The global conductive textiles market was valued at USD 1.02 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 2.11 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 15.6% from 2016 to 2021. Growing awareness about the advantages of conductive textiles, high demand from the military & defense sector, and growing smart fabrics market are key factors anticipated to drive the growth of the conductive textiles market in the near future. Parker Chomerics (U.S.), Toray Industries, Inc. (Korea), Laird PLC (U.K.), Seiren Co., Ltd. (Japan), Bekaert (Belgium), HITEK Electronic Materials Ltd. (U.S.), and AiQ Smart Clothing (Taiwan) are some of the leading players in this market.
Conductive textiles are widely used in functions, such as heating, conduction, or electromagnetic interface shielding, and prevention of static charge build-up. Cotton, polyester, and nylon are the most widely used types of fabrics for conductive textiles. The type of conductive textile is selected based on the type of metal and the requirement of end-use industry. Copper and nickel are majorly used in conductive textiles.
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Depending upon the requirement of conductive textiles by varied end-use industries, these textiles can be woven, knitted, braided, sewn, or cut. Among types, the woven textile segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2016 to 2021. Woven conductive textile is lightweight and offers durable shielding. It also provides high standard performance in shielding and conductivity, and is widely preferred by varied end users.
Based on end user, the sports & fitness segment of the conductive textiles market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Increased awareness about health, fitness, and wellness, globally has led to a high demand for wearable devices, as they are mainly used to monitor sleep, calories consumed, heart rate, and blood pressure, among other health parameters. Conductive textiles are used in the manufacture of products, such as smart shirts that record heart rates, intelligent bands that track physical activities, and other fitness monitoring devices. Thus, increase in demand for such health monitoring devices has contributed to the growth of the conductive textiles market.
Key market players have focused on the adoption of new product launches, technological enhancements, partnerships, and collaborations to cater to the demand for conductive textiles across various applications. The maximum number of developments in the global conductive textiles market was reported in 2016.
In October 2016, HITEK Electronic Materials Ltd. announced the arrival of a solution, which helps eliminate the restrictions faced by conductive fabrics. It has been a challenge for the industry to print directly on the fabric surface. The newly developed technique of printing is made using nanotechnology that does not affect the conductivity or performance of the fabric.
In February 2016, Parker Chomerics launched Therm-a-gap MCS30 that not only exhibits long-term thermal and physical reliability but also is resistant to thermal oxidation degradation. Therm-a-gap MCS30 is a series of low weight-loss, fully cured thermal filler pads for low deflection force applications with moderate thermal conductivity and high reliability.
In June 2014, AiQ partnered with Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd. (Taiwan) and Broadcom Corporation (U.S.) to provide smart shirt wearable solutions for vital sign tracking systems. The Intelligent Sensor Shirt is integrated with conductive fibers that sense a wearer’s heart rate, skin temperature, and breathing rate, and send it to a device on the sleeve. This gadget can easily pair with a tablet, phone, or other mobile devices via Bluetooth.
In February 2014, the Japanese firm NTT, a parent company of DoCoMo, collaborated with Toray Industries to develop a nanofiber-laced clothing with conductive fibers, and a wristband that monitors vital signs and transmits the information to smartphones.
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