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The conformal coatings market for PCBs was valued at $8.871 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period, according to a new report published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) titled 'Conformal Coatings Market for PCBs - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018-2026.' Expansion in the conformal coatings market for PCBs is primarily driven by Asia Pacific, contributed by countries such as China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, owing to robust automotive, consumer electronics, and advancing defense sector in the region.
Conformal coatings used in consumer electronic devices significantly enhance the reliability and longevity of PCBs. They protect high performing electronics from environmental conditions that can interfere with circuit performance and cause premature failure.
The applications of PCBs in consumer electronics are extensive. Major applications include mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), computers (desktops and laptops), recording devices (camcorders, digital cameras, microphones), entertainment systems (DVD players and video games), and home appliances (alarm clocks, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, etc.).
Consumer electronics is a rapidly changing, highly competitive industry that covers a wide array of products such as smartphones, computers, televisions, videogame consoles, etc. For every consumer electronic appliance, the printed circuit board is a core part, and it needs to be protected from exposure to harsh environments. Thus, advancements in the consumer electronic industry boosts demand for conformal coatings that can be used over printed circuit boards.
Potential Applications in Aerospace Industry
Aerospace applications of PCBs require a great deal of precision and durability as they operate in extreme conditions. Aircrafts often go through significant amounts of turbulence in the atmosphere. Normal PCBs might get damaged during such harsh conditions. In order to avoid this, flexible PCBs are used in the aerospace industry.
PCBs find applications in the aerospace industry especially in the monitoring and testing equipment. In the monitoring equipment application, PCBs and hence conformal coatings are used in instrumentation including accelerometers, pressure sensors, microphones, and torque and force sensors. These products are used within the engines and cockpits of airplanes and rockets in order to monitor functioning of the vehicle.
Testing equipment that collects data during structural, vibration, and flight testing procedures use PCBs at its core. This data can then be used to develop more effective, efficient, and safer aircraft.
Delamination and Cracking can Hamper Growth of Market
Delamination in conformal coatings is the removal of the conformal coating from the surface of printed circuit boards. This process leaves the circuit board area exposed. Delamination is related to factors such as cleanliness, compatibility, permeability to moisture, degree of coating cure, etc. If the surface of the printed circuit board is contaminated, delamination of conformal coatings may occur due to poor adhesion of the coating to the laminate. Difference in surface energies of the coating and the substrate of PCB often leads to poor compatibility.
Cracking is another major restraint observed in conformal coatings in the printed circuit board market. Factors that influence cracking include high curing temperature and extreme environments. Delayering and cracking are related to the type of coating technology adopted. For example, brush coatings usually do not provide uniform thickness and the chances of delamination and cracking are high in this case.
Dynamics of PCB Conformal Coatings Market
Conformal coatings on printed circuit board market is capital intensive and requires technical know-how such as formulation complexities, etc. Moderate number of producers operate in the market. They offer high quality products and have the benefit of enjoying economies of scale i.e. they have the capacity of mass production. Threat of new entrants is low due to the presence of already established brands (such as LOCTITE 3900, Dow Corning's RTV conformal coatings) in the market. Thus, the threat of new entrants in the conformal coatings market for PCBs is anticipated to be low during the forecast period.
Key manufacturers such as Dow Corning, Henkel AG & KGaA, and Shin-Etsu Chemical Company Limited with significant production capacities dominate the global conformal coatings market. These prominent companies have an advantage due to their extensive presence across the value chain, as compared to other manufacturers of conformal coatings.
Large players are highly integrated, which helps them reduce production costs and gain a competitive edge in the market. Key players focus on new innovation and technologies in order to enhance their market share and serve diverse industries. Hence, the degree of competition in the market is likely to be high during the forecast period.
Regional Outlook of the Conformal Coatings Market for PCBs
In terms of revenue, Asia Pacific dominated the conformal coatings market for PCBs with a 41.0% share in 2017. The high market share of the region is ascribed to the rise in disposable income, increase in population, and expansion of consumer electronics and automotive industries. Expansion of automotive and medical industries is estimated to provide lucrative opportunities to the market during the forecast period.
Manufacturers based in developing economies of Asia Pacific produce conformal coatings for the protection of PCBs of consumer electronic devices. The lucrative opportunities in the electronics industry in countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan offer growth opportunities for the conformal coatings market in the region. Consumer electronics is the major segment that drives the conformal coatings market in Asia Pacific. The robust automotive industry in China and Japan is also contributing significantly to the expansion of the conformal coatings market for PCBs in the region. Advancements in the defense sector and expansion of the electronics industry in Southeast Asia and South Korea are anticipated to offer better market expansion opportunities during the forecast period.
Recovery of the economy, increase in government spending, rise in consumer inclination toward personal conveyance, and constant research in automobile and medical technologies in the field of fuel efficient automobiles and pacemakers are expected to boost the conformal coatings market in North America.
Transparency Market Research (TMR) is a global market intelligence company providing business information reports and services. The company's exclusive blend of quantitative forecasting and trend analysis provides forward-looking insight for thousands of decision makers. TMR's experienced team of analysts, researchers, and consultants use proprietary data sources and various tools and techniques to gather and analyze information.