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Global Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Industry

Global Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Industry

  • July 2022
  • 424 pages
  • ID: 5900452
  • Format: PDF
  • Global Industry Analysts


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Global Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market to Reach $1.8 Billion by 2026
- Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is a class of thermoplastic polyethylene that presents a blend of extraordinary properties for industrial applications. Also popular as high-modulus polyethylene, the material exhibits superior resistance to corrosion and wear, displays low water absorption as well as is self-lubricating and non-sticking. The thermoplastic holds a molecular mass of 3.5-7.5 million amu and features very long polyethylene chains aligning in same direction. The overlapping of molecules or chains strengthens intermolecular interactions and allows the material to carry large loads. The unique structure results in a tough thermoplastic boasting the highest impact strength in its class. The non-toxic, tasteless and odorless material features all properties of high-density polyethylene along with superior resistance to concentrated alkalis and acids and various organic solvents. Several forms of UHMWPE exhibit 17-fold higher abrasion-resistance in comparison to carbon steel. The material`s coefficient of friction is considerably lower as compared to acetal and nylon, and comparable to Teflon. UHMWPE`s polymerization was commercialized during the 1950s, which yields powder materials that can be easily molded into desirable product shapes. Various companies offer processed UHMWPE as fibers and in consolidated form like rods and sheets.
- Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene estimated at US$1.3 Billion in the year 2022, is projected to reach a revised size of US$1.8 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 7.3% over the analysis period. Sheets, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to record a 7.7% CAGR and reach US$1.1 Billion by the end of the analysis period. After a thorough analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the Rods & Tubes segment is readjusted to a revised 6.9% CAGR for the next 7-year period.

The U.S. Market is Estimated at $431.3 Million in 2022, While China is Forecast to Reach $189.4 Million by 2026
- The Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene market in the U.S. is estimated at US$431.3 Million in the year 2022. China, the world`s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$189.4 Million by the year 2026 trailing a CAGR of 8.3% over the analysis period. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 6.8% and 6.7% respectively over the analysis period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 6.8% CAGR.
- The market holds a promising outlook on account of steadily increasing demand for these materials from a diverse range of applications and ongoing technological advances that are anticipated to unlock new opportunities in the coming years. Increasing use of high-performance polymers across the automobiles, military and healthcare sectors is expected to benefit the market. These materials are likely to find new applications in the sports equipment, medical and construction industries. In addition, rising construction spending coupled with growth of the healthcare sector and increasing number of sports activities are anticipated to further propel the market growth. The use of UHWMPE in lithium-ion battery separators is likely to present lucrative opportunities to market participants, while the inclination toward hybrid and electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries is estimated to fuel the market growth. Supportive regulations and innovations leading to superior mechanical properties along with high-energy absorption characteristics are expected to boost the market in the coming years.

By End-Use, Healthcare Segment to Reach $784.8 Million by 2026
- Global market for Healthcare (End-Use) segment estimated at US$498.5 Million is projected to reach US$784.8 Million by 2026 reflecting a compounded annual growth rate of 8.0% over the analysis period. The United States constitutes the largest regional market for Healthcare segment, accounting for 28.7% of the global sales. Asia-Pacific is poised to register the fastest compounded annual growth rate of 9.2% over the analysis period, to reach US$70.5 Million by the close of the analysis period. Based on their property to shift load, UHMWPE is a perfect fit for medical applications. These materials present a compelling biomaterial for joint replacements and medical devices. The global market for UHMWPE is bound to be stimulated by rising incident of osteoarthritis and joint-related infections, increasing count of joint replacement surgical interventions, and implant loosening. Global demand for medical-grade UHMWPE is anticipated to be further bolstered by rising number of shoulder, ankle and knee replacement surgeries, mainly in developed regions. The material is gaining immense popularity among orthopedic implant makers owing to its biocompatibility, biological stability, low wear, excellent impact resistance and strength-to-weight ratio.
- UHMWPE has been commonly used in various medical applications for the past several years. The thermoplastic is used as a biomaterial for spine, hip and knee implants or other implant components. UHMWPE emerged as a popular bearing material option for total hip or knee replacement during the 1970s. There were several efforts to improve clinical performance of UHMWPE before the availability of highly cross-linked UHMWPE materials during the late 1990s. Clinically launched during the 1998, these materials gained extensive acceptance in total hip replacement procedures. Cross-linked with electron or gamma beam radiation and thermally processed for increasing oxidation resistance, these materials offer superior option to traditional UHMWPE solutions for total hip replacement). Researchers are also investigating the use of highly cross-linked UHMWPE materials in knee replacement applications. In 2007, various manufacturers started inducing anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E in UHMWPE for knee and hip arthroplasty bearing surfaces. These anti-oxidants reduce free radicals produced during irradiation and improve oxidation resistance of UHMWPE, eliminating the requirement of thermal treatment. In addition, various companies offer antioxidant-stabilized joint replacement solutions built on synthetic vitamin E and phenol-based antioxidants. UHMWPE fibers have been also used for medical sutures.
- Advent of advanced technologies is enabling manufactures to design easy to install and safe orthopedic implants as well as surgical instruments. Introduction of additive manufacturing techniques is assisting companies in designing implants with superior control, precision, and performance features. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), UHMWPE, 316L, Ti-6Al-4V, and cobalt chromium are primarily used as raw materials for manufacturing orthopedic implants. Owing to their high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility, titanium and titanium alloys account for largest share in the global orthopedic implant market. However, PEEK continues to remain most preferred materials for designing cages utilized for performing lumbar inter-body fusion procedures. With an intention of enhancing bone strength, several manufacturers are using titanium layer for coating PEEK substrates. Increasing application of additive manufacturing techniques is enabling companies to design orthopedic implant with advanced functions and features. Linear polyethylenes, high?density polyethylene (HDPE), and UHMWPE comprises similar molecular structure. However, manufacturers face a lot of difficulties in obtaining HDPE and UHMWPE blends owing to significant differences in their viscosity. Advent of eccentric rotor extruder (ERE) is assisting them in producing high-end HDPE/UHMWPE blends. The novel technique is enabling firms to produce HDPE/UHMWPE blends with superior mechanical features and tensile strength of 151.9 kJ m?2 within a short span of time.

Select Competitors (Total 40 Featured) -

  • Asahi Kasei Corporation
  • Braskem S.A
  • Celanese Corporation
  • Crown Plastics Co Inc.
  • DuPont de Nemours, Inc.
  • Emco Industrial Plastics, Inc.
  • Garland Manufacturing Company
  • Honeywell International Inc.
  • King Plastic Corporation
  • Koninklijke DSM N.V.
  • Korea Petro Chemical Ind Co. Ltd.
  • LyondellBasell Industries N.V.
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials AG
  • Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.
  • Nitto Denko Corporation
  • Orthoplastics Ltd.
  • Redwood Plastics and Rubber
  • Röchling Engineering Plastics (India) Pvt. Ltd.
  • Saudi Basic Industries Corporation
  • Shandong Ningjin Xinxing Chemical Co., Ltd.
  • Teijin Limited
  • Toyobo Co., Ltd.

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