Key Market Overview:
Specialty polymers market size was worth over 86.8 Billion USD in 2022 and is anticipated to reach over USD 153.6 Billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 7.4% during the forecast period (2022-2030).
Specialty polymers are a type of polymer that have specific physical, chemical, and mechanical properties, which set them apart from conventional polymers. They are specifically engineered for particular applications, such as medical devices, electronics, optical, and industrial applications. These polymers have unique properties such as high thermal stability, electrical conductivity, biocompatibility, and high mechanical strength. They are typically used in high-performance applications due to their ability to perform well under extreme conditions and environments. The demand for such specialty polymers is growing rapidly, driven by advancements in technology and increased demand for products with specific properties.
Specialty polymers are highly versatile chemicals that find multiple uses across various industries in a range of applications, including those with stringent demands. The unique properties of polymers, which are engineered to meet specific requirements of the end product, make them ideal for a variety of uses. Primarily, specialty polymers witness an increased demand during the manufacturing of lightweight yet strong packaging materials such as bags, cups, lids, adhesive films, and pouches for a wide range of food and beverage, medical, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical applications.
Further, the growing infrastructural developments across the globe also fuel the market growth. Specialty polymers provide technology-driven solutions with a comprehensive range of jacketing and insulation compounds for power, telecommunications, flame retardant, and other specialty applications. Further, these polymers are also used in the production of ceramics, lighting, and metalworking.
|Market Size in 2030 (USD Billion)
|Natural (Polyhydroxybutarate (PHB), Polyhydroxyvalarate (PHV), Polyhydroxybutarate-Hydroxyvalarate (PHBV),), Conducting Polymers (Extrinsically Conducting Polymers, Intrinsically Conducting Polymers, Doped Conducting Polymers, Coordination Conducting Polymers), Thermoplastics (Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Polycarbonate (PC), Polysulfonates, Others), Thermosets (Polyurethane, Epoxy, Silicone, and Phenolic), and Elastomers (Natural Rubbers, Polybutadiene, Styrene-Butadiene Block Copolymers, Polyisoprene, Ethylene Propylene Rubber, Silicone Elastomers, Fluoroelastomers, Ethylene Propylene Diene Rubber, Polyurethane Elastomers, And Nitrile Rubbers) Liquid Crystal Polymers, Electroluminescent Polymers
|Mineral Sequestering, Water Treatment, Paper Processing, Textile Processing, Drug Delivery, Personal Care Products, Enhanced Oil Recovery, Pharmaceuticals, Petroleum Production, Coatings and Inks Additives, Sensors, and Others
|By End Use
|Automotive and Transportation, Building and Construction, Consumer Goods, Coatings, Electrical and Electronics, Adhesives and Sealants, Paper & Pulp, Healthcare, and Others
|Asia-Pacific [China, Southeast Asia, India, Japan, Korea, Western Asia] Europe [Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey, Switzerland] North America [United States, Canada, Mexico] Middle East & Africa [GCC, North Africa, South Africa] South America [Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Peru]
|3M Advanced Materials Division, Solvay Specialty Polymers, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, Dow Elastomers, and Plastomers, Polyvisions Inc., Ester Industries, Specialty Polymers & Services, Inc., Wacker Chemical Corp., DuPont Plastics, Polymers & Resins, Eastman Chemical Company, Polyplastics USA, Inc., AGC Chemicals Inc., Croda International Plc, Avient (PolyOne), Ashland Inc., Master Bond
The increasing demand for lightweight and high-performance materials in various end-use industries, especially construction, automotive and electrical industries, drives the demand for specialty polymers. Further, increased usage of sustainable packaging due to the rise in consumer awareness and the need for environment-friendly products boosts the growth of the specialty polymers market. Moreover, specialty polymers are mainly being used as a replacement for conventional and non-biodegradable plastics which also accelerates the market growth during the forecast period.
Fluctuations in the costs of raw materials used to manufacture specialty polymers mainly limit the market growth during the forecast period. This results in overall high costs of production that restrain market growth. Further, strict government regulations on the use of certain types of specialty polymers, such as those containing hazardous chemicals, also restrict the growth of market statistics. Moreover, the lack of awareness in developing countries about the advancements in specialty polymers as compared to metal and glass also hampers the large market adoption across regions.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the specialty polymers market. The pandemic resulted in a global economic slowdown which led to a decrease in demand for specialty polymers in various industries, including automotive, construction, and packaging. Such a decrease in demand was further worsened by supply chain disruptions, which affected the availability and price of raw materials used to produce specialty polymers. Several countries implemented lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus which resulted in temporary shutdowns of specialty polymer production facilities. The combination of reduced demand, supply chain disruptions, and production shutdowns has had a significant impact on the specialty polymers industry, leading to a challenging operating environment for industry participants. However, the pandemic resulted in a shift in demand toward essential products such as medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and food packaging. Such a shift in demand led to an increase in demand for specific specialty polymers used in these applications.
