Plastics comprise of a wide range of synthetic and semi-synthetic materials, which are strong, moldable and lightweight in nature. Over the last couple of decades, plastics have emerged as an inseparable part of humankind, finding its application in every fathomable part of daily life. Plastics enhance comfort, convenience, and safety of products. They are modified to suit the requirement and find application used in houses such as carpets, blankets, and pillows for improved comfort; in bottles and coolers for portable means to carry food and drinks. They are also used in several electronic devices to enable Internet access and communication, and in sports and safety equipment. Improved standard of living and growing environmental awareness and sustainable development thinking among the populace are driving demand for new and innovative material plastics. Plastics that are mainly used in high temperature and high pressure applications are known as high performance plastics. These plastics show excellent performance and effectiveness on exposure to highly reactive chemicals. High performance plastics exhibit properties of high resistance to chemicals and electricity, low coefficient of friction, superior performance at high temperature, and high strength, thus considered highly superior to standard or engineering plastics. These plastics are priced premium and are usually used in very small quantities.
Fluoropolymers, high performance polyamides, sulfone polymers, liquid crystal polymers, polyketones, and polyimides are among the most commonly used high performance plastics. These materials are used in various end-use industries such as transportation, medical, and electrical & electronics.
High Performance Plastics Market Taxonomy
Superior mechanical properties, high heat stability, and superior chemical resistance of high performance plastics have resulted in their use in the manufacturing of various exterior and interior components of aircraft and automobiles. Growing population and urbanization over the recent years, has led to an increasing demand for transportation, thus fueling growth of the automotive and aviation industries. This being the case, the transportation segment has emerged as the largest end-use segment in the global high performance plastics market. Polyketones exhibit desirable mechanical and thermo-physical properties unique to any other polymer such as high tensile and impact strength, exceptionally high abrasion resistance with minimal wear and tear and very good tribological properties. Owing to these exceptional properties, polyketones are suitable for manufacturing various products such as induction systems, fuel systems, coolant systems, powertrain, engine components, brake systems, shaft seals, pumps & valves, shaft seals, surgical equipment, sockets, biotechnology, and transmission components. Polyketones is thus, the fastest-growing product type.
High Performance Plastics Market Outlook – Asia-Pacific is the largest, and fastest-growing region, globally
Asia-Pacific is the largest, and fastest-growing region in the global high performance plastics market, due to rampant growth in the electrical & electronics industries in countries such as China, Taiwan, and South Korea, which are among the largest manufacturers of electrical & electronics components. The key factors such as growing manufacturing plants of key major players in the region, high economic growth, cheap labor, and increasing FDI in emerging economies such as India and China, are fueling growth of the high performance plastics market in the region. The growing end-use applications of high performance plastics in automotive, aviation, and medical industries, also provide great scope to the market growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
High manufacturing costs lead to the exorbitant prices of these plastics, in turn, inhibiting market growth. Some of the major companies operating in the global high performance plastics market are BASF SE, Daikin Industries, Ltd., Celanese Corporation, Solvay S.A., Arkema SA, Evonik Industries AG, Kuraray Co., Ltd., E. I. duPont de Nemours and Company, SABIC, and Victrex Plc.