The global market for conformal coating materials was valued at $7.9 billion in 2011, and is projected to reach $8.5 billion in 2012, and $8.9 billion in 2017, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1%, according to a new technical market research report from BCC Research. The conformal coating market can be split into two segments: conformal coating equipment and spares, and conformal coating materials. The equipment and spares segment should hold a value of $6.7 billion in 2012; by 2017, however, the segment is expected to decrease in value to $6.3 billion, yielding a CAGR of -1.2%. The materials segment is projected to be worth $1.8 billion in 2012, and to be worth $2.6 billion in 2017, a CAGR of 7.8%.

Conformal coatings are those that conform to the shape of their substrate. Conformal coating started as a simple process performed on electronic substrates in need of extra protection from external elements, with little attention paid to quality factors beyond adequate component coverage. The increased capability of semiconductor assemblies to perform complex tasks in automotive applications, traffic control, signage, outdoor surveillance, and mission-critical elements has increased the demand for conformal coatings.

Key markets for these materials include semiconductors/electronics, motor vehicles, aerospace and defense, and medical devices. The application of conformal coatings in electronics applications has historically dominated the marketplace and will continue to do so through 2017. The growth of the electronics market will reportedly be driven by increased conformal coating use in integrated circuit and device fabrication; replacement of housing and other hermetic packaging systems; and use in new device packaging systems, and high frequency, wireless, and portable consumer electronic products.

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