Specialty Polymers Market Segmentation:
The type segment is divided into natural, conducting polymers, thermosets, thermoplastics, elastomers, liquid crystal polymers, and electroluminescent polymers. The elastomers segment is projected to contribute the largest shares to the specialty polymers market statistics during the forecast period. Elastomers are further sub-segmented into natural rubbers, polybutadiene, polyurethane elastomers, polyurethane elastomers, polyurethane elastomers, polyurethane elastomers, ethylene propylene diene rubber, styrene-butadiene block copolymers, polyisoprene, ethylene propylene rubber, silicone elastomers, fluoroelastomers, and nitrile rubbers. The elastomers have the ability to regain their original shape and size after significantly being stretched as compared to conventional rubber. Thus, these elastomers are used in multiple applications due to the properties such as abrasion resistance, tensile strength, hardness, compression set, tear strength, aging, color, elongation at break, and gas permeability. Further, the major applications of elastomers are thermosets, which are used to build seals, tires, and several components of an automobile along with miscellaneous consumer products such as baby pacifiers and shoe soles.
Based on application, the market is divided into mineral sequestering, water treatment, paper processing, textile processing, drug delivery, personal care products, enhanced oil recovery, pharmaceuticals, petroleum production, coatings and ink additives, sensors, and others. The other segment is expected to contribute the largest shares to the market growth in terms of value. Others such as automotive and packaging mainly utilize specialty polymers including high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polypropylene (PP). In the context of automotive, specialty polymers are mainly used in powertrains such as internal batteries, combustion engines, and motors. However, in the case of packaging, specialty polymers are primarily used due to favorable adaptability with a varying range of temperatures during the packaging of non-durable goods.
By End Use
The end-user segment is separated into automotive and transportation, building and construction, consumer goods, coatings, electrical and electronics, adhesives and sealants, paper & pulp, healthcare, and others. The automotive and transportation industry is anticipated to account for the largest share of the specialty polymers market growth in terms of value and volume. Specialty polymers are mainly used in this industry as they provide solutions to enhance powertrain efficiency, reduce transmission speed, reduce weight, and promote electrification for the high performance of automobiles. These polymers are used in several components within such automotive as electrical systems, air induction systems, lubrication, wire and cable, and others.
The regional segment comprises Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. Asia Pacific contributed the largest shares to the market growth in terms of volume. The rising manufacturing facilities in the region due to the growing population resulted in increased use of specialty polymers in several industries such as construction, electronics, automotive, and others.
Thus, rising demand from countries such as India, Japan, South Korea, and China to meet the high requirements of products among the population is anticipated to fuel the market growth during the forecast period. Moreover, North America is also projected to support market growth in terms of revenue. The large presence of established market players within this region results in large demand for specialty polymers to manufacture high-yield end products.
Specialty Polymers Market Competitive Landscape:
The global market for specialty polymers is highly competitive due to the presence of a large number of players in the industry. Businesses have shifted their preference towards using product innovations to gain an advantage and attract more revenue. To stay competitive, some players are forming partnerships and joint ventures in an effort to create new revenue streams. Mentioned are major players in the market which comprise of latest market circumstances–
• 3M Advanced Materials Division
• Solvay Specialty Polymers
• ExxonMobil Chemical Company
• Dow Elastomers and Plastomers
• Polyvisions Inc.
• Ester Industries
• Specialty Polymers & Services, Inc.
• Wacker Chemical Corp.
• DuPont Plastics, Polymers & Resins
• Eastman Chemical Company
• Polyplastics USA, Inc.
• AGC Chemicals Inc.
• Croda International Plc
• Avient (PolyOne)
• Ashland Inc.
• Master Bond
• In January 2022, a Saudi chemical manufacturing company, SABIC, offered the latest specialty polymers named the LNP™ ELCRIN™ CRX7412UB and LNP™ ELCRIN™ CRX7416UB. These products are environment-friendly, bio-based polycarbonate copolymer resins without reinforcement. Moreover, these latest products are flame-retardant and have been designed to minimize their carbon footprint by as much as 36%, thus reducing their impact on the environment.
• In March 2022, Avient (formerly PolyOne) created Nymax™ BIO Formulations, a cost-effective and durable range of bio-based polyamides (PA) that are flame-retardant.
• In June of 2022, BASF introduced Ultramid A3EM8 OP, a specially optimized resin designed for painting purposes. This grade boasts a top-notch class A surface finish and exceptional bonding strength.
• In October 2022, NOVA Chemicals introduced the latest EX-PCR-NC4 resin, which is made entirely from post-consumer recycled polyethylene. This versatile resin offers excellent design flexibility and helps to reduce the carbon footprint of packaging, contributing to efforts designed to combat climate change.