The global market for High Temperature Plastics (HTPs) is projected to reach 1.2 bln lbs by the year 2018, primarily driven by rising consumption of HTPs in various industries such as medical and aerospace, particularly in emerging countries such as China and India, as per Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Other factors, particularly those related to the product, such as savings in production costs, superior performance and improved shelf life are driving adoption of HTPs across various industrial applications.
Global High Temperature Plastics (HTPs) market took the brunt of the global economic crisis that surfaced in the year 2008. Regionally, developed markets such as the US, Japan, and Europe were the worst hit, witnessing decline in volume and value sales during the 2008-2010 period. The recession brought the steady growth witnessed in the market up until 2007 to a grinding halt in the year 2008. Demand, however, showed partial recovery in 2011 with value and volume sales lagging substantially behind 2008 levels. With expected restoration of normalcy in the economic environment, demand for high temperature plastics worldwide is projected to increase through 2018, albeit at a pace way slower than the pre-crisis period. The global market for high temperature plastics (HTPs) experienced severe impact of the recent economic slowdown. The key factor responsible for decline was slump in demand from major end-use industries such as automobile, electronics, and chemical amidst the slowdown. These industries were considerably affected by the slowdown, while some industries such as electrical and food packaging were moderately impacted. The other major factor contributing towards slump in the global high temperature plastics market was considerable destocking owing to fall in cost of raw materials along with credit crunch. The destocking was also due to anticipation of lower prices by customers in the midst of falling oil prices and slowdown in Europe and North America. However, demand began to recover in the market as end-use industries began emerging from the fallout of the economic crisis, driving volume and value demands up. Overall market is expected to surpass pre-recession levels in 2012 in value as well as volume terms. The market for HTPs witnessed significant changes driven by market consolidation, pricing pressure, technology developments, and capacity expansion. Advanced Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools are being used to enhance the performance of HTPs in plastic gears sector. Compared to metals, plastic gears reduce noise, and enhance quality and working life of parts. Due to technological developments, HTPs have begun to find their place in various high performance applications such as Formula-1 cars. HTPs are also expanding into new applications by replacing various metals in areas such as motor and gear, bearings, plastic bumpers and body panels, oil screens, pistons, pumps, ignition modules in automobiles sector; connectors, coatings, wire and cable and packaging in electronics sector; semiconductor, medical packaging; and structural components, housings, adhesives, engine components and matrix resins in aerospace sector. Major factors that are driving uptake of HTPs include production savings of about one-fourth per unit to manufacturers of high temperature plastic products, longer life and enhanced quality of performance in several industrial applications. Further, they lower power consumption, enhance physical durability, flexibility and chemical resistance. Growing trend toward lower emissions, improved fuel efficiency as well as low vehicle weight, is driving growth of Fluoropolymers consumption worldwide, given the fact that the transportation and automotive industry is the largest end use application markets for fluoropolymers. In addition, increase in the sales of passenger cars in emerging markets such as India and China is also accelerating growth of the market. The electronics and electrical industry, which is another major application area for fluoropolymers, is also spurring market demand, as it is witnessing growing use of the fluoropolymers in wire and cable insulation, jacketing, lithium-ion batteries, and semiconductor fabrication applications. In the fluoropolymers market, PTFE constitutes the largest segment in terms of volume. However, due to its presence in the market for over 60 years, opportunities in the conventional end-use application areas such as construction, automotive, semiconductor and cookware have become saturated.
The US represents the largest market worldwide in volume as well as volume terms, followed by Europe. The US is expected to continue as the leading market for HTPs and attract significant portion of demand for fluoropolymers. The sovereign debt crisis that has created an environment of uncertainty across Europe poses a major threat to the prospects of several end-use industries within the region, also casting a cloud of uncertainty over potential demand for HTPs. Rest of the World market, comprising Asia-Pacific, Canada, Latin America and Africa, is projected to emerge as the fastest growing regional market for HTPs during the period 2010-2018, trailing a compounded annual growth rate of 5.2% during the analysis period. Going forward, Asian markets including China and India are expected to be the major drivers of demand for HTPs. Segment wise, Fluoropolymers represent the largest product segment in value and volume sales, while Polyketones are projected to emerge as the fastest growing product segment during the analysis period 2010-2018. Major players in the marketplace include Celanese Corporation, Chevron Philips Chemical Company, China Lumena New Materials Corp., Daikin Industries Ltd., DSM Engineering Plastics B.V, DuPont Engineering Polymers, Dyneon LLC, Evonik Degussa, Kuraray Co., Ltd., Rhodia Engineering Plastics, and Solvay Group, among others.