- Market will reach $15.9 billion by 2020
- South Korean researchers find more environmentally friendly high-performance plastic
- Chinese auto parts will be a large end-user of high-performance plastic in 2017
The high-performance plastics market is forecasted to reach $15.9 billion in value globally by 2020, according to a report by Industry Experts. Last year, the market was valued at $11.15 billion.
High-performance plastics are used in a wide variety of applications including the aerospace, automotive, electronics and medical industries. The plastics are used in situations that require more resistance, heat or strength than typical plastics. They are often used as a metal replacement.
The market has grown as demand increases. Between 2012 and 2022, the market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1%.
High-performance thermoplastics are used by the automotive and packaging industries. They are produced using large amounts of petroleum, raising environmental concerns, and are also expensive to produce.
These problems prompted a research team from Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea to develop a high-performance plastic that is easier to produce and more environmentally friendly.
Traditional plastics are manufactured using oxidizers and high heat. The researchers are working on a bioplastic that can be produced at room temperature. Their plastic is made using fat and fatty acids extracted from dried green algae. The fats create carboxylic acid which is then used to manufacture plastic.
The university hopes to mass produce the material for industrial sale.
Other groups also are investing in research and development to produce more environmentally friendly high-performance plastics.
Automotive Plastics Market
High-performance plastics are used widely in the automobile industry as it looks for new ways to make vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient. Last year, an estimated 17.4 million vehicles were sold in the United States alone.
Globally, China is the top automotive and automotive-plastics market as the demand for polymers there is growing faster than the rest of the world, according to Plastic News.
“China’s car industry wants to make vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient, and one of the ways to do that is to start using plastics in cars at the higher levels used in developed countries” said Plastic News.
In the U.S., however, uncertainty reigns in the auto-parts market due to the election of Donald Trump. How the industry will adapt to changing regulations and trade policies is still unknown.
- The three most common types of high-performance plastics are fluoropolymers, high-performance polyamides and polyphenylene sulphides.
- In 2016, fluoropolymers were the most commonly used high performance plastics with a 38% market share. Between 2016 and 2022, this segment is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 6.1%. By 2022, it is projected 402,000 metric tons will be produced, up from 281,000.6 metric tons in 2016.
- In 2016, high performance polyamides held a 29.3% market share with 217,000.4 metric tons produced.
- In 2016, polyphenylene sulphide held a 16.4% market share with 121,000.3 metric tons produced.