Technological Innovations & Use in Niche Applications Drive Global Demand for High Temperature Plastics

The global market for High Temperature Plastics is forecast to reach US$21 billion by 2024, driven by technological developments in terms of material structural strength, functionality and performance, and extensive use in existing and emerging application areas.

High Temperature Plastics (HTPs), a specialized category of plastics exhibiting heat deflection temperatures in excess of 200°C, is one of the rapidly expanding categories in the overall plastics market. Exceptional chemical and heat resistance capabilities of HTPs make them an apt substitute for metals in various applications. Given their unique set of characteristics, HTPs are used in aerospace, medical, automotive, electronics and electrical markets, to name a few. HTPs are also being used for newer applications and are substituting metals in housings, engine components, structural components, matrix resins and adhesives in the aerospace sector; packaging, connectors and coatings within the electronics sector; and oil screens, ignition modules, bearings and body panels in the automobile sector.

Despite their significantly higher costs in comparison to commodity plastics, high temperature plastics are capable of offering significant improvements in the products when compared to conventional materials in the form of easy processing, simpler handling, and improved application. Technological developments in terms of material's performance, functionality and structural strength; making them useful in production of Formula-1 cars and other high performance applications; have helped drive growth in the high temperature plastics market globally. These plastics have allowed manufacturers to significantly reduce per unit cost during production, owing to less power consumption, exceptional physical durability, greater flexibility and high chemical resistance.

Fluoropolymer, the largest segment of HTP, is a specialized polymeric material and finds use in numerous applications owing to its unique performance characteristics that ensure its suitability for applications requiring high chemical resistance, mechanical strength, high temperature stability, high dielectric properties, and weldability, among others. Demand for polyimides, another key HTP segment, is expected to increase from aerospace, automotive, and food service sectors, driven by the increasing need for products with high service temperatures, greater flexibility, easy processing, low weight, and reduced costs. HTPs unique properties and superior design and processing capabilities, are spurring the use of plastics the most in electronics and electrical sectors. However, escalating raw material costs and surging production costs act as major deterrents to the overall market's growth.

The U.S. represents the largest market supported by the replacement of traditional materials such as glass, metal and other polymers with HTPs due to distinct features which makes them suitable for a plethora of applications such as transportation, electrical goods and advanced electronics. The Rest of World market, constituting Asia-Pacific, Canada, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, is projected to record the fastest compounded annual growth rate of 8.1% over the analysis period 2016-2024.

Major players in the market include 3M, Arkema Group, Asahi Glass Company, Ltd., BASF SE, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, China Lumena New Materials Corp., Covestro AG, Daikin Industries Ltd., Dongyue Group Ltd., DowDuPont, Inc., DSM Engineering Plastics B.V., Evonik Industries AG, Kuraray Co., Ltd., Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., Performance Plastics Ltd., Polyplastics Co, Ltd., SABIC Innovative Plastics, The Solvay Group, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Toray Industries, Inc., among others.

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