The global Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW PE) market is projected to reach US$2.16 bln by 2021, at a CAGR of 9.9% from 2016 to 2021, as per Research and Markets. Growth in the healthcare & medical industry due to increasing use of UHMW PE for the manufacture of prosthetic implants, is leading to a demand for UHMW PE. However, volatile prices of raw materials are expected to restrain the UHMW PE market.
Sheets is the most common form in which UHMW PE is used, and UHMW PE sheets are available in a variety of dimensions and thicknesses. The thicknesses range from 1mm to 100mm. UHMW PE sheets are used in conveyor belts in the food processing industry due to properties such as ease of machining, self-lubrication, and chemical stability. These properties are expected to drive the sheets segment.
UHMW PE is widely used for orthopedic implants (knee replacements, hip replacements, shoulder implants, elbow implants, ankle implants, spinal implants, and bone substitutes, among others), cardiovascular implants (pacing devices, cardiac stents, and structural cardiac implants, among others), and other medical implants (gynaecological devices, otolaryngeal implants, ophthalmic implants, and gastroenterological implants, among others). Due to properties such as, low absorption and self-lubrication, fatigue resistance, yield strength, and high elastic modulus, manufacturers prefer UHMW PE over other polymers. Increasing demand for prosthetic implants from the developed economies is expected to drive the growth of the UHMW PE market in the healthcare & medical industry.