Plastics would not exist without additives. “Only diverse ingredients make useful materials of polymers”, explains Oliver Kutsch, managing director of the market research company Ceresana: “Additives facilitate the processing of plastics, protect against heat and UV rays, and expand the range of properties.” Ceresana analyzed the complete world market for all major plastic additives in one study for the first time: fillers, plasticizers, pigments, flame retardants, stabilizers, impact modifiers, lubricants and slip agents, antioxidants, blowing agents, as well as other plastic additives.
Bright Prospects for Manufacturers
Global demand for plastic additives amounted to approx. 31.5 million tonnes in 2016. More than half of this amount was processed in Asia-Pacific. North America ranked second at a large distance. Plastics increasingly replace other materials such as wood or metal. Therefore, demand for plastic additives will continue to increase: According to the demand volume and price development, Ceresana expects revenues to rise to about US dollar 60 billion until 2024. The latest study of Ceresana examines the respective development of particular plastic additives in the 16 most important countries in detail.
Construction Industry Is the Major Consumer
Plastics are safe, reliable, light, and cheap: these characteristics lead to a growing use in the construction industry. Furthermore, plastics are increasingly the first choice regarding the thermal insulation of buildings. The construction industry has to be convincing in many disciplines, for example efficiency, quality, environmental and fire protection. Hence, the highest amount of plastic additives worldwide is utilized in this application area.
The second highest amount of plastic additives is processed in the segment packaging. Plastic packaging becomes more and more popular since it is light, easy to handle, microwavable, and visually appealing. It is possible to recognize the contents easily and the products remain preserved and rich in flavor for a long time. Ceresana also forecasts a continuously rising demand for plastic additives in this application area.
In this study, the use of additives in various plastic types is examined in more detail, that is, in polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, engineering plastics, and other plastics. Since PVC is a brittle, hard, and white material, the worldwide highest amount of additives is applied in this plastic type to adapt it to diverse applications.
Fillers Account for the Highest Demand
Fillers are the type of additives that is most frequently processed in plastics. Plasticizers and pigments rank second and third. More than 16 million tonnes of fillers were utilized for plastics in 2016: Fillers increase the volume of the mixture of materials without altering the main characteristics. The production of highly filled plastics with properties tailored to meet the exact needs of individual consumers is rising as well: These highly filled plastics contain up to 85% of fillers, possess excellent mechanical properties and are even more cost-effective than conventional materials in many cases.
Plasticizers are substances that are added to plastics to improve elasticity, softness, and flexibility for processing and use. Manufacturers of PVC account for by far the highest share of global demand for plasticizers. They are, for example, used for the production of profiles for windows or doors.
The Study in Brief:
Chapter 1 provides a thorough presentation and analysis of the market for plastic additives – including forecasts up to 2024: Development of demand and revenues is given for each region.
Chapter 2 examines 16 countries individually. Country-specific demand, demand per additive type, additive demand per plastic type as well as revenues are depicted. Furthermore, demand in the particular application areas is analyzed.
Chapter 3 deals with the detailed examination of the application areas of plastic additives. Information is given for the six segments packaging, construction, transportation, electrical and electronics, industrial products, and other applications. This chapter examines the demand per country split by the respective sales market.
In Chapter 4, the types of plastic additives are depicted individually: fillers, plasticizers, pigments, flame retardants, stabilizers, impact modifiers, lubricants / slip agents, antioxidants, blowing agents, and other plastic additives. Demand development of the individual plastic additives per country are examined.
Chapter 5 provides useful company profiles of the largest producers of plastic additives, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, and profile summary. Extensive profiles of 69 manufacturers are given, including BASF SE, Chang Chun Group, Clariant International Ltd., DuPont (E.I.) De Nemours, Evonik Industries AG, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Huntsman International LLC, Imerys Graphite & Carbon, Lanxess AG, and Vanderbilt Chemicals, LLC.
Further information: www.ceresana.com/en/market-studies/chemicals/plastic-additives/