Engineering Plastics – Strong Demand from APAC Drives the Market | Technavio

market research analysts forecast the global
engineering plastics market
to grow at a CAGR of more than 7% during
the forecast period, according to their latest report.

The market study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the
global engineering plastics market for 2017-2021. The report also
lists ABS, PA, Fluoropolymer, and PC as the four major segments based on
type. In terms of geography, the demand is primarily driven by APAC.
This can be attributed to the growing demand for engineering plastic
from the automobile and electrical and electronics sectors in this

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Technavio analysts highlight the following three market drivers that are
contributing to the growth of the global engineering plastics market:

  • Demand for replacements of metals and fiber glass
  • Growing recycling techniques
  • Increasing demand from automobile industry

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Demand for replacements of metals and fiber glass

The use of metals or thermosets is replaced by engineering plastics in
the electrical and electronics, and automobile industries. This can be
attributed to the reduction in manufacturing cost, time, and high
tensile strength, which is enabled by engineering plastics. It is
estimated that the cost can be reduced up to 50% by replacing metals
with engineering plastics. Also, engineering plastics help in achieving
thinner-walled designs, which can easily replace thicker die-casted
metal parts.

According to Kshama Upadhyay, a lead analyst at Technavio for plastics,
polymers, and elastomers
research, “The manufacturing process of
fiber glass is costly and labor intensive, and, emits higher volatile
organic compounds than engineering plastics. Stringent regulations
established by several government agencies are challenging the
manufacture of fiber glass, which is boosting the global engineering
plastics market.”

Growing recycling techniques

Plastics are non-degradable substances, which can drastically impact the
ecological balance. Plastics take more than 50 years to degrade, which
leads to incineration or landfills. To overcome this, gasification,
solvolysis, pyrolysis, and thermolysis treatments play a crucial role to
provide better recycling and reuse processes. In the UK alone,
approximately 2.1 million tons of electrical and electronic equipment
waste and 1.7 million vehicles are discarded every year. Therefore, the
European government has set a target of recycling approximately 57% of
plastic packaging by 2021.

“Closed loop projects, such as EURECOMP, facilitate the recycling of
plastics through solvolysis process. This process helps in
separating the components such as fillers, fibers, and matrix compounds.
This process aids in preserving the length of the recovered fibers,
which can be re-used in technical industries such as electrical and
electronic industries. Therefore, innovative recycling technologies for
engineering plastics will boost the global
plastics market
,” says Kshama.

Increasing demand from automobile industry

The demand for engineering plastics from the automotive industry is
growing every year. This can be attributed to the need for lightweight
vehicles, which emit lesser CO2. It is expected that the global emission
of CO2 will reach 39.3 billion metric tons by 2030. At the same time,
the global automobile production will also grow at approximately 3%
during the forecast period.

To curb such a burgeoning problem, governments have established
stringent regulations to reduce the CO2 emissions from the automotive
segment. For instance, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) have imposed regulations such as 40 Council on
Foreign Relations (CFR) Part 85 on greenhouse emissions by light-duty
vehicles. Such regulations are expected to reduce 6 billion metric tons
of greenhouse gases (GHG) from 2012 to 2020. This is driving the
automobile manufacturers to reduce the weight of vehicles, subsequently
resulting in increased use of engineering plastics in automobiles.

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