Glass fiber/epoxy prepregs have dominated the mammoth PCB market for decades. Will that continue in a time of great change?
Glass fiber/epoxy laminates have been the foundational structural substrate in printed circuit boards (PCBs) for decades. These iconic thin, green “cards” support the transistors, resistors and integrated circuits at the heart of almost all digital technologies and connect them electrically via conductive pathways etched or printed on their surfaces. They are the world’s largest market for glass fiber, says Drew Walker, CEO of specialty glass fiber producer AGY (Aiken, S.C.). Indeed, market research firm Lucintel (Irving, Texas) reports a global market for glass fiber in PCBs of 844 million lb in 2013 and forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5 percent. At that rate, the use of glass fiber in the PCB market will reach 1.1 billion lb by 2019. The growth will be fueled by the proliferation of mobile devices and digital control in appliances and cars, and new robotic applications in medical, defense and other manufacturing industries. Read more: