Silver ink, paste, and coatings are dyes that conducts electricity with the output of a printed object. Silver inks can be used to improve printed circuit boards, which are used in computer keyboards to sense the command when a key is pressed. Silver coatings and inks suppliers were able to ride the consumer electronics wave in the 1960s by supplying the contact objects, and then developed through the digital age by supplying conductive objects for the PCBs installed in cell phones and personal computers. When this opportunity began to drop, silver coatings and inks generated substantial revenues from the solar panel industry. Since the crash of the solar panel industry, the global silver coatings and inks industry has been declining, which has resulted in slower growth of the market.
The global market for silver inks, pastes, and coatings is segmented on the basis of application, material, and geography. On the basis of application, the market is sectioned into OLED lighting, ITO replacement, desktop PCB printers, 3D printed electronics, 3D antennas, e-textiles, in-mold electronics, automotive, touch-screen edge electrodes, UF RFID tags, and silicon solar cells. On the basis of material, the market is segregated into copper and carbon & nanocarbon.
Silver has always been a good microbial coating and demand for silver microbial coatings is a major driver of the global silver inks, pastes, and coatings market. In addition, cost-effectiveness and the benefits that the material provides is another major driver of this market. Major opportunities of the market includes its use in new printed electronics, EMI/RFI shielding, heaters and printed antennas, prototyping of multi-layer PCBs, interposers, etc. Use in LEDs is another major opportunity for the global silver inks, pastes, and coatings market. Another area where the market has greater opportunity is new awareness about silver pastes and inks in the solar panel industry, which is reviving after the huge solar crash. The industry now is greatly oriented toward crystalline silicon (c-Si) panels than prior to the solar power industry crash. This is a major opportunity for the silver pastes market as c-Si panels is a major target customer for silver.
Geographically, the global silver inks, pastes, and coatings market is segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. North America held the dominant market share in 2015. This region is also forecasted to have a steady growth rate. Asia Pacific is forecasted to have the most rapid growth rate over the forecast period owing to the increased penetration of technology and greater demand for solar panels, LED lighting, and 3D printed electronics in the region. Middle East & Africa is also forecasted to see rapid growth due to the rise of application industries in the region.
Major players of the global silver inks, pastes, and coatings market include BASF SE, Akzo Nobel N.V., Clariant, Creative Materials, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Dow Chemical Company, Henkel, Heraeus, InkTec, Methode Electronics, Microban International, Ltd., Nolla, PPG Architectural Coatings, Sun Chemical, Taiyo Holdings Co. Ltd., and ANP Lighting.
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