Use this report to: • Provide a new and comprehensive reference for those involved in and interested in plastics and plastics compounds. • Study thermoplastic elastomers and some biocompounds—plastics that are made from plants instead of hydrocarbons. • Discuss the activities, product lines and other information for the major independent compounders. • Explore the overall market and analyze several critical issues that should shape plastics compounding for the next five years.
Highlights • The global market for thermoplastic compounds should reach 544.0 billion pounds by 2021 from 431.9 billion pounds in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7%, from 2016 to 2021. • The resin producers market should reach 344.5 billion pounds by 2021 from 276.9 billion pounds in 2016 at a CAGR of 4.5%, from 2016 to 2021. • The processors market should reach 150.1 billion pounds by 2021 from 116.3 billion pounds in 2016 at a CAGR of 5.2%, from 2016 to 2021.
BACKGROUND The term “plastics” in this report refers to thermoplastic organic polymers, also commonly called “resins.” The majority of the plastics discussed in this study are large-volume commodity resins produced from petrochemical feedstocks; they include familiar resins and resin families: • Polyethylenes (PEs of several types) • Polypropylene (PP) • Polystyrene (PS) • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and its copolymers • Thermoplastic polyesters (the most common one of which is polyethylene terephthalate or PET)
We also include in this study some more specialty engineering resins such as polyamides (PAs; nylons) and polycarbonate (PC). To be thorough, we also include an introduction to some newer biopolymers made from biological instead of petrochemical feedstocks, as well as thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). The subject of this study is plastics compounding.
What is compounding? As plastic resins leave the chemical polymerization reactor in which they are formed, they are “neat” polymers; that is, they are essentially pure compounds consisting only of the molecules of the polymer produced. Some of these resins, such as PVC, are almost impossible to process as neat polymers; additional chemicals and other materials must be added to make them commercially useful.
For other resins, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) that can be satisfactorily processed in neat form, in virtually all cases some additive or additives are used, such as colorants, to add color to the formed product such as an HDPE white milk bottle or a colored motor oil bottle, or an ultraviolet absorber to prevent discoloration from exposure to sunlight.
This process of adding other materials is defined as “compounding,” or the creation of a compound, a “mixture.” The additives that are added to neat polymers include colorants, stabilizers, flame retardants, impact modifiers, plasticizers and dozens of others, including a lot of important fillers and reinforcements.
Plastic compounding is a big business that is done by three different kinds of companies. These companies are usually grouped either as resin producers, plastics processors (firms that process and shape resins and compounds by injection or blow molding, thermoforming and extruding) and independent compounders. Some companies perform more than one of these activities.
SCOPE OF THE REPORT This report covers the compounding of major thermoplastic resins. The high-volume commodity resins include HDPE, low-density polyethylene, linear low-density polyethylene, PP, PS, PVC and thermoplastic polyesters (primarily PET).
Engineering thermoplastics covered include polybutylene terephthalate, nylons (PAs), PCs, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene terpolymers and some real specialties such as polyacetals and polysulfones. This report also includes an introduction to TPEs and some biocompounds—plastics that are made from plants instead of hydrocarbons. It excludes thermosetting resins, since they have different chemistries and are usually processed differently.
The plastics compounding market is segmented by each of the above resins and by each of the three plastics compounding groups. Applications and markets by volume in pounds or value in U.S. dollars are estimated for the years 2015 and 2016 and for a five-year forecast through 2021. Major resin producers, key plastics processors and independent compounders are identified. We discuss the activities, product lines and other information for the major independent compounders.
Our estimates are mostly for the global market (excluding North America). This report breaks the global market down to five segments: China, Europe, Asia (excluding China), South America and the Rest of the World (ROW). The ROW market includes Africa and Oceania. The market of North America is discussed in another BCC Research report—PLS018E: The Plastics Compounding Market.
Other features in this report include the following: • Review of key plastics additives used in plastics compounding. • Important information on major fillers/reinforcements. • Developments in carbon fiber and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for reinforcement of thermoplastics. • Advances in natural-fiber reinforcements. • Regulatory and environmental developments shaping compounds, ranging from phthalate plasticizers to halogenated flame retardants. • Key suppliers of plastics additives and fillers/reinforcements. • Notes of some recent advances in plastics compounding and machinery.
REASONS FOR DOING STUDY Plastics compounding is a big business (or group of businesses) that is of interest to a wide group of organizations and individuals involved in the design, development, manufacture, sale and use of plastics and plastics compounds and products made from them.
BCC Research updates this study to provide a new and comprehensive reference for those involved in and interested in plastics and plastics compounds. We have sorted through, organized and condensed information from a number of sources and reference materials to compile this report. We have tried to cover the overall market and, in doing so, have included several critical issues that should shape plastics compounding for the next five years. These include biocompounds, carbon fiber, CNTs, natural-fiber reinforcements and environmental regulations.
METHODOLOGY Estimates of current market demand are made for 2015 and 2016 and are projected over the next five years. Projections are made in terms of constant U.S. dollars (2015). Growth is presented in terms of a compound average annual growth rate. Prices are measured at the manufacturer level. Price levels of late 2015 through mid-2016 are used to determine the market value, unless specified otherwise.
INFORMATION SOURCES Extensive primary and secondary searches were made of the literature and the Internet, including leading trade journals, technical papers, company literature, government information, pertinent trade associations and so forth.
Much product and market information was obtained from the industry principals involved. The information in our company profiles was obtained primarily from the companies themselves, especially the larger publicly owned firms. Other sources include directories, articles and Internet sites.
Our reports have been used by over 10K customers, including:
19 pages •
By Euromonitor International
• Sep 2018
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