Global medical plastics market is projected to exceed 10 billion lbs by the year 2015 as per a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Biocompatibility, autoclavability, chemical resistance, transparency, and the ability to produce complex shapes make plastics an ideal choice for medical applications. Besides, the demand for plastics in medical devices is also propelled by its ability to produce low-weight medical devices.
Plastics currently form one of the most important components of the medical industry. Medical device designers and engineers increasingly prefer plastics to conventional packaging materials such as metals owing to superior flexibility offered by plastics in fabrication process. Advancements in sterilization techniques, shift towards disposable devices, development of enhanced plastic materials, and technological innovations are factors driving the overall market growth and expansion. The development of novel materials such as biocompatible polymers for use in medical implants will furthermore provide the required impetus for the global medical plastics market.
The United States represents the single largest market for medical plastics worldwide, as stated by a new report on Medical Plastics. The medical plastics market is projected to grow rapidly in the near future, particularly in developing countries such as Asia-Pacific and Latin America, driven by a gradual increase in demand for sophisticated medical devices, and enhanced medical care. Asia-Pacific constitutes the fastest growing market for medical plastics in the world. The most commonly used materials in medical devices include polyvinyl chloride (PVC); polyethylene (PE); polystyrene; polypropylene (PP) and polydimethyl terephthalate (PET). PVC, owing to its outstanding softness finds increased use in medical devices. However, owing to toxicity issues of polyvinyl chloride, benefits of other materials, including polypropylene and polyethylene were explored. Though polyvinyl chloride (PVC) would continue to dominate the non-invasive medical products and standard medical packaging markets, the future is likely to witness increased use of polypropylene and polyethylene. In terms of end-use segments, medical product components represent the largest and the fastest growing end-use segment as compared to medical packaging. Key Players profiled in the report include Alcan Packaging, Amcor Ltd., BASF SE, Bayer AG, Celanese Corp., CYRO Industries, Dow Chemical, Du Pont, Eastman Chemical Company, Evonik Cyro LLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., SABIC Innovative Plastics Holding BV, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp, and Tekni-Plex Inc.