Global polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) market size is likely to witness an increase in demand owing to growing application scope in textile industry. Its superior properties such as elastic recovery, stain resistance and ease in dyeing are expected to compliment the demand. Carpet manufacturing sector is one of the key applications of this industry.
It has physical properties similar to that of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) i.e. strength, toughness, stiffness & heat resistance) and processing properties comparable to polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) i.e. rapid crystallization and low melt & mould temperatures. It is also similar to polyamide (nylon 6 & nylon 6,6) and polypropylene (PP) for applications in fiber manufacturing. It is also possesses properties similar to that of polycarbonate (PC) required for moulding applications. PTT also overlaps in terms of processability and properties with respect to polylactic acid (PLA) and cellophane for fiber & films applications.
Shift in preference towards developing sustainable polymers from renewable resources owing to depleting petrochemical reserves is likely to drive bio polytrimethylene terephthalate market. Abundant availability of 1, 3 propanediol PDO from glycerol (by-product of biodiesel) is also likely to positively influence bio-based polytrimethylene terephthalate market over the forecast period.
Currently, DuPont has commercialized PDO from renewable raw materials by forming a 50-50 joint venture with Tate & Lyle PLC in 2004. The plant with PDO manufacturing capacity of 45,000 TPA is based at Tennessee and is in operation since 2006. DuPont’s continuous polymerization PTT production plant with a production capacity of 10,000 TPA is based at Kinston, N.C.
Bio based 1,3-propanediol is marketed under the trade name Susterra by DuPont and is used for numerous applications such as heat transfer fluids, antifreeze agents cosmetic & personal care and liquid detergents. DuPont markets bio PTT under the trade name Sorona which contains 37% of the weight of renewable material.
Earlier, PTT applications were primarily focused on fibers such as textiles and carpet. Over the past few years, it has witnessed an increase in applications for manufacturing monofilaments, engineering plastics and films. DuPont is targeting their engineering plastic under the brand name Sorona EP for applications in automobiles, electrical & electronics and consumer products. It is likely to substitute PET to some extent in carbonated beverage bottling applications as PET is a low cost preferred polymer.
It is also likely to substitute PET for applications such as fiber and packaging. It can also be used for manufacturing in application such as X-ray films, labels and strapping. It is also used in novel applications. For e.g. institutes and hospitals use selenium which is composite flooring material and relies in PTT’s durability, colorfastness and elastic gain properties.
DuPont is focusing to develop Sorona for fiber applications used in apparel and carpet industry. It has also commercialized bio PTT grade for applications in packaging and high performance engineering. These aforementioned factors are anticipated to drive PTT market over the forecast period.
Based on the aforementioned property comparisons with some of the polymers, it can be inferred that polytrimethylene terephthalate market has a high substitution potential polyamide (nylon) and PBT whereas moderate in case of PC, PP and PET. Based in biodegradability, it can be utilized for substituting PLA to a certain extent for fiber applications. Bio-PTT can also be used in place for PHA, cellulose acetate films and cellophane films. Substitute potential for bio based over petroleum derived PTT can be 100%. Price can also be a determining factor for the substitution potential for all the polymers.
North America was dominant region over the past few years as countries such as the U.S. and Canada witnessed an increase in applications coupled with technological advancements. Europe was the second largest region and is likely to witness an increase in demand owing to growth of carpet and textile industry. Asia Pacific is likely to witness highest gains over the forecast period owing to growth witnessed in home furnishing and automobile sector.
The global polytrimethylene terephthalate market share is moderately consolidated with fierce competition on the basis of PTT price, application development and services. Key companies include Toray, RTP Company, DuPont, Sinopec and CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation). Other prominent manufacturers include Teijin, Asahi Kasei, Shanghai Huayuan Company Limited, Zimmer, Yizheng Chemical Fiber Company Limited and Xianglu.
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