The global copper foil market size was valued at USD 14.36 billion in 2021, which is envisioned to grow at a CAGR of 7.51% and reach USD 25.64 billion during the forecast period. Copper foil is the base copper thickness that is applied to both the outer and the inner layers. Copper foil is a copper-based product that commonly encompasses other elements to form an alloy. Copper foil is employed in PCBs (printed circuit boards) that are incorporated into telecommunications equipment such as computers and mobile phones. It is also used in the current collectors that are used in lithium-ion secondary batteries, and it is used as the material that shields electromagnetic waves in plasma displays. Copper foil is created by rolling copper sheets or by electrodeposition. Because of its high electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, and reliability in comparison to other metals, it is widely used in industrial products. This is because it is one of the most minor expensive metals.
In addition, copper foil goes through various surface treatments, each designed to improve and maintain its ability to adhere to a specific dielectric material used in a circuit. 5um to 105um is the range of copper foil thickness, also known as the electronic grade. Copper foil is one of the fundamental materials in contemporary electronics. Some of the most important end-users of copper foil are electronic devices such as smartphones, flexible electronics, lithium-ion batteries, electronic components for automobiles, and televisions. Furthermore, decorative materials like monasteries, gold signs, tile mosaics, and handicrafts all use copper foil in their various applications.
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The Speedily Growing Electronics Industry and Rise of Smartphones
The global market for electronics is anticipated to expand speedily during the forecast period. This is a result of the growing demand for copper foil, which has led to an increase in the market for various kinds of circuit boards. In addition, the growth of the middle class increases demand for consumer electronics. Copper foil-based printed circuit boards (PCBs) are utilized in nearly all electrical gadgets, which significantly contributes to the expansion of the global copper foil market. Furthermore, wearable, flexible, intelligent devices have been gaining much traction in recent years due to their many benefits, including their ability to be compact and serve multiple functions. Consequently, as global internet penetration increases, the demand for intelligent wearables is anticipated to increase. Rapidly expanding internet services in several developed and developing economies worldwide creates strong growth potential for the consumer electronics market, boosting the copper foil market share.
Moreover, it is anticipated that the global smartphone market will expand rapidly throughout the forecast period. This expansion is most likely driven by an increase in the availability of low-segment models and a decrease in the price of internet access. This will increase the demand for copper foil-based printed circuit boards. Also, the introduction of new smartphones was spurred by technological developments such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G connectivity. In Australia, for instance, nearly 88% of the citizens own a smartphone, making it one of the leading adopters of this technology. In 2017, Australian telecommunications companies permanently shut down their 2G networks, requiring consumers to purchase new 3G or 4G-capable smartphones. Thus, it is projected that the sales of new 5G smartphones will rise in these regions, stimulating the copper foil market share.
Availability of Alternative Metal Foils
Copper foil's market growth is anticipated to be constrained by the availability of suitable substitutes. In radio frequency (RF) shielding applications, like copper foil, aluminum could be used as a foil to limit low-frequency radio fields, or it can be incorporated into the structure to provide a built-in radio frequency shield. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding tape is also fabricated in various forms from stainless steel and other metals. In ESR and RF shielding applications, copper foil's penetrability is thus restricted. Copper foil and aluminum transformers are accessible on the market in the case of transformers. Both transformers have comparable functionality. Due to aluminum's lower density than copper, aluminum foil transformers are lighter in weight. Therefore, the availability of alternatives to copper foil is a barrier to expanding the global copper foil market.
The Advent of New Copper Foil Products
Improving the performance requirements of copper foil will result in the introduction of new products. Copper foil's performance in applications such as flexible printed circuit boards, high-frequency circuit boards, and battery material will be enhanced by modifying its surface morphology and internal structure. During the forecast period, developing such new copper foil products is anticipated to present lucrative opportunities for market expansion. Targray, a significant copper supplier in North America, created battery-grade copper foil that is exceptionally thin (5m) for use in consumer devices and drones. Consequently, it is essential to produce thinner foils to reduce the weight of the package. Therefore, it is anticipated that such factors will facilitate the advancement of the global copper foil market throughout the forecast period.
The global copper foil market is classified based on product type, application, end-user industry, and region.
Segmentation based on product type includes Rolled copper foil and Electrodeposited copper foil.
The rolled copper foil segment is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.12% and possess the leading position in the market throughout the forecast period. Rolling successive cold rolling operations produce copper to reduce thickness and increase length, starting with a billet of pure copper. The surface finish is dependent on the condition of the rolling mill. Compared to electrolytic copper foil, rolled copper foil is more flexible and maintains its mechanical characteristics under high-temperature conditions. It is the optimal material for mounting electronic devices in high density. Its high density and smooth surface make it ideal for applications involving printed circuit boards. Consequently, the expansion of this market segment is primarily driven by the use of PCBs in all electronic devices.
