metals (notably aluminum) and ceramics, as these plastics offer a gamut of advantages including lightweight, low cost, easy moldability, and ability to develop custom parts. Apart from these advantages, these plastics also offer more in the way of thermal stability, impact strength, and resistance to scratch and abrasion. Thermal conductivity in plastic provides the ability to meet demanding engineering requirements in many applications and more cost-effectively than other materials including metals, ceramics, and other plastics. There is a need for greater thermal conductivity for the surrounding thermoplastic, elastomeric and thermoset components due to rising demand for miniaturization of electronic components/systems, weight-saving initiatives in the transportation industry, and the increasing demand for electric vehicles.
There are two types of thermally conductive additives: carbon and ceramic. Carbon-based additives are thermally as well as electrically conductive, whereas ceramic-based additives are thermally conductive and electrically insulative. Graphite is the most popular carbon-based thermally conductive additive, having low cost with desired performance. Among ceramic-based thermally conductive additives, boron nitride is majorly used in the industry.
Several factors are positively impacting the growth of thermally conductive additives various end-use industries out of which the most common driver is the inherent advantages of thermally conductive additives. Furthermore, the current penetration of thermally conductive plastics is diminutive but has been increasing at an impressive rate, especially in the E&E, automotive, and LED lighting applications, taking the overall growth of the market to the next level. For instance; thermally conductive plastics are increasingly preferred in the headlight and under-the-hood parts in the automotive industry, driven by their lightweight along with excellent thermal stability.
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The thermally conductive additives market is segmented based on the plastic-type as thermoplastic and thermoset. Thermoplastic is likely to remain the largest segment of the market during the forecast period. The rapid increase in the production of electric vehicles, miniaturization of electronic devices, and proliferating demand for lightweight materials in the transportation industry are generating a strong demand for thermally conductive additives. The thermoplastic conductive additives market is further segmented as polyamide (PA 6 & PA 66), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polycarbonate (PC), and others, where polyamide is likely to maintain its supremacy in the market during the forecast period. Similarly, the thermoset conductive additives market is further segmented as epoxy, phenolic, and others.
Based on the material type, the market is classified as graphite, boron nitride, and others. Graphite is likely to maintain its lead in the thermally conductive additives market by 2025. Graphite is the best option if electrical conductivity and high thermal conductivity are required in a plastic compound. It is preferred due to its low cost. Graphite costs approximately half of the boron nitride additives.
Based on the end-use industry type, the market is classified as E&E, automotive, LED lighting, consumer goods, and others. E&E is likely to remain the most dominant demand generator, whereas automotive is likely to be the fastest-growing end-use industry in the market during the forecast period. As electronic devices are becoming smaller yet more powerful with every generation, the importance for thermally conductive and electrically insulative plastics for enclosures of these devices become has been rising tremendously.
In terms of region, Asia-Pacific is projected to remain the largest and the fastest-growing region during the forecast period. China is the growth engine of the Asia-Pacific’s thermally conductive additives market. A significant increase in the demand for smart electronics, LED lights, and electric vehicles in the country will continue to boost the demand during the forecast period. Despite weakening economic growth of China and India, both countries are estimated to remain the most attractive markets in years to come as there has been an incessant shift of the electrical & electronics industry in both countries from the developed markets.
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, thermally conductive additive manufacturers, compounders, and end-use industries. The key players in the market are Imerys, The 3M Company, Showa Denko K.K., Momentive Performance Materials, and Asbury Carbons. The development of advanced additives targeting higher performance, the formation of mergers & acquisitions, and collaborations with OEMs for the joint development of thermally conductive additives are some of the strategies adopted by the major players in order to gain a competitive edge in the market.