Electroactive polymers are the variants of those polymers that change their shape or size when an electric field is applied. They are highly versatile as they can be manufactured into various shapes.
Electroactive polymers (EAP) are used widely in electronic applications, thereby driving the market growth. In comparison with inorganic materials, electroactive polymers consist of features like inexpensive, lightweight, and easy manufacturing which along with technological advancements have more probability to enhance the market. They have the wide range of applications including actuators, capacitors, sensors, electrostatic plastics (paintable), robotics (artificial muscle development), among the others. Using electroactive polymers in robotics for muscle development is better, as it is more cost-effective than the semiconductor and metal materials. Robotics is widely used; hence the demand for electroactive polymers will also increase affecting the market growth positively. Electroactive polymers market growth is increasing owing to its wide usage in areas such as medical devices, electrostatic discharge/electromagnetic interference, high-strain sensors, and biomimetic.
Electroactive polymers are used in the automotive industry where they are used as actuators and sensors. There is a high demand for materials that are light in weight but are strong and durable. Car makers are trying to achieve this by using modern electroactive polymers in numerous automotive electronic components such as multiple sensors, accelerometers, and accelerator pedal modules. High demand for automobiles will definitely increase the demand for electroactive polymers.
The global electroactive polymers market can be segmented on the basis of type and application. Based on the type, the global market is segmented as ionic EAPs or electric EAPs. Further, the electric EAPs segment is sub-segmented as dielectric elastomers, liquid crystal elastomers, ferroelectric, and others. The ionic EAPs segment is sub-segmented as conductive polymers and ionic polymer-metal composites. On the basis of application, the global electroactive polymers market is segmented as actuators, batteries, solar cells, sensors, fabrics, capacitors, and textiles.
North America is the leading player in the global electroactive polymers and is anticipated to continue this trend in future. In other regions, the development and demand for electroactive polymers are growing at low pace due to lack of awareness, which in turn is attracting many globally prominent players as along with demand in North America. Europe, on the other hand in terms of demand, is in the second position followed by Asia Pacific. Due to weaker exposure to the benefits of electroactive polymers, these regions are experiencing low demand. However, this trend is expected to change in the near future as both regions will create more avenues for the use of electroactive polymers.
The key manufacturers of electroactive polymers from a global perspective include PolyOne Corporation, Heraeus Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG, Cabot Corporation, BASF SE, Celanese, 3M, Artificial Muscle Inc., Konarka Technologies Inc., Earnex Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, among the others.
Electroactive Polymers Market: Regional Segment Analysis
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Middle East and Africa