Polymer concrete consists of adhesive properties which help to repair both polymer and cement-based concrete. Polymer concrete is a material that uses polymers as a binder replacing lime-type cement, can be used for new construction or for repairing old construction. Growth in infrastructural activities and with the development of residential and commercial infrastructure is driving demand for use of specialised applications such as polymer concrete. Also, polymer concrete is expected to register 7.9% of CAGR during 2017-2027, according to Future Market Insights (FMI).
Rise in demand for sewerage pipes due to increasing population in Asia Pacific is boosting the demand for polymer concrete products in the region. Similarly, infrastructure development like construction of building, roadways, pipes and bridges in the Middle East and Africa have used polymer concrete on a large scale. Upcoming constructions and infrastructure projects including new roads, dams, upgrading of sewerage system in the countries such as Latin America and China will considerably use polymer concrete, this, in turn, will create an opportunity for the industries dealing in polymer concrete material.
The cost of polymer concrete is high as compared to other materials used in construction. Polymer compound makes concrete more durable and safer than other concretes, hence it is more expensive. Moreover, there are specific types of plastic as a cheaper alternative to polymer concrete. This is also restricting the growth in the use of polymer concrete.
Polymer concrete products are stronger as compared to other concrete products because very low voids content is present in polymer concrete and toughness of polymer makes it superior to other products. Polymer concrete is also being increasingly used in industrial applications such as waste containers, chemical containments, pump base, industrial flooring blocks, etc. This increase in the use of polymer concrete in industrial applications is due to its improved properties such as an ability to form complex shape, rapid curing and excellent vibration damping properties. Although it is expensive, polymer concrete offers various benefits depending on the resin used to make it. For example, Acrylic binders offer resistance to weathering and set very quickly. Whereas, polymer mortar is a type of polymer concrete made from binder and fine sand like aggregate it is mostly used to join objects and coat objects for protection.
As compared to conventional concrete products, polymer concrete products have been observed to display a superior compressive strength as well as impact strength. Moreover, polymer concrete is capable of enduring high-frequency vibrations and can be used for constructing complex shapes. Therefore, use of the polymer concrete in industrial infrastructures such as waste containers, pump bases, industrial flooring blocks, chemical containments and trench drains has grown significantly over the past couple of years. Recently, Future Market Insights (FMI) conducted a study on the global market for polymer concrete and found that production of polymer concrete is likely to grow from 143,620 Tons in 2015 to 328, 0159.9 tons by the end of 2027. The market is currently valued at around US$300.5 mln and is estimated to exceed US$691 mln by 2027, reflecting a 7.9% CAGR during the forecast period (2017-2027). The market is expected to witness an incremental $ opportunity of US$369.9 mln during the same period on account of the increasing requirement of materials with high durability, chemical resistance and corrosion resistance. On the flip side, lack of product awareness continues to be a major factor, inhibiting the growth of the market.
Additional insights from the report include:
*Regions such as Europe and North America are already witnessing a widespread adoption of polymer concrete material in the construction application.
* Owing to the low-cost benefit over other resins, polyester continues to be the preferred choice for manufacturing polymer concrete products. By 2017-end, polyester polymer concrete is expected to account for more than 25% market share.
* On the basis of binding agents, synthetic resins hold a major share of the market. Synthetic resins are estimated to account for around 62.4% share of the market by 2017-end. At the same time, demand for natural resin is expected to remain sluggish throughout the forecast period.
* Polymer concrete finds widespread application in building chemical containments and pump bases. Collectively, these two segments account for more than 30% value share of the market.
In 2017 and beyond, the global polymer concrete market is expected to be massively influenced by further product innovation and new product development. Manufacturers of polymer concrete have channelized efforts on developing multiple desired properties in their products to gain competitive advantage, such as toughness, durability & long life, extreme chemical resistance and ease of installation of polymer concrete products. FMI in its report has profiled some of the leading companies operating in the global market for polymer concrete, which include ACO Group, Sika AG, BASF SE, and Kwik Bond Polymers LLC.
Polymer concrete is also called latex-modified concrete or polymer-Portland-cement concrete. It is made by the polymerization of a monomer, which can be synthetic or organic, in an aggregate mixture. In this process, the concrete mixture is subjected to ultrasonic vibration or vacuum pressure with resins to form polymer concrete. In polymer concrete, a synthetic as well as organic polymer is used as a binder. The addition of polymers in concrete mixtures increases thermal stability and mechanical strength, and also improves resistance to chemical attack and water intrusion. Polymer concrete is also used as a replacement for cement in many applications, due to its superior characteristic properties, such as high compressive strength, low permeability, fast curing, high resistance to chemical attack, high resistance to abrasion, and high impact strength. As per Transparency Market Research, polymer concrete is mainly classified into four categories, namely polymer-impregnated concrete, polymer cement concrete, polymer concrete, partially impregnated, and surface coated polymer concrete.
Polymer concrete was earlier used for building cladding, in which Portland cement was used; this is now replaced by plastic or synthetic resins. Recently, polymer concrete is extensively used as a repair material, owing to many of its properties, such as rapid curing, high strength, durability, and excellent bond to steel and cement concrete reinforcement. Precast polymer concrete is also used to produce a wide variety of products, such as acid tanks, drains, highway median barriers, and manholes. Polymers are also used to treat cured concrete, and the resultant product is known as polymer impregnated concrete. The unique properties of polymer impregnated concrete pave way for its use in a wide range of applications in various activities, such as industrial tank prefabrication, electrolysis of non-ferrous metals, catch basins and channels to drain aggressive industrial wastewater, and storage tanks to store corrosive.
Growing infrastructure and investment is civil construction, such as bridges, roads, drainage infrastructure, desalination plants, and nuclear power plants are key driving factors for the increasing demand of polymeric concrete. Also, factors such as superior characteristics, the increasing need for chemical-resistant construction materials, and growing emphasis on the use of environment-friendly concrete are expected to drive the market in the forecast period. However, the high cost of polymer concrete, low awareness about it, and the presence of cheaper alternatives, such as cement can act as restraints to this market.
Market Segmentation includes Polymer impregnated concrete, Polymer cement concrete, Polymer concrete, Partially impregnated and surface coated polymer concrete. Segmentation by Application includes Industrial tanks, Catch basins and channels, Building and repair construction, Prefabricated products for drainage systems, By End Use includes Energy & utilities, Residential and municipal construction, Commercial establishments and spaces.
Asia Pacific is a major market in terms of growth in the polymer concrete market, due to substantial growth in industrialization, urbanization in countries, such as India and China. North America holds the major share of the polymer concrete market, due to expansion of the construction industry in the country. The market in the rest of the world will account for a small share in the global polymer concrete market. Replacement of existing infrastructure, and increase in awareness about polymer concrete are likely to offer immense opportunities for the polymer concrete market.