Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) Market 2000-2025
Liquid Crystal Polymers (LCP) are aromatic polyesters by composition that exist in liquid crystal state. They exhibit a partially crystalline structure and their molecules are largely aligned. They have remarkable physical properties and chemical inertness by the virtue of which are capable of replacing metals, ceramics and several other engineering plastics in high-end applications. LCPs finds use in electronic components like printed circuit boards and surface mounted devices to name a few. Electrical &Electronics and Consumer Electronics are so far the largest consumers of LCP and will continue being the major consumers in the long term forecast. Other applications for LCPs include: Automotives (power trains of hybrid cars),Industrial, Medical and other applications like Aerospace and Bakeware.
LCPs were first commercialised in 1980’s. Currently, the major players in to manufacturing of neat LCP resins are: Polyplastics, Ticona, Toray, Solvay,Sumitomo and Ueno. Polyplastics is identified to be the largest producer with a manufacturing facility in Fuji, Japan. LCP resins manufacturing facilities are largely restricted to Japan, China and USA. The global capacities for LCP resins are around 60,000 tons with demand slightly over 35,000 tons. The global demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.0 – 5.2% in the next 5-6 years.
In 2016, Asia-Pacific was estimated to be the largest consumer of LCPs accounting for over 75% of the global demand. China accounted for the major demand with strong demand from its electrical & electronics industry. Other Asian countries including Taiwan, Japan, India, Singapore and South Korea account for a descent share of the global demand.
Miniaturization of electronic parts owing to the need of ultra-thin components and lead free soldering techniques are the major growth driving factor for LCPs in the electronics industry. Growing population,increasing disposable income, and per capita consumption of plastics are some of the key factors supporting the growth in demand of plastics in the electronics industry. Its high prices compared to other commodity plastics put it to some disadvantage. However, its outstanding properties outweigh this and the market for LCP is likely to expand over the years.
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