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The global liquid crystalline polymers market size was valued at USD 1.34 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 1.56 billion in 2023 to USD 2.69 billion by 2031, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.0% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 7.1% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Liquid Crystalline Polymer (LCP) is a form of thermoplastic with qualities that fall between highly ordered solid crystalline materials and amorphous, disordered liquids across a narrow temperature range. The product offers excellent electrical properties, high heat tolerance, chemical, oil, and gas resistance, and high stiffness properties. LCP is an ideal material for applications that need high strength, vibration damping, minimal moisture absorption, and low CTE. Increasing demand from the growing electrical & electronics industry along with the rising preference for high-speed networks and communication will drive the market.
Decreased Electrical & Electronics Production Due to COVID-19 Reduced Product Consumption in 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the temporary closure of production facilities of many electrical & electronics producing companies owing to government lockdown policies. Further, the delay in the electrical infrastructure development projects and trade bans disrupted the worldwide demand and supply of electrical & electronic components in 2020. This impact of the pandemic affected the liquid crystalline polymers production and consumption. However, the surging need for a high-speed network at home to facilitate work from home employees and increasing demand for electronic and medical devices has offset the product consumption. Moreover, government initiatives to normalize their economies will stabilize the market in a couple of years.
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Development & Promotion of 5G Communication Expected to Create Huge Opportunity for Product Usage
In the World Mobile Communications Conference, held in 2021, most of the manufacturers of mobile phones, including Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo specified their joint support for the global advancement of the 5G millimeter wave. Liquid crystalline polymer is an ideal material for manufacturing millimeter-wave high-frequency substrates. The currently used material Polyimide (PI) is not suitable for higher frequencies and creates huge losses at frequencies over 2.4 GHz. Another material, modified polyimide (MPI), meets signal processing needs for 5G between 10-15 GHz frequencies but leads to losses above this frequency band. Conversely, LCP serves as an excellent replacement for both materials due to its performance at and above 15 GHz frequency. Additionally, the upward migration from 1G to 5G frequency radio waves is a key factor driving LCP usage in the communication industry. Hence, this polymer is expected to become an important material for antenna membranes in the 5G era. Furthermore, the promotion of 5G connectivity and the increasing improvement in smartphone technologies will surge the use of liquid crystalline polymers substrate antennas in mobile phones.
Rapid Growth of the Electrical & Electronics Industry to Surge Product Demand
Rising infrastructure development, technology innovations, and increasing consumer disposable income are prominent factors boosting the electronics industry worldwide. This, in turn, increases the product demand. LCPs offer vibration damping, high strength, and low moisture absorption properties, which make them a suitable choice in various electronics parts, including connectors, electrical motor components, composites, and circuit boards. Moreover, various manufacturers are simplifying gadgets to fit more functions into smaller packages as a result of the miniaturization trend in many electrical products. When compared to older-style power connections with pitches exceeding 12.0 mm, the pitch (space) between joints in electrical connectors is shorter than ever before. This results in increasing the adoption of LCPs to inject mold into High-frequency (HF) network switches, Integrated Circuit (IC) sockets, and custom high-power electrical connectors. Hence, such factors will fuel the liquid crystalline polymer market growth.
High Product Price to Hinder its Adoption in Various Applications
The manufacturing of LCPs requires considerably high investments due to complex manufacturing processes, raw materials with high-temperature functions, and a high level of technical expertise. The high production cost leads to increasing the overall prices of liquid crystalline polymers. Furthermore, the high cost of production prohibits mid- and small-scale market participants from entering the market, which further reduces the size of the LCP production. Further, end-users with small investments cannot use this polymer in their product owing to its higher price. Hence, such factors act as a major restraint for the market growth.
Injection Molding to Remain Largest Type owing to Rising Preference for Injection-Molded Polymers
Based on type, the market is segmented into injection molding and extrusion molding. Amongst this, injection molding type is expected to lead the market during the forecast period owing to the increasing usage of injection-molded polymers in the electrical industry. LCPs manufactured using the injection molding process offer and enhance product properties, including dimensional stability, electrical and mechanical properties, chemical resistance and high fluidity during molding. The major manufacturers such as Polyplastics Co. Ltd, Celanese, and Solvay have adopted injection molding techniques to maintain the quality of their products. Increasing demand for liquid crystalline polymers with such properties has fueled its demand in the electronic industry.
