Conductive fibers recorded a volume sales of approximately 42 thousand tons, equating a value of US$ 1.2 billion in 2018. As per the insights culled by the latest report of Future Market Insights (FMI), the global conductive fibers market is likely to spectate high growth over the course of the forecast period, driven by a plethora of factors.
The growth in sales can be attributed to the increasing use of conductive fibers in electromagnetic shielding, in light of growing electromagnetic pollution with the near-ubiquitous use of smartphones, smart watches, and similar electronic devices.
“Adoption of conductive fibers continues to face technical and commercial challenges w.r.t the sensor size on the technical front and limited awareness on the commercial front. Manufacturers prioritizing their investments in industry-specific development of conductive fiber are likely to add new application dimensions and revenue channels to the market, finds FMI’s report”.
Copper over Silver – The Base Material Shift to Look Out for
Future Market Insights’ study identifies that the conductive fibers market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of approximately 11% through 2029. Manufacturers are shifting away from cotton and wool towards nylon and polyester materials, owing to the growing consumers’ proclivity for synthetic fibers. The study finds that as conductive fibers market operates within the inner circle of the environmental norms, graphene has been emerging as cost-effective, compatible, and environmental-benign coating for the development of e-textiles.
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Opportunities abound for conductive fibers manufacturers in Asia Pacific as identified by FMI’s report with the establishment of manufacturing facilities of industries in developing countries such as India and China. Growing investments in the military & defense and aviation & aerospace sectors are likely to navigate the conductive fibers market to lucrative lanes as demand for tech togs and wearable electronics has been on a surge to beat harsh environmental conditions. However, intense focus on revamping the legacy military and defense infrastructure and a quest for technologically-forward equipment for army personnel has been channelizing high investments in the conductive fibers market in North America.
The study points towards the evolving preferences of end-use industries for comfortable plus cost-effective textiles, which has been instigating a shift of manufacturers towards the integration of copper from silver in electronic circuits. The report opines that silver being a rare material is cost prohibitive in nature, which makes copper a suitable material for the development of conductive fibers.
Conductive Fibers Market – Vendor Insights
Some of the leading players in the conductive fibers market encompass Toray Industries, Kuraray Co. Ltd., NV Bekaert SA, Seiren Co. Ltd., William Barnet & Son LLC, Ascend Performance Materials LLC, Perlon Group, Ronda Industrial Belts Technology Ltd., Swicofil, and Syscom Advanced Materials.
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These players are focusing on expanding their business by marking their presence in overseas territories. In addition, manufacturers are seen working towards the expansion of their product portfolios by introducing feature-rich conductive fibers. As the study finds, the global conductive fibers market operates under the degree of fragmentation with large number of players striving towards acquiring high market share.
How Growth Will Unfold
As concerns apropos of use of toxins and high manufacturing costs limit the healthy growth of the conductive fibers, development of graphene-based cotton textiles will offer plethora of commercial opportunities to conductive fiber manufacturers. Long-term contracts and partnerships with B2C textile companies will encourage the scramble of leading players towards a higher market share.
Since high production cost directly passes down to the finished fabric, which leads to consumer reluctance towards purchasing, selection of cost-effective materials like copper will remain crucial. With the growing demand for wearable electronics, nylon and polyester are likely to remain the preferred reinforced materials for the development of conductive fibers.
Since wearable tech products – smart watches, wrist gears, footwear, and headgear – gain consumers’ proclivity at a nascent stage, e-textiles, in turn, hold enormous potential to penetrate deeper into the consumers’ space at an accelerated pace.
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