The adaptability and customization of conductive ink technologies mean they can outperform other inks and cater to a broad spectrum of needs. Paste-based electronics can be applied after the textile manufacturing process is complete by laminating or heat transferring the inks and potentially by using sacrificial layers.
Suppliers who offer customized solutions will benefit most from market growth, according to a recent report on Conductive Ink Markets 2019-2029 by Dr. Khasha Ghaffarzadeh. The fast-paced and enormous textile market with its rapid product development cycles and highly responsive value chain is also diverse. Ink manufacturers can find opportunities that range from wearable consumer textiles to protective clothing to automotive textiles.
Factors that will affect profitability include substrate of choice, degree of stretchability, washability, conductivity level, and cost. Since paste content per item is low and products can be short-lived, products need to be designed, created, and commercialized so applications can be developed for them.
A broad global supplier base is accelerating the market seeding phase. With a better established value chain and reality prevailing over hype, the e-textile market is poised for significant medium- and long-term growth.
Right now, the use of silver pastes as high-conductivity stretchable dry sensor electrodes is the most prominent application, although first-use cases measured ECG and other signals in fitness clothing and animals, Pregnancy monitoring applications are now emerging, although the first major success stories may be in sectors outside consumer e-textiles, for instance automotive.
The global stretchable conductive material market size was valued at $434.7 million in 2016 and is expected to reach $3.4 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 25.7%, driven by the emergence of stretchable electronics, wearables, and intelligent robotics (including advanced robots treated with keen sensory skins so that they can interact well with humans and respond properly to the surrounding environment without external control.)