Thermal Interface Materials Market – Snapshot

Thermal interface materials are usually inserted between two components or surfaces in order to improve the thermal coupling and heat flow between the two surfaces or components. Nowadays, electronic assemblers know the importance of thermal interface materials and use them in almost every application where heat flow is a critical part of operation. These materials are used primarily due to the uneven, rough, and wavy surfaces of machined parts, which lead to few actual points of contact between the two joined components. These rough surfaces form air gaps when joined, resulting in insulation, and act as a thermal barriers for small scale power applications. Thermal interface materials help eliminate air gaps and increase the heat conductance between the joined surfaces. These materials are available in several forms; however, their selection depends on several factors. Thermal conductivity is the primary selection criteria. Besides thermal conductivity, ease of usage during assembly, ability to rework, and long term stability are also important in selecting these materials for high-end applications.

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Rise in Production of Electronic Components and Increase in Demand for Smartphones in Developing Countries Likely to Drive Market

The electronics industry, especially in developing countries such as China and India, has been expanding rapidly, primarily due to the high domestic demand for electronic products. This can be ascribed to the growth in middle class population, rise in disposable income, favorable duty structures, and increase in government projects in developing countries. Mobile devices account for significant share of the electronics & semiconductor industry. The mobile devices industry in developing countries is driven by the rise in demand for mobile handsets, reduction in prices of these handsets, and decrease in voice and data tariffs.

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Electrification of transportation vehicles is also an important factor boosting the global thermal interface materials market. Advancements in battery and fuel cell technologies along with power train systems have led to the introduction of highly efficient vehicles in the market. Incorporation of electric and electronic devices in vehicles has been rising consistently. Thus, thermal management has become a prominent feature for vehicle manufacturers. Increase in demand for electric vehicles is also expected to be a key driver of the market. The electric vehicles industry in developed regions such as North America and Europe has been expanding significantly since the last few years. China has the largest electric vehicle industry across all the regions. Electric vehicles are also one of the major users of thermal interface materials. Growth in the electric vehicles industry is estimated to boost the market for thermal interface materials in the near future.

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Volatility in Prices of Raw Materials Expected to Restrain Market

Raw materials commonly used in the manufacture of thermal interface materials are polyolefins, epoxies, polyesters, acrylics, polybutadiene, polycarbonate, polypropylene, polyurethane, and acrylics. Volatility in prices of raw materials is a prominent restraint of the global thermal interface materials market. The final price of a product increases substantially owing to the rise in processing and development costs. Furthermore, polymer-based thermal interface materials are not readily bio-degradable. They are hazardous to the environment. Therefore, rise in plastic waste across the globe is also a significant factor estimated to restrain the global thermal interface materials market during the forecast period.

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