Home Speciality Chemicals Thermochromic Pigments Market Size, Share and Forecast to 2031

Thermochromic Pigments Market

Thermochromic Pigments Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Reversible, Irreversible), By Applications (Printing ink, Textile, Paints and Coatings, Plastic and Polymer, Food and Beverages, Paper, Cosmetics, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRSC54503DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 6.40%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 439.40 Million
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 767.95 Million
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Asia-Pacific
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Market Overview

The global thermochromic pigments market was valued at USD 439.40 million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 767.95 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.40% during the forecast period (2023-2031). 

Thermochromic pigments are considered specialty pigments because of their enhanced ability to change color in response to a change in temperature. Insoluble substances known as thermochromic pigments are added by physically combining them with the media. They have a high tinting strength when contrasted with the material they are introduced to. These pigments perform various essential tasks, including coloring the medium, changing color in response to temperature, masking the substrate and erasing existing color, and boosting the paint film's durability. The global market for thermochromic pigments is divided into reversible and irreversible thermochromic pigments based on the thermochromic.


  • The reversible segment is the highest contributor to the market by type. 
  • The printing ink segment is the highest contributor to the market by application.
  • North America is the most significant revenue contributor by region.

Market Dynamics

Global Thermochromic Pigments Market Drivers

Growing Use of Specialty Pigments in Flexible Packaging

The use of specialty pigments, notably thermochromic pigments in printing ink for efficient advertising and product promotion, has expanded due to customer preferences for colored materials. Inks with metallic pigments are being used more frequently in flexible packaging. When printing ink is applied to plastics, cartons, foils, films, paper, and cardboard, these pigments offer excellent color strength, temperature variations, and brilliant, long-lasting colors. When employed in the packaging sector, these pigments raise the product's perceived value at sale.

The capacity of thermochromic pigments to maintain the quality of the image, design, and text on the packed goods during production and transit, along with their better features, has increased their use in flexible packaging. During the forecast period, these factors are anticipated to impact the global thermochromic pigment market favorably.

Global Thermochromic Pigments Market Restraint

Pricing Volatility for Raw Materials

Pigments are mostly carbon-based molecules primarily sourced from petroleum compounds and other chemicals. Due to the increase in oil and natural gas costs, the market has seen fluctuations in pigment pricing. Many pigments are anticipated to increase in price in line with the rising cost of raw materials. Therefore, the market is constrained by the pigments' ongoing price fluctuation. Leading businesses form long-term alliances with their raw material suppliers to offset the loss brought on by raw material price fluctuation. Thus, during the projection period, this factor is anticipated to have a negative impact on the market for thermochromic pigments.

Global Thermochromic Pigments Market Opportunities

Progress in Technology

Nanostructured coloring agents are called pigments. The development of pigments with superior mechanical, electric, and thermal properties, such as color change, is projected to benefit from technological advancements. Inkjet printers, which require tiny pigment particles for their formulation, can use this technology widely. Glossy sheets prevent inkjet inks from penetrating them; hence a coating containing nano-pigments is necessary to achieve this. The radio frequency identification (RFID) tags used for security, anti-counterfeiting, and brand protection are printed with these nanoscale pigments. The possibility to improve the mechanical characteristics of pigments will present itself as a result of industrial technical improvement. During the forecast period, this aspect is anticipated to have a moderate impact on the market.

Regional Analysis

North America Dominates the Global Market

The global thermochromic pigments market is bifurcated into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. 

North America is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.00% during the forecast period. The market for thermochromic pigments in North America is examined across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Due to significant market participants in the U.S. and Canada, the region holds a sizeable market share for thermochromic pigments. In June 2016, Clariant International Ltd. doubled the production capacity of its water-based pigment manufacturing facility in Mexico. A new production facility for yellow, black, and red iron oxide pigments was opened by Huntsman Corporation in May 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. This facility has a production capacity of 30,000 metric tons annually.

Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.70% during the forecast period. Thermochromic pigments have a sizable Asian-Pacific market, which is anticipated to expand at the highest CAGR in volume and value over the forecast period. The Chinese government has invested in several sectors, including shipbuilding, inks, autos, textiles, and construction materials (iron, steel, and cement), critical consumer of thermochromic pigments. As a result, the production of pigments in China has increased more quickly than average, and this trend is predicted to continue over the next ten years. Over the coming years, India's expanding economy is anticipated to accelerate industrialization and urbanization, creating a profitable market for thermochromic pigments.

Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, and the rest of Europe are all included in the analysis of the market in Europe. The need for thermochromic pigments in Europe is being driven by rising uses of coatings for protective and ornamental objectives in end-user industries such as automotive, industrial, aerospace, and architectural. As of July 2016, 1,230 fuel cell vehicles were operational and deployed thanks to funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 initiative. Germany aimed to deploy 1 million electric vehicles by 2020 and had budgeted USD 2.17 billion for the program. During the projection period, it is predicted that the rise of the automotive sector will enhance demand for pigments in the coatings sector. 

LAMEA is a significant marketplace. The market in Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of LAMEA is examined. The Middle East's rapid urbanization has increased demand for thermochromic pigments in the building materials sector. Ficosa, a market participant in the automotive and mobility industries, announced in August 2016 that it intended to grow its company by constructing new plants in Jandira, Brazil, to increase the production of automotive components, particularly command rearview mirrors and electronic systems. The need for thermochromic pigments in the paint and coatings sector is anticipated to rise.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Type
  1. Reversible
  2. Irreversible
By Applications
  1. Printing ink
  2. Textile
  3. Paints and Coatings
  4. Plastic and Polymer
  5. Food and Beverages
  6. Paper
  7. Cosmetics
  8. Others
Company Profiles Olikrom QCR Solutions Corp Matsui Color Devine Chemicals Ltd New Color Chemical Limited CTI and Flint Group LCR Hallcrest Hali Industrial Co. Ltd Kolortek Smarol Industry Co. Ltd
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global thermochromic pigments market is segmented by type and application.

The global thermochromic pigments market is bifurcated into reversible and irreversible based on type.

The reversible segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.05% during the forecast period. Reversible thermochromic pigments are employed in novelty decorations and other applications where temperature warning is necessary, such as battery test strips, emergency signs, and firefighting equipment. Reversible pigments progress through the color spectrum when the heat is turned off. Additionally, reversible thermochromic materials are used in various products, including fabrics, baby diapers, battery meters, and bath toys. Their demand is primarily because irreversible thermochromic materials can only be used once since they lose color when the temperature is reversed.

At very high temperatures, starting at 55°C and above, the irreversible pigment undergoes activation points that cause it to transition from an inert state to one that is colored. Compared to reversible thermochromic pigment, irreversible thermochromic pigment is less expensive and only changes color when the temperature changes. Compared to reversible, it has a higher market share in terms of volume but a lower market share in value. Both reversible and irreversible, thermochromic pigments have a unique ability to change color, making them valuable in various applications. Due to their broad color spectrum, glamourous and beautiful textures, irreversible thermochromic pigments are frequently used in cosmetics, printing inks, and decorative paints and coatings. These pigments are widely used in automotive coating engines and electronic gadgets.

Based on application, the global thermochromic pigments market is bifurcated into printing ink, textile, paints and coatings, plastic and polymer, food and beverages, paper, cosmetics, and others.

The printing ink segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.20% during the forecast period. Thermochromic printing inks have been utilized on many products, including exam answer sheets, fresh food items (for determining food temperature), toys, and others. The market is growing due to the extensive usage of thermochromic pigments in printing inks for various products. Additionally, these inks' touch activation and cold activation options cover a large portion of the market, which helps the market for thermochromic pigments grow. These days, glow-in-the-dark accessories like mugs, signs, and clothes are trendy. These goods are printed with thermochromic inks, which change color in response to variations in temperature, such as heating or cooling.

