Polymer Bearing Market size may grow significantly over the projected period. Strong application scope in automotive, food processing and packaging, textile and medical and pharmaceutical industry will drive product demand.
Global bearing market was valued at USD 80 billion in 2015 and may exceed USD 110 billion by 2024, with gains at over 6% owing to heavy machinery production. China accounted for over 25% of the total market share owing to rising vehicle demand and machinery production. Mining and construction equipment market in India, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan may facilitate polymer bearing demand.
Global automobiles production was over 95 million units in 2016 and may surpass 135 million units by 2024. Noise and vibration are major challenges faced by the automotive sector. Saint-Gobain’s Norglide polymer bearing are self-lubricating and has a layer of polytetrafluroethylene which helps to cut down the noise and vibration in vehicles. The product is used in application such as center armrests, convertible top systems, belt tensioners, pedal systems, stub axels, gear actuators, door hinges, steering systems, throttle valves, and seating systems.
Global packaging industry was valued at USD 530 billion in 2016. India, China and Brazil comprised of over 35% of the total demand owing to rapid industrialization and increasing growth in consumer goods and packaging industry. Polymer bearing give maintenance-free performance, high-temperature capabilities and durability, which are used in automated bag filling equipment, food processing equipment, case erecting equipment, blow molding machines, fill and seal machines, labeling equipment, palletizing and handling equipment.
Polymer bearing have possible applications in variety of medical devices like hospital beds, x-ray machines, dental chairs, operating tables and wheel chairs. Increasing technological innovations in healthcare sector has led to rise in demand for medical devices which may have positive influence on polymer bearing market size. Global medical device market was estimated over USD 225 billion in 2016 and it may surpass USD 500 billion by 2024. U.S. medical device market was valued over USD 125 billion in 2016 and represents over 35% of the global market.
Phenolic bearings dominate polymer bearing market as they have replaced wood and metal bearings due to strength and shock resistance properties. Strong applications outlook in electrical switch-gear, rubber-shaft bearings and propeller in ships, water-turbine and rolling-mill bearings will drive product demand.
Nylon bearings produce low friction and require no lubrication when compared to phenolics. They are subjected to low wear & tear and can be easily molded. Cast Nylons Ltd. produces NYLOIL-FG which is a self-lubricating nylon bearing used in the food industry is manufactured in compliance with FDA and USDA 3A Sanitary Standards. Companies are engaged in new product development which may propel polymer bearing industry growth.
Polytetrafluroethylene (PTFE), as bearings is widely used in chemical and food processing equipment, textile machinery, automotive knuckle and ball joints and aircraft accessories due to high self-lubricating characteristics, low coefficient of friction and an ability to operate under a wide temperature range.
Fluctuating raw material prices may limit industry profitability, thereby affecting polymer bearing price trend. Phenolic bearings low thermal conductivity owing to friction which requires continuous water feed or lubricating oil to cut down heat may hamper industry growth. However, polymer bearing is more economical and light weight when compared to metal bearings which has increased its usage in automotive industry thereby stimulating industry growth.
Asia Pacific, led by India, South Korea, Japan and China polymer bearing market size may show significant regional growth due to strong applications in food processing and medical & pharmaceutical industry. Easy accessibility of raw materials and labor may favor regional industry growth.
Europe, driven by UK, France and Germany polymer bearing market size may grow significantly owing to strong fixed investment environment and manufacturing of motor vehicles driving regional industry growth. Increasing application scope in non-food & beverages packaging applications including, pharmaceutical, household chemicals and cosmetics & toiletries may drive regional product demand.
Global polymer bearing market share is fragmented. Key market players operating in this industry are BNL, SKF, Igus Inc., Boston Gear LLC., Saint-Gobain, Oiles Corporation, KMS Bearings, Kashima Bearings, Kilian Manufacturing and Dotmar Engineering Plastic Products.