This report provides the most comprehensive and authoritative view of the conductive inks and paste market, giving detailed ten-year market forecasts segmented by application and material type. The market forecasts are given in tonnage and value at the ink level. It also includes critical reviews of all the competing conductive inks and paste technologies including firing-types pastes, PTFs, silver nanoparticles, stretchable inks, IME inks, copper, and more.
This report also gives fact-based and insightful analysis of all the existing and emerging target applications. For target applications, it provides an assessment and/or forecast of the addressable markets, key trends and challenges, latest results and prototype/product launches, and the IDTechEx insight on the market potential.
We provide a detailed analysis of at least 17 existing and emerging application sectors including silicon solar cells, UF/UHF RFID tags, touch screen edge electrodes, automotive, in-mould electronics, e-textiles, 3D antennas, 3D printed electronics, desktop PCB printers, ITO replacement, OLED lighting and others.
All our market forecasts are built using models that are based on primary industry inputs from IDTechEx interviews and company visits, and from prior industry experience at IDTechEx. We clearly outline and justify the assumptions, rational, trends and actual data points underpinning all our forecasts. Our report provides more than 50 interview-based company profiles
Unrivalled business intelligence and market insight
This report is based upon years of research. Our analysts have many years of hands-on prior experience and were at forefront of the conductive inks/paste business, playing an important role in creating a multi-billion dollar industry. In the past five years alone, our team has interviewed and profiled more than 50 users and producers of various types of conductive inks and pastes. Each year we have learned more about the market and fine-tuned our analysis, insight and forecasts.
In parallel to this, IDTechEx has organised the leading global conferences and tradeshows on printed electronics for the past decade in Asia, Europe and USA. These shows bring together the entire value chain on printed electronics, including all the conductive ink suppliers, printers, and end users. This has given us unrivalled access to the players and the latest market intelligence.
Conductive inks and paste business: everything is changing
The conductive inks and pastes market will reach nearly $1.7b in 2026 at current metal prices. Micro-sized silver conductive pastes will dominate the market, controlling nearly the entire market in 2016. Silver nanoparticles will however become increasingly competitive, finding use in a range for emerging applications sectors to become an $80m market in 2026. Copper will remain a comparatively immature technology but will achieve limited success as novel curing systems are installed to open the door to copper ink sales.
The solar panel industry will be 1.5 k tonne market in 2016 for screen-printed firing-type conductive pastes. At the paste level, a new group of suppliers will soon come to dominate this business whilst at the powder level the users will force through a more diversified supplier base. The touch screen edge electrode market will continue its decline. The linewidth-over-spacing (L/S) has decreased to 20/20, pushing screen printing with standard PTFs beyond its limits and opening the door to photocurable pastes. Etching-based techniques will find additional opportunities as the bezel is further narrowed whilst standard PTFs will retain some share in the low-cost end of the market.
Sensors such as car occupancy sensors, printed piezoresistive sensors and some versions of glucose sensors will remain a substantial niche market for conductive pastes, as will the automotive sector with its mixed grouping of stagnant traditional and high-growth emerging applications. HF and UHF RFID antenna markets will grow but will see the relative market share of ink types transform over the coming decade. 3D antennas made using aerosol printing will continue gaining traction. This approach will compete head-on with MID (molded interconnect devices) techniques and will become a substantial player in the consumer electronics market. Metal mesh as an ITO alternative will make slow inroads despite the pending consolidation period in the TCF industry, creating demand for silver nanoparticle used in filling or printing fine lines.
New markets will emerge and create new performance requirements. In-mould electronics will demand inks that can stretch and survive the thermoforming/molding process. Electronic textiles will require inks that are truly stretchable and withstand repeated washing cycles. 3D printed electronics and desktop PCB printers will need the high conductivity and low temperature inks to open vast new prototyping possibilities for 3D printers and circuit designers. All these markets are poised for rapid growth provided technology innovations can satisfy the market pull.
Ten-year market projections split by application. Please contact us for the exact values. Note that ink selling prices have declined thanks to a decline in raw metal prices but also pressured margins, resulting in a decrease in our revenue forecasts.
What does this report provide?
- 1. Ten-year market forecasts for conductive inks and pastes segmented by material type (silver nano, PTF, Cu, etc) and application. Forecasts are provided in volume and dollars.
- 2. Interview-based company profiles of 50 suppliers and users. Company profiles provide a detailed company background, and critical technology and business model review. The profile further includes a detailed SWOT analysis by IDTechEx analysts
- 3. Critical review and appraisal of all the main conductive ink technologies including firing-types pastes, PTFs, nano inks, stretchable inks, IME inks, copper, etc.
- 4. Detailed application assessment often including IDTechEx insight and assessment, state-of-the-art and commercial progress, analysis of competing technologies, pricing and market trends, key players, addressable market size, and ten-year market projections for:
- a. Photovoltaics
- b. Touch screen edge electrodes (segmented by device type)
- c. Automotive (de-frosters, occupancy sensors, seat heaters, etc)
- d. 3D antennas
- e. UHF ad HF RFID antenna
- f. Stretchable inks for electronic textiles
- g. In-mould electronics inks
- h. Glucose and piezoresistive sensors
- i. 3D printed electronics
- j. Desktop PCB printing
- k. ITO replacement
- l. OLED lighting
- m. Conductive pens
- n. other
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