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U.S. Conductive Polymer Demand to Reach 370 Million Pounds of Resin Content in 2010
Thursday August 10, 10:49 am ET

CLEVELAND, OH--(MARKET WIRE)--Aug 10, 2006 -- Conductive polymers will provide a 370 million pound market for base resins, driven by their unique combination of processability, dimensional stability and conductivity, as well as optical and mechanical properties. Rapid growth is expected for new technologies such as carbon nanotubes and inherently conductive polymers (ICPs), although volumes will remain low. Further conductive polymer growth will be moderated by continued offshore electronics production. These and other trends are presented in "Conductive Polymers," a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

The six leading resins -- acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyphenylene-based resins, polycarbonate, polyethylene and polypropylene -- together accounted for more than three-fourths of all conductive polymers used in 2005. ABS will remain the leading resin as a result of the material's high impact strength. PVC will expand at a faster pace based on its lower cost, performance enhancements, and design and processing ease. Polyphenylene-based resins such as polyphenylene sulfide will increasingly be used in high temperature and chemical resistant applications, such as under-the-hood motor vehicle components.

ICPs are still in their nascent stage with uses including ESD protected material handling products such as tote bins, boxes and circuit board racks. Potentially large applications include organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) used in flat screens and other flexible displays, and bipolar plates for fuel cells. Carbon nanotubes impart high strength and light weight to polymeric matrixes. However, their high cost will continue to relegate them to specialized uses.

Product components accounted for 57 percent of all conductive polymer applications in 2005. This segment will present the best opportunities through 2010 due to rebounding electrical and electronic product shipments and greater use of conductive polymers in housings, rollers, trays and other products. Advances will reflect needs to control the high levels of static electricity developed by moving parts, as well as EMI/RFI emissions. Slower growth is anticipated in other applications due to market saturation and the durability of many material handling system and worksurface and flooring products. Antistatic packaging uses for conductive polymers will be stimulated by the cost effectiveness of conductive bags, pouches, clamshells and other configurations in protecting sensitive electronic devices from static discharges.

Source: The Freedonia Group, Inc.

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