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US Custom Thermoplastic Compounding Industry

  • October 2015
  • 308 pages
  • Freedonia
Report ID: 1108965


Table of Contents

Study coverage

This industry offers historical demand data (2004, 2009, 2014) plus forecasts (2019, 2024) by resin (e.g., PVC, polypropylene) and market (e.g., motor vehicles, construction, wire and cable, electrical and electronics, and medical and consumer,). The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles key US industry players.

US demand to rise 3.2% annually through 2019

US demand for custom compounded thermoplastics is forecast to rise 3.2 percent annually to 10.6 billion pounds in 2019, valued at nearly $19 billion (including resin, additive, fillers, and other production costs). Advances will be spurred mainly by growth in construction expenditures, which will rebound from the declines of the 2004-2014 period. Additionally, custom compounders will continue to make new technological advances to differentiate their products in the marketplace and widen their usage.
As compounding innovations continue, the percentage of thermoplastic demand that is custom compounded will increase.

For example, as producers strive to increase the compactness of their products and reduce material usage, demand has grown for materials that can provide good performance without adding to overall weight, and compounders have been quick to address these needs through new product development. Independent compounders are expected to grow in the markets where they are able to meet small volume and more particular needs. Larger compounders and resin producers will largely expand their presence in high volume and well-established markets

PVC to remain most compounded thermoplastic

Polyvinyl chloride will continue to be the most compounded thermoplastic, representing over one third of total demand in 2019, and will also expand at the fastest pace. This growth will be due primarily to rapid expansion in construction applications, where the resin is utilized in a myriad of products such as pipe and fittings, siding, windows and doors, wallcoverings, roofing, decking, fencing, and flooring. PVC’s light weight, strength, and abrasion resistance make it a versatile material in new construction and repairs. Polyethylene compounds will also grow rapidly, driven by rising demand in pipe applications and the wire and cable market.

Construction market to grow the most rapidly

Among all US markets for custom compounded thermoplastics, construction will grow the fastest -- nearly twice the pace as the next fastest growing market.
Strong growth in residential building activity will drive gains for compounds, while a rebound in nonresidential building spending will bolster demand. Compounded thermoplastics find many construction applications and will continue to replace metal, wood, and other traditional materials. PVC will remain the largest resin used in the construction market, while polyethylene will expand at the fastest rate, propelled by demand for pipe.

In the electrical and electronics market, the industry trend of miniaturization will continue to create demand for new compounded thermoplastics with improved performance characteristics. Medical applications will also grow rapidly due to increased healthcare spending and advances in medical products. Motor vehicles, the second largest market, will experiences lower growth, but will still provide strong opportunities for compounded thermoplastics that reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel economy.

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