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Plastic Films - Situation and Outlook

  • Publication Date:August 2004
  • Publisher:Smithers Rapra
  • Product Type: Report
  • Pages:182
  • ISBN:978-1-85957-480-5

Plastic Films - Situation and Outlook

Flexible films are defined as being planar forms of plastics, which may be thick enough to be self-supporting but thin enough to be flexed, folded and/or creased without cracking. Films comprise around 25% of all plastics used worldwide, around 40 million tons, and are thus a massive market sector. Commodity plastics dominate, with polyethylene and polypropylene together accounting for around 34 million tons. This is an expanding area with increased demand each year particularly in the developing regions of the world and with a move from rigid to flexible packaging. 

There are many material types used in films from single layer polymers to multilayer structures with tie layers and copolymers. Multilayers permit custom adaptation of material properties from barrier to strength. Technology, such as the orientation of polypropylene, has produced better properties and more valuable materials. High performance plastics are also being used in applications such as telectronics. The different materials in use in films are reviewed in this market report. There are details of the main suppliers including mergers and capacity.

Films can be made via a number of converting processes: extrusion, coextrusion, casting, extrusion coating, extrusion laminating and metallising. Blown extrusion was the first process used to make films of polyethylene. These processes have advantages and disadvantages depending on the material type in use, the width and thickness of film required.

Films are mainly used in packaging for foodstuffs, but there are also substantial market segments for medical, electronic, automotive and construction applications. Specific applications include decorative wrap, form-fill-seal, blood bags, flexible printed circuits, bed sheeting, diapers, and in-mould decorating of car parts (to replace painting and provide a more durable surface coating). Carrier bags and garbage bags are big markets, with imports to Europe; there are environmental concerns about the use of plastic bags and these are discussed in the report. In construction films are used in glazing, damp proofing, tarpaulins, geomembranes and similar applications.

PE and PP are the main materials used in packaging films. PET is primarily used in magnetics, optics and telectronics. PVC is found in consumer goods and medical applications, while PVB is mainly used in automotive and construction applications as glazing protection. Multimaterial films account for around 7 million tons of the films produced, with around 95% of this going into packaging applications. These are just some of the examples listed in this market report.

Europe and North America each account for about 30% of the total world consumption of plastic films. The plastic films supply structure and individual company information are summarised in the second half of this market report on Plastic Films in Europe and the Rest of the World.

Key features:

  • Technoeconomic overview
  • Company information
  • Market size
  • Capacity
  • Materials
  • Technology
  • Applications
  • 1 Introduction
    • 1.1 Geographical Focus
    • 1.2 Flexible Materials Under Study
    • 1.3 Methodology
    • 1.4 Authorship
  • 2 Executive Summary
    • 2.1 Main Study Findings
  • 3 Types of Films and Materials
    • 3.1 Main Film Materials Characteristics
    • 3.2 Polyethylene (PE)
      • Types of Polyethylene
      • PE Films Industry Structure
      • Consumption of PE Films
    • 3.3 Polypropylene (PP)
      • Types of Polypropylene
      • Oriented PP Films
      • OPP Films Industry Structure
      • Consumption of OPP Films
      • Main Uses of OPP Films
      • Cast PP Films
    • 3.4 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
    • 3.5 Polystyrene (PS) and Derivatives
    • 3.6 Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
    • 3.7 Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG)
    • 3.8 Polyethylene Naphthalate (PEN)
    • 3.9 Polyamide (PA, Nylon)
    • 3.10 Polycarbonate (PC)
    • 3.11 Cellophane (Cello)
    • 3.12 Disposable and Edible Films
    • 3.13 Film Substrates for Multilayer Films
    • 3.14 Ethylene Copolymers
    • 3.15 Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
    • 3.16 Ionomers
    • 3.17 Cyclo-Olefin Copolymers (COC)
    • 3.18 Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB)
    • 3.19 Barrier Materials
    • 3.20 Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH)
    • 3.21 Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVOH)
    • 3.22 Polyvinylidene Chloride (PVDC)
    • 3.23 Oxide-Coated Films
    • 3.24 Liquid Crystal Polymers (LCP)
    • 3.25 Polyarylamide MXD6 (PA MXD6)
    • 3.26 Nano-Barriers
    • 3.27 Polyimides (PI)
    • 3.28 Fluoropolymers
    • 3.29 Adhesives
    • 3.30 Multilayer Films
    • 3.31 Aluminium Foil
    • 3.32 Paper and Board Products
  • 4 Processes for Films
    • 4.1 Film Extrusion
    • 4.2 Stretching
    • 4.3 Pre-treatment
    • 4.4 Processes for Multilayer Barrier Films
    • 4.5 Coextrusion
    • 4.6 Lamination and Adhesive Lamination
    • 4.7 Coating
    • 4.8 Metallisation
    • 4.9 Form-Fill-Seal (FFS)
    • 4.10 Thermoforming
    • 4.11 Printing
    • 4.12 New Technical Developments in Films
    • 4.13 Alphabetical List of Machine Manufacturers for Films
  • 5 Applications of Films
    • 5.1 Packaging - General Introduction
    • 5.2 Stretch and Shrink Films
    • 5.3 Bags and Sacks
    • 5.4 Heavy-Duty Sacks and Big Bags
    • 5.5 Free-Standing Bags and Similar Products
    • 5.6 Automatic Packaging Films
    • 5.7 Multilayer Films
    • 5.8 Labels, Sleeves and Display Films
    • 5.9 Other Packaging Applications
    • 5.10 Building Construction
    • 5.11 Agriculture
    • 5.12 Consumer Goods
    • 5.13 Medical Applications
    • 5.14 Automobile Industry
    • 5.15 Electrical/Electronics Industries
    • 5.16 Synthetic Paper
    • 5.17 All Other End-Uses
  • 6 Film Consumption Summary
    • 6.1 Total World Plastic Film Consumption
    • 6.2 Geographic/Economic Consumption Split
    • 6.3 Main Film End-Uses
  • 7 Film Supply Structure, Concentration and Strategies
    • 7.1 Raw Film Production
    • 7.2 Converted Film Production
    • 7.3 Recent Developments
  • 8 Main Film Groups, Mergers and Acquisitions
  • 9 Profiles of Selected Film Producers and Converters
    • 9.1 Alphabetical Listing
    • 9.2 Other Film Companies and Countries - Not Detailed
  • 10 Sources
    • 10.1 Packaging Federations
    • 10.2 Publications, Literature and Databases
  • Trade Magazines
  • Databases and Similar Sources
  • Books
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms
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