According to the MRFR analysis, the global thermochromic material market was valued at more than USD 1.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach over USD 2.2 Billion by the end of 2025 at a CAGR of 8.9%.
Thermochromic materials are mainly used as temperature indicators in the industrial sector to determine the temperature variation and reaction heat in the system. Thermochromic materials change reversibly their color by a temperature change. The global thermochromic materials market is segmented based on type, material, and end-use industry.
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- Reversible: Reversible (those whose color reverts after the removal of heat and stress on them) segment accounted for more than 65% market share in 2018. Reversible thermochromic materials find applicability in many diverse fields such as packaging, textiles, and novelty items such as mood rings.
- Irreversible: Irreversible (those whose color changes permanently at the application of stress and heat) thermochromic materials find application in critical processes, such as the machinery within industries as well as to indicate infringement upon branded items and to test the authenticity of banknotes as well as signify the expiration of medicines and certain food items.
- Leuco dye is the largest market within the material segment largely due to its insolubility in water. The segment accounted for more than 30% market share in 2018. Leuco dye is applied extensively in imbuing textiles with thermochromic properties with practical uses, such as in tablecloths to effectively gauge heat, as well as novelty purposes.
- Thermochromic pigments are used to imbue paints and other coatings with thermochromic properties and they are used in traffic signs, path markings, and control panels.
- Liquid crystals with thermochromic properties are used to gauge stress and map heat in machinery as well as for colored displays.
- Other segment includes polymers and inorganic materials with thermochromic properties.
By End Use Industry
- Packaging is the largest segment and accounted for 38% share in 2018, the segment is expected to grow at highest CAGR during the forecast period. Smart packaging is increasingly relying on thermochromic materials to transmit significant information about the packaged product. It can be used to denote freshness of food items, the expiry of medication, the ideal heating required by foodstuffs and as a tamperproof seal to prevent infringement and act as a quality assurance for branded products.
- Printing and coating is another prime application segment of thermochromic materials, usually by adding thermochromic pigments to inks and paints. These are also used to coat machinery in order to gauge critical levels of heat and stress, greatly enhancing safety. There is an increase in the demand for thermochromic materials within the textile industry.
- Medical: Used to indicate the expiration of medicines, used in thermometers as well as for medical thermography.
- Textile: One of the larger segments for this market, textiles are usually treated with leuco dyes for aesthetic purposes, as with articles of clothing, or as indicators of temperature in tablecloths and oven mitts.
- Industrial: Industrial applications of thermochromic material are used to efficiently and easily gauge temperature changes, to understand heat flow and stress distribution. Irreversible thermochromic materials are used to signal critical overheating or critical stressing.
- Others: This includes a variety of novelty applications including glow in the dark items as well as thermochromic paint jobs for vehicles.
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- North America is the largest market for thermochromic materials owing to its indispensability in ensuring industrial safety as well as for packaging, North America is also home to several of the top thermochromic material manufacturers. This region is driving the innovation within this market.
- Europe accounted for5% share of the global market. Thermochromic materials are used in Europe for road markings, for safety purposes and as indicators in the food industry. Medical use of thermochromic materials is also high within this region.
- Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region for thermochromic materials and accounted for the second-largest market share of around 29% in 2018, this region is the largest manufacturing hub in the world. Consequently, it uses thermochromic materials for packaging, textile as well as for industrial safety purposes. The large automobile industry also uses these materials in its control panels and indicators.
- The Middle East & Africa and Latin America are small markets, these regions primarily use thermochromic materials for road mapping and as heat and stress indicators within its industries.