Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP), a high performance engineering plastic, is partially crystalline aromatic polyester based on p-hydroxybenzoic acid (HBA) and other related monomers. The chemical structure and morphology of LCPs is vastly different compared to conventional polyester polymers, due to which there are considerable differences between the two not only in physical and mechanical properties, but also in processability.
Global LCP demand was 46,100 tons in 2013 and is expected to reach 81,700 tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 8.6% from 2014 to 2020, as per Hexa Reports, expected to reach US$1.23 bln by 2020. Shift in trend towards miniaturization of electrical components such as surface mount device and connectors is expected to drive global LCP market. Growing demand for lightweight, high performance materials from automotive industry in order to improve fuel efficiency is also expected to have a positive influence on the market growth. Lower welding strength and warpage associated with LCP is expected to remain a key challenge for market participants.
Electrical & electronics emerged as the leading application segment and accounted for 81.5% of total market volume in 2013. Growing engineering resins demand for manufacturing ultra-thin electrical components is expected to remain a key driving factor for this segment. LCP is favored over other engineering resins such as polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), nylon 46 and polyphthalamide (PPA) which has further propelled market growth. Electrical & electronics is also expected to witness the highest growth rate of 8.9% over the forecast period. LCP demand from automotive industry is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 7.3% from 2014 to 2020. Shift in trend towards adoption of lightweight, high performance materials from automotive industry particularly in the U.S. and Europe is expected to drive this segment.
Further key findings from the study suggest:
* China was the leading regional market and accounted for 46.1% of total market volume in 2013. China is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period owing to rapid expansion of electronics & electrical industry in the nation. Other Asian countries such as India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are also expected to witness steady growth over the forecast period.
* Industrial machinery applications include ceramic material substitutes and mass transfer packaging in chemical industries. Increasing industrial machinery demand particularly in China and other Asian countries is expected to complement regional market growth.
* North American LCP market is expected to reach US$241.4 million by 2020, growing at an estimated CAGR of 7.3% from 2014 to 2020.
* Global LCP market is highly consolidated with top four companies accounting for over three-fourth of total market. Some major companies operating in the global LCP market include Celanese Corporation, Polyplastics Co., Ltd, Solvay S.A and Sumitomo Chemical. Other companies include Toray International, Inc, Samsung Fine Chemicals and Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.
As per Research and Markets, Global Liquid Crystal Polymers (LCPs) market standing at US$650.1 mln in 2016 and projected to touch US$883.2 mln by 2022 growing by a 2016-2022 CAGR of 5.2%. Asia-Pacific leads the global market for LCPs, forecast to be US$525.7 mln (80.9% share) in 2016, which is also likely to record the fastest CAGR of 5.5% over 2016-2022 and reach a projected US$723.2 mln by 2022.
Electrical & electronic components sector is the largest end-user for LCP, followed by automotive and industrial sectors, among others. LCP demand is further driven by miniaturization of electrical & electronic components in smart phones, laptops and tablets and new emerging applications such as LEDs. In particular, the demand for LCPs in the trend of downsizing and thinning of the electrical and electronic components sector has dramatically increased. Electrical & electronic components sector is the largest end-user for LCP, followed by automotive and industrial sectors, among others. However, in the developed regions such as United States and Europe, the fastest growth is expected to come from automotive sector, as vehicle manufacturers are using lightweight materials for automobile components to increase fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
Liquid Crystal Polymer Market is projected to reach US$1.2 bln by 2020, with a CAGR of 6% between 2015 and 2020, as per Markets and Markets. Asia-Pacific dominated the LCPs market in 2014. China is the key market for LCPs and accounted for more than 45% of the global LCPs market. The growing demand for LCPs in various end-user industries such as electrical & electronics, consumer goods, and automotive is driving the market for LCPs in the region. Furthermore, the automotive and medical industry in North America and Europe drives the market for LCPs. Medical segment is expected to witness highest growth during the projected period. Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing market for LCPs during the projected period. The ensuing increase in investments and rise in the number of new manufacturing establishments is anticipated to witness Asia-Pacific emerge into a prime driver of growth for the LCPs market. Furthermore, the electrical & electronics segment is expected to witness high growth during the forecast period. This is due to the growing engineering resins demand for manufacturing ultra-thin electrical components in the region. Moreover, the rising demand from other industries such as consumer goods, automotive, lighting, and medical activities drive the market for LCPs in the Asia-Pacific region.
Electrical & electronics segment dominated the liquid crystal polymer market with 69.2% the global market share in 2014, in terms of volume. The growth is attributed to the expansion of electrical & electronics industry in the region. LCPs is utilized in a wide array of end-user industries focused on electronic components such as personal computers and mobile telephones, and the corresponding market has been witnessing rapid and continued growth. LCPs has come to be a requisite high performance material that has already well-known its position in the market as the finest choice for use in ultra-compact electronic parts, devices, and equipment. Automotive is the other key application area of LCPs and accounted for 8.2% in 2014, in term of volume. The growth in the automotive sector is attributed to adoption of lightweight, high performance materials from automotive industry worldwide.
LCPs have the largest market share in the Asia-Pacific region with many Japanese players and their brands like Laperos LCP, Sumikasuper LCP, and Siveras LCP dominating the market. The market also has players from the U.S and the European region which cater to the respective markets through brands such as Vectra/Zenite LCP and XYDAR LCP.
Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP), a high performance engineering plastic, is partially crystalline aromatic polyester based on p-hydroxybenzoic acid (HBA) and other related monomers. The chemical structure and morphology of LCP is vastly different compared to conventional polyester polymers, due to which there are considerable differences between the two not only in physical and mechanical properties, but also in processability. LCPs have outstanding mechanical properties at high temperatures, excellent chemical resistance, inherent flame retardancy and good weatherability. LCP molecules remain well-ordered even in the melt and slide past each other easily under shear. Due to their excellent flow properties, LCPs can be injection molded into thin-wall components and have outstanding strength at extreme temperatures of up to 300°C. Due to these unique properties, LCP products have proven successful in a variety of applications, including sockets, bobbins, switches, connectors, chip carriers, dental tools, surgical instruments, pumps, meters and valve liners.