Polybutadiene often referred as a polybutadiene rubber is used specifically in the manufacturing of synthetic tires. Polybutadiene is the second largest compound used in the syntheses of synthetic rubber after styrene butadiene rubber (SBR). Properties such as high resistance, excellent abrasion resistance, high resilience, exceptional rolling resistance as well as low glass transition temperature, which helps in better fuel economy, make polybutadiene the ideal choice for the manufacturing of tires.
Almost 70 percent of polybutadiene manufactured is used in the manufacturing of tires, whereas 30 percent is used as an additive to increase the properties, such as toughness and thermal resistance, of the polymers, for instance, butadiene styrene (ABS) and polystyrene. Polybutadiene, owing to its excellent resiliency, has found its adoption in some niche applications, such as manufacturing of soft toys and golf balls. Commercially, polybutadiene is available in two types, i.e. solid polybutadiene and liquid polybutadiene, out of which solid polybutadiene
holds the larger share in terms of consumption. Further, solid polybutadiene is divided into four types: high cis, low cis, high trans and high vinyl polybutadiene. Primarily, the usage of catalysts, such as cobalt, neodymium, nickel, lithium and titanium, used in the production determine the type of the solid catalyst. Neodymium and cobalt are generally used for the synthesis of high cis derivative, whereas lithium catalyst is majorly used for the production of high vinyl and high trans derivative of polybutadiene. Among these derivatives, high cis is found to have excellent growth opportunity in the upcoming years in prominent end-user industries because of its superior toughness, high resistance towards abrasion and also because it shows low vulnerability to cracking and degradation. High cis derivative also provides better cut growth resistance and high green strength.
Globally, the polybutadiene market is experiencing an enormous demand and progress in the past few years and the same trend will be observed in the upcoming years. The main reason behind the huge demand of polybutadiene is the adoption of the material in different applications. The enormous expansion of automobile fleet which results in the increase of tire consumption, increase in usage of polystyrene and ABS in consumer goods industries and growing demand for industrial rubber in last few years have increased the demand of polybutadiene globally. In order to produce fuel-efficient automotive and eco-friendly tires,
the demand for polybutadiene has grown significantly from the automobile manufacturers and OEM’s. Growing economy, manufacturing industries, foreign investment and availability of low-cost labour in Asia are some factors increasing the demand for polybutadiene. Likewise, thriving downstream industry in European countries, such as Germany, Belgium and Netherlands, has compelled the demand for polybutadiene. Volatile crude oil prices and the environmental concerns associated with polybutadiene may dent its growth opportunities in the near future.Environmental hazards, such as air pollution, caused due to the production of butadiene has raised worries. Producers are now adopting bio-based butadiene to counter the negative effects caused by petroleum-based products.
Polybutadiene Market: Segmentation: Polybutadiene Market Segmentation By Product Type – Solid Polybutadiene, (High Cis Polybutadiene, Low Cis Polybutadiene , High Vinyl Polybutadiene, High Trans polybutadiene), Liquid Polybutadiene; By Application – Tire Manufacturing, Industrial Rubber Manufacturing, Polymer Modification, Chemical, OthersThe global polybutadiene market is segmented into the seven key regions: North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ)
, Japan and the Middle East and Africa (MEA). As of 2016, the growth in developed regions, such as North America, Western Europe and Japan, will be driven by the expansion of industries, such as automotive and chemical industry. Latin America is considered as one of the key markets for polybutadiene because of the availability of downstream operations. The APEJ region will also register rapid growth due to the presence of major petrochemical companies in the region. Also, demand in the APEJ region is attributed to the adoption of polybutadiene in a large scale from the end-user industries. MEA is also projected to witness a steady growth rate because of volatile crude oil prices.
Examples of some of the market participants in the global polybutadiene market identified across the value chain include: Lanxess AG, Synthos S.A, UBE Industries, Ltd, JSR Corporation, Versalis S.P.A, Reliance Industries Limited, Trinseo S.A, PJSC Sibur Holdings, Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd, SABIC, Taiwan Synthetic Rubber Corporation, Shazand Petrochemical Corporation
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