An electroactive polymer (EAPs) is defined as an elastic polymer that can be modified into a flexible shape or size when it is stimulated by an electric field. These advanced materials can easily blend, expand and contract when the voltage is applied. The market is expected to have a CAGR of about 7.9% during the forecast period 2019-2026. An important characteristic of the electroactive polymer (EAPs) is that these materials are able to stand a large force and can also undertake a high amount of deformation. The major applications of this type of material are in sensors and actuators. There are numerous applications of electroactive polymers such as in the field of electronics and aircraft manufacturing. The recent application of EAP actuators is in bioengineering applications. The soft biomimetic actuators in bioengineering applications includes active catheters and artificial muscles. These applications contribute to the growth of the market during the forecast period. Moreover, growing biomimetic applications is expected to create lucrative growth opportunities for the growth of the market during the forecast period of 2019-2026.
The growing use of electroactive polymers (EAPs) in various end-user industries is anticipated to drive the market of electroactive polymers in the forecast period. This includes aerospace in aircraft manufacturing, electronics, semiconductors, automotive industries in manufacturing of vehicles, biomedical engineering, robotics engineering and biomechanics. As per the report published by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) in 2017, motor vehicle production in Japan totaled 19,643,507 units in 2015, that was earlier approximately 17,922,461 units in 2013. Similarly, as per India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), domestic production of vehicles in the country increased at CAGR of 7.08% over the period of 2013-2018 and reached 29.07 million in 2018. Therefore, growing motor vehicle production is expected to increase the demand for electroactive polymers, thereby supplementing the growth of the market during the forecast period of 2019-2026. In the aerospace sector EAP (Electroactive polymers) actuators are utilized for replacing the heavy parts in aircraft wings. In robotics engineering, it is majorly used owing to the stability of their electrodes (using the noble metals Pt or Au). It can be used for aquatic propulsors and underwater robotic applications where fast actuator response and corrosion resistance is critical. They are majorly used as soft biomimetic actuators in various applications in bioengineering such as for making active catheters and artificial muscles. The growing use of electroactive polymers in various industries is expected to increase the demand for electroactive polymers. This is expected to promote the market growth during the forecast period of 2019-2026.
North America accounted for the largest market share in terms of revenue in 2017 followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. North America is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. The dominance of North America is witnessed due to increasing expenditure for the development in implanting advanced devices. Moreover, the minimally invasive surgeries in the United States are expected to increase the demand across the region. Also, Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region for the EAP market during the forecast period due to the government support for raising the investments in China and India for improving the manufacturing output. This is expected to contribute towards the highest growth rate of Asia Pacific during the forecast period. As per the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), under the Made in India Initiative, the Indian government intends to increase the share of the manufacturing sector in the gross domestic product (GDP) to 25% by 2022. Also, the cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector of India reached approximately $ 76.82 billion during 2000-2018. Hence, growth in electronics sector would increase the demand for EAPs, thereby supplementing the market growth over the forecast period.
The given market report covers segmentation analysis of type and applications. The report further covers segments of product that includes conductive polymers, inherently dissipative polymers (IDPS), inherently conductive polymers (ICPS) and others. Inherently conductive polymers market accounted for the largest market share in terms of revenue in 2017 and is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. The dominance of inherently conductive plastics market is witnessed due to the high demand across the world and also extensive R&D (research & development) activities which are being undertaken in various countries such as Canada, the US and Mexico. The high demand for inherently conductive polymers is due to its various possible applications such as artificial muscles, robotics, actuators & sensors in the energy harvesting, medical and electrical & electronics industries. Applications in electroactive polymers are divided as actuators, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), shielding, batteries, sensors, Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection, capacitors, and others. Actuator applications holds the leading market share in terms of revenue in 2017. Actuator dominance is witnessed by increasing use of electroactive polymers in actuator applications because of its high operational efficiency in comparison with conventional materials.
The major market players of the market are: AGFA-Gevaert (Belgium), Lubrizol Corporation (United States), E. I. DU Pont De Nemours and Company (United States), Parker Hannifin Corporation (United States), Kenner Material & System Co., Ltd. (Taiwan), Piezotech SA. (France) and others. These companies use various strategies such as merger & acquisition, collaboration, partnership and product launch. Partnership is the key strategy adopted by the companies in the market. For example: In 2016, Solvay S.A (Belgium) acquired the Ryton PPS (Polyphenylene Sulphide) business from Chevron Phillips Chemical Limited (United States). Solvay has acquired the two manufacturing units of Ryton PPS resin in Texas, Borger. The strategic decision of acquisition leads to a more specialized solution provider.