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The global chemical indicator inks market size is projected to reach US$ 35.4 million by 2024, and register CAGR of 8.1% over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).

Market Overview

A chemical indicator is a substance that visibly detects presence of (or lack of) the concentration of chemicals in a solution, by changing its colour. Chemical indicators, or CIs, have application in sterlisation processes in order to ensure that specific sterlisation guidelines have been achieved. The change in colour is caused by chemical indicator inks that are introduced in minimal quantities so as to not disturb chemical properties of the solution. A reaction takes place between the chemical present in the ink and some of the critical factors of the sterlisation process, which then changes and alters the colour to the expected result.

Market Taxonomy:

On the basis of product type, the global chemical indicator inks market has been segmented as:

  • Solvent Based
  • Water based
  • UV cured

On the basis of Sterilization process, the global chemical indicator inks market has been segmented as:

  • Steam sterilization
  • Ethylene oxide
  • Vaporized hydrogen & plasma
  • Formaldehyde
  • Others

On the basis of printing process, the global chemical indicator inks market has been segmented as:

  • Flexographic printing
  • Rotogravure
  • Screen

On the basis of application, the global chemical indicator inks market has been segmented as:

  • Sterile bags
  • Sterile bottles
  • IV & blood containers
  • Prefillable syringes
  • Pouches
  • Tapes
  • Tags and labels
  • others

Market Dynamics

Chemical indicator inks are primarily used in end use industries such as chemical, pharmaceutical, and healthcare in the process of sterlization monitoring and as neutralisation reaction indicators. Sterlisation is one of the primary processes that take place in the healthcare industry since sterlisation of surgical equipment, instruments, and supplies directly affect patients' health and wellbeing. Chemical indicators can confirm the effective sterlisation of equipment used in surgery and patient care, and help determine the sterlisation level that has been reached. Growing prevalence of infectious diseases worldwide is expected to drive demand for chemical indicator inks. Furthermore, stringent regulations implemented by regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency such as mandates for sterlisation of surgical supplies and equipment is a contributing factor to the rising demand for chemical indicator inks. Chemical indicator inks are also gaining traction in the food canning industry, particularly for suppliers of perishable, canned products such as meat and fish.

Chemical indicator inks are also used in solvents and colorants in rotogravure in printing processes. These products, which have a liquid consistency due to the presence of petrochemicals, can release volatile compounds that are harmful for the environment. Additionally, the overall cost involved in the printing industry depends on the process selected. Flexographic printing, for instance, incurs higher costs compared to other processes, which can hamper the market growth in the near future.

Market Outlook

In terms of volumetric consumption, production, and revenue generation, Asia Pacific is expected to remain dominant. Rising industrialisation, and the presence of end use industries such as pharmaceutical, chemical, and food canning is likely to complement the increasing demand for chemical indicator inks in the region. Increasing involvement of emerging economies such as Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia in the food processing industries is another factor propelling the market growth. Research and development activities in South America and other regions will be a key contributor in the global market share. Market growth in Europe is projected to be sluggish in comparison to Asia Pacific, however presence of key players in the region is expected to benefit the regional market over the forecast period. The pharmaceutical industry in North America is expected to grow at a steady rate, and the region is projected to take a lead in manufacturing pharmaceuticals.

Key Players

The global chemical indicator inks market is expected to witness several developments over the forecast period. Some of the key players in the market are The Dow Chemical Company and DuPont, and BASF SE.

Key developments:

  • In January 2018, Tempil introduced Plasma Process Indicator Inks, which change color to signal that pouch or package containing health-care product has been exposed to prescribed sterilization conditions. Available in blue or red starting colors, inks can be printed on Tyvek medical packaging material.
  • In 2016, 3M introduced “Comply SteriGage Steam Chemical Integrator”, under its chemical indicators segment. The ink migration allows for easy to read "accept" or "reject" results.
  • In November 2008, Tempil introduced a line of waterborne process indicator inks, which are suitable for use as packaging indicators in all hydrogen peroxide plasma sterilization processes. These inks change color to signal that the pouch or package containing the health care product has been exposed to prescribed sterilization process.
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