Plastomers are polymers with combined properties of elastomer and plastics. Plastomers are flexible materials that offer unique properties such as clarity, gloss, and elasticity. They are ethylene alpha-olefin copolymers made from polymerization processes with a single site metallocene catalyst. The polymerization process bridges the gap between elastomers and plastics, resulting into plastics- and rubber-like processing abilities and properties. Thus, it is opted over conventional polymers in packaging applications. Plastomers are also used as polymer modifiers as they offer improved impact strength, flexibility, and durability. Increase in popularity of plastomers over conventional polymers in various applications plays a significant role in driving the plastomers market.
The global plastomers market is projected to expand significantly in the near future. Increase in demand for plastomers in various end-use industries, rapid industrialization, and expansion of the packaging industry are factors boosting the plastomers market. However, fluctuations in prices of raw materials and implementation of strict environmental regulations may hamper market growth.
In terms of type, the plastomers market can be classified into polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and others. Ethylene vinyl acetate and polyethylene are the majorly used types of plastomers. High demand for rutting resistance products in construction and polymer modification applications is propelling the EVA and PE segments. The need for sound deadening sheets and flexible thermoplastic olefins in the automotive industry are driving the polypropylene segment. Furthermore, its unique properties over conventional polymers (elastics and plastic) makes it suitable for usage in crack-resistant rigid packaging, high-impact consumer products, wire and cable applications, and other industrial applications.
In terms of application, the plastomers market can be classified into packaging, automotive, polymer modification, construction, medical, electrical, and others. Excellent sealability, high toughness, and ease of processing coupled with need for high quality products are the factors boosting the demand for plastomers in end-use industries. The packaging segment is anticipated to account for prominent share of the plastomers market, as the maximum consumption of plastomers is in food packaging films, non-food packaging films, and stretch films & shrink films. Similarly, high demand for advanced and flexible materials in automotive and construction industries is augmenting the plastomers market.
In terms of region, the market can be divided into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Increase in disposable income and rise in population are driving the plastomers in Asia Pacific. Various other factors influencing market growth in the region are expansion in automobile, agriculture, packaging, consumer goods, and polymer modification sectors. The plastomers market in Europe is projected to expand at a significant pace due to the increase in investments in research and development in the packaging industry. Furthermore, favorable growth in economy of developing countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and China is anticipated to augment the plastomers market. Key players operating in the global plastomers market are Saudi Basic Industries Limited (SABIC) (Saudi Arabia), The Dow Chemical Company (the U.S.), Mitsui Chemicals (Japan), LG Chem Limited (South Korea), Borealis AG (Austria), Sumitomo Corporation (Japan), ExxonMobil (the U.S.), Plastomer Corporation (the U.S.), Alpha Group (India), and SK Group (South Korea).
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