Increasing technological advancement has fueled the adoption of advanced processes, thus propelling the demand for extrusion molding LCPs. The factors such as cost-effectiveness, flexibility and continuity of operations, easy alteration, and high production volumes have fueled the adoption of the extrusion molding process in LCP production. According to Polyplastics Co. Ltd, extrusion molded liquid crystalline polymers exhibit high elasticity, high tension, and good strength. The rapid advancement in LCPs by the manufacturers and increasing demand for cost-effective products will surge the demand for extrusion molding type.
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Electrical & Electronics is Dominant Application due to High Adoption of LCP in Various Equipment & Devices
Based on application, the market is categorized into electrical & electronics, automotive, aerospace & defense, and others.
The electrical & electronics application is expected to dominate the market between 2022 and 2029. In the electrical & electronics industry, LCP finds major applications in composites, connectors, high-density coil formers, electrical motor components, inverter and capacitor cases, surface-mount electronics parts, circuit boards, thin-wall and small size parts with complicated structures, and sim sockets. The technology transitions such as the rollout of IoT and 5G networks are the prominent factors boosting product consumption in the electronics industry. According to the Celanese Corporation, LCP is an ideal material that supports device shrinking, enhances signal integrity, and circuit densification. Hence, growth in the electrical & electronics industry will propel the market during the forecast timeframe.
The rapidly growing automotive industry, increasing vehicle electrification, and rising technological advancement in the vehicles to make them more customer-oriented will surge the product demand. The high-temperature resistance and lightweight properties of the product have surged its demand for sensors and connectors. It is also well suited for lighting systems in components including fog lamp bezels, lamp sockets, and reflectors. Thus, surging automobile demand will create opportunities for the market.
In the aerospace & defense industry, LCP is widely used as a cushion during the spaceship landing. The product is used in cargo tie-downs, tow ropes, and inflatables as it offers superior load handling characteristics due to its stable and lightweight properties. The others segment includes medical devices, chemical equipment, machinery, cookware applications of liquid crystalline polymers. Growth in medical, chemical, and consumer industries will drive the others segment growth.
Asia Pacific Liquid Crystalline Polymers Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The liquid crystalline polymers market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 1.04 billion in 2021. China accounted for a dominant share in the region owing to high electronics production in the country. The rising consumer inclination toward electronic products is a key factor driving the electronics industry in China. As per Celanese Corporation, China is a rapidly expanding production base for major global electronics and automotive producers. In addition, the encouraging government regulations and increasing expansions in China and other Asian countries by the electronics and automotive manufacturers are the factors providing growth opportunities for the market in the region.
According to ShenZhen XinJiaYe Electronics Technology Co., Ltd. (XJYPCB), a PCB manufacturer, the LCP production capacity is concentrated in the U.S., Japan, and China. The total production capacity of LCPs in these three countries was 76,000 tons in 2020.
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The rapidly growing electronics and automotive industries have fueled the LCPs market in North America. The adoption of LCP antennas for the upgrade of 5G communication technology will further increase the product demand in the region. The growth of the European market is associated with the rising product usage in the automotive, aerospace, and medical industries. Additionally, rising demand for electric vehicles and rapid infrastructure development will drive the adoption of LCPs in this region. The rapid infrastructure development and increasing technological advancement will augment the LCPs market growth in the Rest of the World.
Business Expansion Strategy Will Enable Companies to Gain Market Share
Leading players in LCP production are Celanese, Polyplastics, and Sumitomo Chemical, and they hold over 63% of the global liquid crystalline polymers production capacity. These companies are involved in capacity improvement, product innovation, acquisition, and collaborations in the market. Celanese is a global chemical and specialty materials company. Its major product categories include cellulose derivatives, intermediate chemistry, EVA polymers, and emulsion polymers. The company’s liquid crystalline polymers production site is located in North Carolina, U.S.
An Infographic Representation of Liquid Crystalline Polymers Market
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The global liquid crystalline polymers market research report offers detailed market analysis and focuses on key aspects, including major producing companies, types, applications, and market trends. The report also provides a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative market analysis. It highlights the research methodology used for deriving market data and covers recent industry developments. In addition, the report states the growth factors of the market at the global and regional levels.
Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million Tons)
Type; Application; and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 1.29 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 2.31 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the market value stood at USD 1.29 billion.
Registering a significant CAGR of 8.0%, the market will exhibit rapid growth over the forecast period (2022-2029).
The electrical & electronics segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.
The increasing product demand from the electrical & electronics industry is the key factor driving the market.
China held the highest share in the market in 2021.
Celanese, Polyplastics Co. Ltd, and Sumitomo Chemical Company are the leading players in the market.
The rapid growth in the automotive industry and increasing demand for high-speed networks are anticipated to boost the consumption of the product.
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