Polycarbonate resin market is set to observe substantial growth between 2021 and 2027 due to higher adoption in eyewear coupled with increasing innovations in medical equipment. The rapid progressions in the automotive and electronic sectors worldwide have steered the requirement for several eco-friendly products.
Polycarbonate resins are a group of thermoplastic polymers that come in a variety of transparent and opaque colors. These resins are mainly used in applications that need strength, heat resistance, and toughness. The growing adoption of polycarbonate variants in mobile phones and tablets will act as a significant determinant for market expansion.
The increasing health awareness pertaining to carcinogenic residues, access to licenses, and high initial investments might hamper the industry growth. However, the rising acceptance of polycarbonate resins over traditional fibers and glass in automotive, medical equipment, electronics, and roofing, will add significant momentum to the product demand spurt.
Based on grades, the polycarbonate resin industry is segmented into flame retardant grade, healthcare grade, and others. Out of these, the healthcare grade segment will see prominence through 2027 on account of rising needs in several applications, including MRI casings and surgical tools. Apart from blood reservoirs & oxygenators, polycarbonate resins are largely utilized in IV tubes and surgical instruments. This can be accredited to the chemical, temperature, and corrosion-resistant properties of the product along with its robust ability to handle frequent sterilization cycles. The rising production rate of medical devices will further favor the industry dynamics.
With respect to application, the polycarbonate resin market share from the automotive sector will expand commendably with higher penetration in glazing and window applications. The product finds widespread usage in production of various auto-components. Growing efforts undertaken by leading market participants and the rising advancements in automotive glazing technology will add huge impetus to the segment growth. For instance, in September 2017, Sabic introduced Lexan HF4010SR, its new polycarbonate resin for LED automotive lighting to assist customers in developing complex headlight bezels with improved aesthetics.
Geographically, Asia Pacific is set to emerge as a profitable market for polycarbonate resins owing to the rising domestic demand along with the ease of access to labor and raw materials in the region. The rise in number of government initiatives for commercial and industrial roofing development mainly in India has propelled the acceptance of polycarbonate resins. The fast-growing electronics & electrical appliances manufacturing sector and rapid industrialization rate in several developing countries will drive the regional market expansion.
North America polycarbonate resins market will grow with the escalating requirement for medical-grade polycarbonate and automotive glazing. The ongoing advancements in the construction sector in the region are a major driver for the industry progression.
Some of the major polycarbonate resin industry players include Covestro AG, LG Chem (LG Corp), Mitsubishi Engineering-Plastics Corporation (Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation), Chi Mei Corporation, Teijin Limited, SABIC (Saudi Aramco), and Kotec Corporation.
These firms are resorting to several targeted marketing initiatives, such as partnerships, acquisitions, and production expansions, as well as new product developments to increase their geographical and competitive footprint.
For instance, in August 2021, Sabic rolled out its certified and industry-first circular polycarbonate resins and blends generated from the upcycling process of post-consumer mixed plastic. The novelty is used as feedstock to produce certified circular building blocks for high-quality plastics.
The global economic turmoil contributed by the COVID-19 crisis made way for alarming impacts on numerous businesses worldwide. The polycarbonate resin industry witnessed a moderate response on account of the halted production processes mainly in the construction, appliances, automotive, and sports safety equipment applications. However, polycarbonate resin recorded significant adoption across commercial settings for physical barriers in order to provide infection prevention and control. The increasing support from numerous agencies, including the World Health Organization also added an edge to the higher preference for these transparent physical barriers.