Chromic colors are in high demand and accessible in textiles. Thermochromic hues have been extensively explored and are utilized in textiles for various purposes, including mood rings. Thermochromic dyes are used in materials to produce color variations. Thermochromic dyes undergo color change once they reach a specific temperature. As the temperature of the color shift is controllable, it can occur at various temperatures. The ingredients for making the thermochromic pigments used in textiles are an acid activator, an organic dye, and a low-melting solid that, when liquefied, serves as a solvent. These three are enclosed in microcapsules, causing the development of color when the temperature rises. Thermochromic pigments are coated with a binder before being applied to the fiber, yarn, or cloth.

Paints and coatings contain heat-sensitive thermochromic pigments. Reversible and irreversible colors are both available with thermochromic pigments. These have a wide range of commercial, residential, and industrial uses. The paints and coatings are used in annealing and fabricating metal, controlling surface temperatures, and operating machinery. They are employed in industrial temperature control, thermal mapping, packing, interior decoration, real-time hot-bearing monitoring, overheated engine parts, and thermal fault avoidance. The market for thermochromic pigments is expanding due to the uses indicated.

The periodic structures undergo structural alterations that lead to thermochromic changes. They can be utilized in elastomers, thermosets, and thermoplastics. The thermochromic additives remain stable during processing and do not alter. Although sturdy, thermosets, thermoplastics, and elastomers differ chemically, mechanically, and thermally. Plastic injection molding and extrusion can use thermochromic pigment. Products using thermochromic pigments lose their ability to change color when exposed to long periods of intense sunlight and U.V. radiation. The market is growing due to the widespread usage of thermochromic pigments in plastics and polymers.

The idea of smart packaging has developed over the past ten years. It is a method by which the packaging is meant to communicate with the consumer to inform them of the food item's temperature. Thermochromic pigments can be seen in self-cooling beer kegs, self-heating soups and coffees, and in maintaining freshness and temperature. Labels and packaging for chilled goods like beverages employ thermochromic inks. As these thermochromic pigments are UV-sensitive, prolonged exposure to intense light and high temperatures will shorten their useful life in printed materials. Such uses of thermochromic pigments in foods and beverages fuel the market expansion.

Thermochromic paper resembles fax paper or a receipt roll more than anything else. It is run through a printer with a specific thermal print head and has a thin, waxy texture. It is impregnated or coated with leuco-dye and a different sort of acid. Using these heat-sensitive sheets in packaging labels, brochures, and other applications is boosting the market for thermochromic pigments. Leuco-dye, a chemical that changes color, is suspended in a solution and applied to the paper. Additionally, they contain acids that, when heated, react and briefly lose their color before returning to it when cooled.

Market Size By Type

Market Size By Type
  • Reversible
  • Irreversible
  • Recent Developments

    • February 2023- Daehyun expanded its business around the world. It is based in Korea and makes and sells photochromic pigment, hydrochromic ink, phase-change materials, thermochromic materials, microcapsules, and thermochromic materials.

    Key Players

    Thermochromic Pigments Market Share of Key Players

    Thermochromic Pigments Market Share of Key Players
    Olikrom QCR Solutions Corp Matsui Color Devine Chemicals Ltd New Color Chemical Limited CTI and Flint Group LCR Hallcrest Hali Industrial Co. Ltd Kolortek Smarol Industry Co. Ltd Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is the estimated growth rate (CAGR) of the global thermochromic pigments market?
    The global thermochromic pigments market size is growing at a CAGR of 6.40% from 2023 to 2031.
    North America has the largest share of the market.
    Growing use of specialty pigments in flexible packaging is the key driver for the growth of the market.
    Progress in technology is one of the upcoming trend in the market.
    The key players in the global market include Olikrom, QCR Solutions Corp, Matsui Color, Devine Chemicals Ltd., New Color Chemical Limited, CTI and Flint Group, LCR Hallcrest, and Hali Industrial Co. Ltd Kolortek, and Smarol Industry Co. Ltd.

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