Demand in the United States for chemical sensors is projected to grow 8.9% per year to $6.1 billion in 2014. Biosensors will continue to be the largest type of chemical sensor, as the increasing number of diagnosed diabetics boosts demand for glucose test strips. But, overall growth will be supported by recovery in automobile manufacturing and the process industries; by technological advances that allow for price reduction and greater precision, which will expand the use of chemical sensors into new markets; and by new applications within existing markets. These and other trends are presented in "Chemical Sensors," a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Through 2014, electrochemical sensors are expected to see the fastest growth, with demand reflecting recovery in manufacturing—particularly new motor vehicle production—following the significant downturn beginning in late 2007. Optical sensors, including products based on infrared, fiber-optic, photoionization, fluorescence, chemiluminescence, light-emitting diode, laser and ultraviolet technologies, will also see substantial gains.
Optical sensors will continue to benefit from their high sensitivity, stability, immunity to interference and product improvements such as smaller size and enhanced ruggedness. Biosensors are expected to provide good opportunities as well.
The large automotive sensor market will post favorable growth due to a rebound in motor vehicle production. The development of lower-cost, higher-performance and more durable chemical sensors will drive demand in other markets, such as the process industries, water and wastewater monitoring, and homeland security. Demand in the process industries will also benefit from increasing regulation of food quality prior to distribution. In the medical market, demand for blood glucose test strips will reach $3.9 billion in 2014. Fierce competition among suppliers will put downward pressure on prices as manufacturers strive to capture or maintain market share.