Metal coated fiber is a fiber having a metal coating over it. The metals used for coating include aluminum, copper, nickel, and gold. The metal coating layer provides high mechanical strength and improves electrical & thermal conductivity. It also eliminates outgassing and increases the temperature range of the fiber. Metal coated fibers can be used for various applications where protection against electromagnetic interference, radio frequency interference, and electrostatic discharge is required. It can be subjected to harsh conditions involving high temperature, harsh chemical, nuclear radiations, high power laser delivery, etc. Moreover, metal coated fibers, barring the gold coated fibers, provide a cost-effective and lightweight solution, which are very useful in the such as aerospace, automotive, medical, construction, and consumer electronics industries.
Polymer coated fibers are being replaced by metal coated fibers in many applications due to their better hermeticity, operability at higher temperature range and higher strength. Metal coated fibers can withstand higher temperatures, up to 700°C, for shorter periods and up to 500°C for longer periods, as compared to polymer coated fibers, which can withstand temperatures up to 300°C. Single mode, graded index, multimode, UV grade, and the IR grade are the different grades of metal coated fibers. Rising demand for air travel in almost all parts of the world is fuelling the need for innovative, lightweight, economical solutions for the aerospace industry. This, in turn, is driving the metal coated fiber market. Furthermore, the expanding automotive industry is contributing significantly to the expansion of the metal coated fiber market.
In terms of material used, the metal coated fiber market can be segmented into nickel, copper, aluminum, and others. Nickel coated fibers possess high strength, better electromagnetic properties, heat-resistance, have low density, and are highly conductive and durable. Therefore, they find extensive usage in the aerospace industry. They also find applications as additives in paints, sealants, adhesives, etc. The nickel coated fibers segment of the metal coated fiber market is anticipated to expand at a significant growth rate during the period of forecast.
In terms of end-use industry, the metal coated fiber market can be segmented into aerospace automotive, defense, energy, consumer electronics, and construction. The aerospace industry is a major contributor to the metal coated fiber market. The industry requires metal coated fibers with better electrical & thermal conductivity, corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance, etc., for high-tech applications such as EMI shielding. Moreover, metal coated fibers due to their cost effectiveness, light weight, and multi-purpose usage are extensively utilized in the aerospace industry. The aerospace industry is anticipated to continue its dominance in the metal coated fiber market during the period of forecast.
In terms of geography, the market can be segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. North America dominates the metal coated fiber market and is anticipated to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. However, Asia Pacific is likely to expand significantly due to the anticipated expansion of the aviation and the automotive industries in the region, during the forecast period. Furthermore, economic development, increasing industrialization & urbanization, improving standard of living of the people in the developing countries of the region such as India and China, are key factors driving the metal coated fiber market in Asia Pacific.
Key players operating in the global metal coated fiber market include Technical Fiber Products Ltd., IVG Fiber Ltd., OZ Optics Ltd., Technical Fiber Products, Toho Tenax, Hollingsworth & Vose Company, Carlisle Interconnect Technologies., Conductive Composites Co. LLC, and Directed Vapor Technologies Inc.
Companies are adopting aggressive marketing tactics and merger & acquisition strategies to expand their market share. They are also shifting their production facilities to emerging economies, such as China & India, in Asia Pacific due to the easy availability of land, cheap labor, and government subsidies in the region. Additionally, companies are employing export as a tool for geographic expansion in emerging economies in Middle East & Africa.
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