Thermal management materials for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and power electronics will be a $4.8 billion market in 2020, more than doubling from $1.8 billion in 2013. As manufacturers look for more cost-effective ways to improve heat dissipation, thermally conductive polymers will dramatically increase their market share, from 16% in 2013 to 40% in 2020, according to Lux Research.
"Miniaturization and performance are creating a need for improved thermal management, driving significant market growth and technology shifts," said Pallavi Madakasira, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, "Cooling Heats Up: Sizing the Opportunity for Conductive Polymers in Thermal Management." "Thermally conductive polymers offer a cost-effective and efficient alternative to incumbents like aluminum, making them an increasing critical material in this market."
Lux Research analysts sized up the market opportunity for thermal management in LEDs and power electronics, and identified top technology developers. Among their findings:
- LED lighting will be the main driver. Thermal management for LED lighting will more than double to $3.8 billion in 2020, led by aggressive growth in the residential and commercial markets, as well as auto LED lighting, which will reach $730 million 2020.
- Thermal interface materials take off in smart phones and tablets. The smart phone and tablet thermal materials market will triple to more than $300 million in 2020. Given the sensitivity to weight and cost, these two end markets will rely on thermal interface materials (TIMs), rather than secondary heat sinks.
- Solar and electric vehicles grow most rapidly, but use few polymers. Thermal materials for solar inverters and power modules in hybrid and electric vehicles will boom to $170 million in 2020. However, performance demands will limit the use of in these applications to just a few million dollars.
The report, titled "Cooling Heats Up: Sizing the Opportunity for Conductive Polymers in Thermal Management," is part of the Lux Research Energy Electronics Intelligence service.