The Conformal coatings market is estimated to be USD 977 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 1,265 million by 2025 at CAGR of 5.3%. Conformal coatings are a type of protective coatings of 25-75µm thickness which are applied to printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electronic components to protect them from harsh environments such as dust, solvents, moisture, humidity, and high temperature. Conformal coatings increase the operational performance of PCBs assemblies by maintaining long-term surface insulation.

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“Automotive is the largest end-use segment in the overall conformal coatings market.”

The automotive industry has grown at a fast pace in the last decade, which led to the rapid evolution and increased consumption of electronics used in the vehicles. Currently, an average mid-range vehicle is loaded with technological features such as lane sensors, adaptive cruise control, in-car entertainment, and navigation. Also, the emergence of electric vehicle (EV), connected cars, and autonomous vehicles have resulted in a rapid surge in the advancement of electronics installed in these vehicles. From the industry point of view, the challenge is to protect these huge volumes PCBs and ICs used in the electronics system over a long period while meeting the specifications required by the automotive industry. This creates an attractive opportunity for conformal coatings manufacturers in the automotive and transportation industry. It is also the go-to-market for PCB manufacturers.

“Silicone conformal coating is the fastest-growing type for conformal coating.”

Various industries require coatings for high-temperature applications. Silicone conformal coatings are widely used for such applications, as they have the ability to withstand severe temperature conditions for an extended period. These coatings are widely used in under-the-hood automotive components. They can also be used in PCBs to protect them from damage and provide electrical insulation in hot and cold environments. Silicone coatings also protect electronic equipment from the extremely high as well as low temperatures. Silicone-based conformal coatings are manufactured as single-component compounds and also provides excellent humidity, corrosion and chemical resistance. However, these coatings are not abrasion resistant because of its rubbery nature, but this makes it resilient against vibrational stresses.

APAC is the largest market of conformal coatings, and this dominance is expected to continue till 2025. China is the key market in the region, consuming more than half of the demand for conformal coatings, followed by Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. These countries are expected to witness a steady increase in consumption from 2020 to 2025. The region contributes close to 90% of PCB production in the world, and market is mainly driven by the presence of a large number of leading global electronics companies. PCB industry is quite fragmented as there are more than 100 companies that constitute close to 90% of overall PCB revenues and most of them belong to APAC, more so in China & Taiwan. Recent years have seen a lot of PCB manufacturing shifts to APAC due to cost-effectiveness and closer access to customers in the region, hence the increase in consumption of conformal coatings.

The key companies in the conformal coatings are Henkel (Germany), Illinois Tool Work (US), Shin-Etsu Chemical (Japan), Dow (US), H.B. Fuller (US), Chase Corporation (US), Electrolube (UK), Dymax Corporation (US), MG Chemical (Canada) and Specialty Coating System (US).

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