Growth in the packaging industry has boosted demand for barrier materials in the global market in the past few years. Barrier materials, as the name depicts, offer resistance against atmospheric gases, water vapor, heat, and aromas. The barrier materials market can be segmented on the basis of application into agriculture packaging, cosmetics, food & beverages, and pharmaceuticals. On the basis of raw material, the barrier materials market is segmented into EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol), PEN(polyethylene naphthalate), and PVDC (polyvinylidenechloride). These barrier materials have superior chemical and physical properties such as high stability at extreme conditions, strong durability, and greatimpact strength. Packaging of several foods, beverages, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, and agriculture products should possess these properties to protect contents from contamination.
Key application of barrier materials is in the food & beverages industry. Increasing demand for packed food globally is driving the barrier materials market. The FDA and other regulating bodies have made it mandatory to increase the usage of barrier materials in the packaging of food and beverages to increase the shelflife of consumables during packaging. Barrier materials are also primarily consumed during the packaging of various pharmaceutical ingredients, which are highly sensitive to atmospheric temperature. Different cosmetic products in liquid, powder, and gel forms require packaging that keeps the product intact and prevents it fromexposure to humidity. Barrier materials are consumed on a large scale for packaging of cosmetics. Recently, there was high demand for packed fruits and vegetables due to non-uniformity in weather cycles. These packed fruits and vegetables are exported to various parts of the world on a large scale. Barrier materials are largely used in the packaging of these agricultural products.
Demand for PVDC (polyvinylidenechloride) is higher as compared to other barrier materials due to properties such as transparency, glossiness, high strength, printadhesion, as well as thermal and chemical resistance. As PVDC has lower impact on the environment, it meets all requirements of certifying authorities in North America and Europe. This, in turn, drives demand for PVDC in the barrier materials market.Demand for EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol) is strong in the barrier materials market due to ease of availability and high flexibility.
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Some of the key drivers of the barrier materials market are food & beverages and pharmaceutical applications. Rise in demand for canned and tetra packed food products and beverages is likely to fuel growth of the barrier materials market in the next few years. Increasing health issues is leading to rise in consumption of medicated products. Thus, significant growth in the pharmaceutical industry is expected to propel demand for barrier materials in this industry. The only restraint hindering growth of the barrier materials market is stringent rules and regulations associated with the packaging of food and pharmaceutical products.Various companies are coming up with bio-based materials that are more sustainable due to environmental issues arising during the manufacture of raw materials. Certified packaging using barrier materials increases the shelflife of packed food, thus increasing awareness and trust of consumers.
Asia Pacific is estimated to be the largest market for barrier materials during the forecast period. Rising industrialization and increasing manufacturing base in countries such as China, India, and Japan are likely to drive demand for barrier materials significantly.Rapid growth in the packed food industry in North America and Europe is likely to fuel growth of the barrier materials market in the near future.
Some of the key players involved in the manufacture of barrier materials are Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Chang Chun PetroChemical Co., Ltd, Kuraray Co. Ltd., Kureha Corporation, Solvay SA, Teijin Limited, and Zhejiang Juhua Co.,Ltd.
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