Technological developments in the electronics and semiconductor industries have led to the creation of polymers that change shape on the application of voltage. The biggest application for electroactive polymers (EAPs) lies in their future use as actuators and sensors, which in turn opens up a huge spectrum of applications in the fields of electronics, healthcare, sensing, and solar energy generation. With the growing market for each of these applications, EAP is set
to become a mainstream market in the next five years. However, the technical specifications for each application differ widely, and extensive research and investments are still needed for developing application-specific EAPs.
The global electroactive polymers product market is expected to be worth US$2.78 bln by 2014 as per Reportlinker.com. The conductive plastics segment contributed 84% to the overall market in 2009, mainly due to its extensive application in electrostatic discharge and electromagnetic interference. As the EAP market is still in the early phase, it presents many advantages for the early movers. As there are not too many companies involved now, detailed knowledge of the competitors will be crucial for the success of each company.