Stretchable conductive pastes: challenging strategic market segmentation

By Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh, Research Director, IDTechEx

Stretchable conductive inks have been in the commercialization mode for multiple years now. Arguably, it all started as a technology push. The big trend at the time was wearable technology and e-textiles. And, naturally, ink and paste suppliers did not want to be left behind. In this article, we look at why conductive inks could have a compelling proposition to this market, at some of the reasons which have hindered market progress, and at the current state of progress.

Compelling proposition. Conductive ink technology can offer a compelling proposition to this market. It is intrinsically an adaptable technology. This is an important capability because the requirements are varied and, in most cases, unknown even by the users. In fact, many variables exist including the substrate of choice, the degree of stretchability, the washability, the conductivity level, the cost, and so on.
An important advantage of ink technology is that it can be customized to cater to a broad spectrum of needs. This is a technological advantage that outperforms alternative choices with rigid and fixed performance characteristics. To exploit this, the suppliers should develop the organizational capability and mindset to offer customized solutions.

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