The electrodeposited copper foil segment will hold the second-largest share. Electrodeposited (ED) or electrolytic copper foil is the "neural network" of electronic product signal, power transmission, and communication. It plays a significant role in the rapid development of the electronic industry. It is crucial in producing copper-clad laminates (CCL), printed circuit boards (PCBs), and lithium-ion batteries. The expansion of the electronics industry is driving the growth of the ED copper foil market. ED copper foil is utilized in consumer electronics such as smartphones and home appliances.
Segmentation based on application includes Printed circuit boards, Batteries, Electromagnetic shielding, and others.
The printed circuit boards segment is anticipated to hold the largest market share during the forecast period and grow at a CAGR of 7.5%. Copper foil, a type of harmful electrolytic material, is placed on the base layer of a printed circuit board (PCB) to create a continuous metal foil, also known as the conductor of the PCB. PCBs are essential components of electronics in a variety of industries. They are formed of a non-conductive material and have lines, pads, and other copper-etched features that electrically link up the electronic components within a product. On some printed circuit boards, components like capacitors and resistors are soldered.
The batteries segment will hold the second-largest share. Copper foil is an anode substance for lithium-ion batteries (LIB) and acts as an electric current conductor. In addition, it serves as a heat-emitting source for a storm. Copper foil is commonly used in lithium-ion batteries because there are no length or thickness restrictions. Nevertheless, electrolytic copper foil lacks mechanical strength and is susceptible to warping.
Segmentation based on end-user industry includes Electrical & Electronics, Automotive, Industrial Equipment, Building & Construction, Medical, Aerospace & Defense, and Others.
The electrical & electronics segment will likely hold the largest market share during the forecast period and grow at a CAGR of 9.27%. Copper foil is an essential component of all modern electronic technology and appliances. It is used in PCBs, battery materials, and the production of ESR and RF shielding materials, to name a few. Throughout the forecast period, the use of copper foil in the electrical and electronics sector is anticipated to increase. Smartphone manufacturers are emphasizing lighter models. Hence, reducing the weight of the smartphone's internal components is essential. This is made possible with the aid of ultrathin copper foil goods.
The building & construction segment will hold the second-largest share. In the construction sector, copper foil is one of the many metals used for flashing sheets. Flashing is a thin metal sheet that prevents water from entering a building. Flashing is used in window openings and vent pipes, but it is essential at roof intersections and joints. Copper foil-based tapes are used to resolve flashing issues, which are common in commercial and industrial structures.
The region-wise segmentation of the global copper foil market includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
The Asia Pacific and North America Will Dominate the Regional Market
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The Asia Pacific will command the market with the largest share during the forecast period and grow at a CAGR of 7.92%. Huawei, a Chinese company, submitted the vast majority of 5G-related patents. Three state-backed companies, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, launched 5G services in 2019 in major Chinese cities. As part of its global move toward electric vehicles, American automaker Tesla opened a factory in Shanghai in 2019 as part of its international expansion. Tesla intends to establish a design center in China that will focus on creating new electric vehicle designs. Both developments are essential investments in Asia, as they will help the company expand its global presence. It currently possesses the world's largest network of electric vehicle charging stations, which number 1.2 million charging points and grows each year substantially. This will increase the demand for copper foil in the Asia Pacific.
Furthermore, since the outbreak of the pandemic, the majority of the population is now working from home, and therefore everyone must have access to high-speed internet. Consequently, the demand for 5G will rise. In September 2020, Rakuten Mobile Inc. launched 5G services at reasonable prices for its 4G services. As 5G services become more affordable over time, the demand for 5G-compatible smartphones will increase. Because India is one of the largest markets for data services, telecommunications companies are concentrating their efforts on launching 5G services in the country during the forecast period. Consequently, driving the market for copper foils in the region's nations.
North America will hold a revenue share of USD 6,472 million while growing at a CAGR of 6.9%. The U.S is among the most significant industry in the world for electronics and semiconductors. As a result, it contributes most of the revenue share to the market for copper foil in the North American region. In addition, the United States has a more significant proportion of smartphone owners than most other countries. Across a broad spectrum of demographic groups, most Americans own cell phones. In addition to mobile phones, Americans hold a variety of other information devices, including desktop or laptop computers and various consumer electronics. In the United States, the 5G network has already been implemented in select cities and is continually expanding its coverage area. This is expected to benefit the copper foil market in this region.
List of key copper foil market manufacturers profiled