Specialty polymers area class of polymersthat exhibit specialized properties. These properties differentiate them from conventional polymers.Specialty polymersare employed ina wide range of applications. Specialty polymers are classified under specialty chemicals. These polymers are usually manufactured in small quantities and are priced at premium. Specialty polymers can be classified into thermoplastic polymers, biodegradable polymers, polymer composites, liquid crystal polymers, electroluminescent polymers, and conducting polymers. Specialty polymers are used in various industries such as automotive, electronics, cosmetics, medical, and construction.These polymers, especially thermoplastic polymers, are good insulators, and offer high heat resistance and flame resistance properties.Thus, they are used inthe manufacture of various electrical components such as sockets and switches. Thermoplastic specialty polymers can also be usedto manufacture bullet-proof glass. Biodegradable polymers are used widely in medical and agriculture fields.These polymers can be used in the manufacture of films, blow molded bottles, and as coatings on paper. Biodegradable specialty polymers are useful for controlled drug delivery in the medical industry, as these are biocompatible and biodegradable.Thus, specialty polymers exhibit various properties.This makes specialty polymers suitable for usage in a wide range of end-user industries.
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Conducting polymers, a class of specialized polymer have the ability to conduct heat better than other type ofpolymers. These polymers are used in applications requiring high heat conductivity. Electroluminescent polymers emit light in response to a strong electric field or electric current.These polymers can be used in LED devices (including flat panel display for PC, television, and mobiles)and color pixels in ink jet printing. Liquid crystal specialty polymers exist as liquid crystals under suitable conditions of temperature, concentration, and pressure. Liquid crystal polymer, also called Kevlar, is used in the manufacture of protective clothing and body armor. The cost of specialty polymers is high; however,these are preferred due to its unique properties and wide range of applications.
The specialty polymers market is anticipated to expandat a healthy CAGR during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing market for specialty polymers during the forecast period. Expansion in automotive and electrical industries in India and China coupled with growth in infrastructure activities is likely to drive the specialty polymers market in Asia Pacific. Rise in economy and increase in per capita income are some of the key factors that trigger the growth of the specialty polymers market in the region. Increasing need for specialized polymers with high endurance limit, corrosion resistance, electrical insulation, resistance to wear, and thermal stability can act as a major diver for the growth of the specialty polymers market.
However, high instability in the prices of raw materials required for the manufacture of specialty polymers is expected to be one of the major restraining factors for the specialty polymers market. In spite of higher raw material prices, the promising benefits gained through specialty polymers in various end-user and allied industries is expected to moderate the effect of restraint. Overall, the specialty polymers market is anticipated to experience significant growth in the near future due to the increase in the number of applications.
Some of the major companies operating in the global specialty polymers market include Evonik Industries, Ashland Inc., Clariant, Solvay Group, BASF SE, Specialty Polymers, Inc., PolyOne Corporation, AmeriLux International, LLC, The Dow Chemical Company, 3M,Alpek S.A.B. de C.V., A.Schulman, Inc., Arkema Group, Koninklijke DSM N.V., and Croda International Plc.
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