Electrical insulation is a form of material in which internally present electric charges do not flow freely. This makes it impossible for electric current to be conducted under the influence of an electric field. The main difference between electric insulation and semiconductors and conductors is that the former possesses higher resistivity, while the latter carry current with more ease. A substance is an insulator or a conductor is normally depends on the number of free electrons it possesses, which can be used to carry electric current. An important characteristic of insulating material is its ability to withstand electric stress which is known as dielectric strength. This strength is quoted in kilovolts per millimeter (Kv/mm). Previously, ceramics and glass were the most prominently used electrical insulation material. At present, polymer-based electrical insulation contributes a significant share in the global electrical insulation material market.
Based on type electric insulation is classified as glass, ceramics, thermoplastic and epoxy resin. Electrical insulation material is used in various applications such as cables & transmission lines, power systems, electronic systems, domestic portable appliances, and others. Based on end-use industry, the electrical insulation market can be divided into manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, and others. Modernization of electricity networks, increasing usage of electric appliances, and demand from the increasing population are factors contributing to the expansion of the electrical insulation market.
Consumption of thermoplastic electrical insulation is estimated to increase at a relatively speedy rate during the forecast period. These materials are lightweight, possess high mechanical and electric strength, and also deliver consistent performance in harsh climatic conditions. Thermoplastic electrical insulation also exhibit excellent voltage endurance compared to that of ceramics and a few other materials which makes them the preferred electrical insulation type across all regions.
Demand for electrical insulation material has been dominated by the infrastructure segment followed by transporation and manufacturing. Rising construction activities especially in emerging economies such as India and China along with growing urbanization fuel its requirement for electric insulation during the projected period. Usage of electrical insulation in power systems plays a part as well and this is projected to be the market’s leading application with fast growing rate during the forecast period. A surge in electrical installation activities in developing countries, improved policy regulations related to electricity, and focus on increasing the rural areas’ access to electricity are major drivers of the electric insulation market during the forecast period.
Based on region, Asia Pacific was a prominent, rapidly expanding electrical insulation market globally and this trend is expected to continue during the estimated period. Rising population leads to a need for better industrial, residential, and commercial infrastructure which in turn elevates the demand for electricity. Modernization of electric transmission networks, government policies for electricity in rural areas, and growth of renewable energy are a few more causal factors. In Asia Pacific, China is considered to be an important market followed by India and South Korea. Middle East & Africa and Latin America are also likely to grow significantly during the forecast period.
This market for electrical insulation material is highly competitive due to the presence of a large numbers of local players who supply low-quality products at comparatively inexpensive pricing. Key players operating in the global electric insulation market include DuPont, ITW Formex, 3M, Nitto Denko Corporation, Krempel GmbH, and Haysite Reinforced Plastics.
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