Combining a plastic resin with colors, additives, modifiers, fillers, reinforcements or other polymers has become a common practice, as about half of the plastic consumed in the world cannot be used as base resin. The compounding process is used to convert base resin into desired plastic that is more uniform, effective, and usable across varied applications. Plastics have traditionally been used in various applications such as automotive components, packaging, toys, furniture, electronic components, and construction materials. Manufacturing of plastic compounds entails three ingredients or raw materials: polymers, additives, and fillers. Polymers primarily comprise polypropylene and polyethylene. Polypropylene may be categorized into homopolymers or block copolymers. Prices of plastics have been on the rise in the past few years owing to instability in prices of petrochemicals and higher substitution potential of their bio-based counterparts.
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Major polymers include polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene (PS), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), thermoplastic polyesters (PET), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Engineering thermoplastics include polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), nylons, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonates, polyacetals, and polysulfones. Major plastics products under plastic compounding include olefins, polyimide (PI), polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and polyetheretherketone (PEEK). Olefins is a major plastic compounded product that accounts for over 50% share of global plastic compounding market.
Rise in demand for polyethylene in packaging and transportation applications has been a major factor driving the demand for olefins. Increase in demand for polypropylene in electrical components, automotive components, and consumer goods has further boosted the demand for olefins. Environmental agencies and plastics associations constantly develop and update recycling norms, utilization quantity, application scope, and environmental policies.
This is expected to be a minor restraint to growth of the plastic compounding market over the next few years. In terms of application segments, the global plastic compounding market is divided into automotive, electrical & electronics, construction, industrial equipment, and consumer goods. Rising demand for high performance and lightweight automobiles from users is anticipated to propel the plastic compounding market in the automotive segment over the next few years. Stricter norms adopted by the automobile regulation authorities across the world, towards weight reduction and efficiency improvement of automobiles, is expected to further augment the plastic compounding market.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the leading regional market for plastic compounding over the next few years owing to increasing population and rapid industrialization in emerging economies such as China and India. Major industries such as automotive, electrical & electronics, construction, and consumer appliances are growing steadily in Asia Pacific owing to expansion in workforce and subsequent development of industrial infrastructure in the region. Europe is anticipated to follow suit, led by the presence of well-established and prominent automotive market in Germany and Italy. Furthermore, this factor is likely to play an important role in the market growth of plastic compounding in North American. The plastic compounding market in Latin America is projected to witness steady growth rate over the next few years owing to the expansion of construction industry in growing economies such as Brazil and other countries in South America. Growing construction industries in regions such as Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa is expected to augment the plastic compounding market in these regions.
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Key players in the plastic compounding market include BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Co., LyondellBasell Industries N.V., E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Kingfa, RTP Company, Bayer MaterialScience AG, A. Schulman Inc., Lanxess, Kraton Performance Polymers Inc., and Solvay .
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