Engineering Plastic Compounds Market Set for Steady Growth, Projected to Reach US$26.9 Billion by 2025

Anticipated CAGR of 5.75% Expected in the Global Engineering Plastic Compounds Market

Engineering plastic compounds have emerged as a compelling alternative to traditional materials such as metal, glass, and ceramics, gaining traction in a wide range of demanding applications due to their exceptional mechanical strength, heat resistance, and resistance to chemical attacks. This shift towards engineering plastic compounds has opened up extensive opportunities for their application in sectors such as automotive and industrial, renewable energy, medical technology, and transportation. Engineering plastic compounds encompass various plastics, including polyamide, polycarbonate, Styrenics (ABS & SAN), Poly butylene Terephthalate (PBT), Polyoxymethylene (POM), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), and Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE).

In 2017, the global engineering plastic compounds market was valued at US$17.3 billion, and it is projected to expand to US$26.9 billion by 2025, demonstrating a CAGR of 5.75% during the forecast period. Key drivers propelling the engineering plastics compound market include the growing preference for lightweight vehicles, rising demand for connected vehicles, and increasing awareness regarding the reduction of vehicular emissions in the automotive and transportation sector.

Metals, Glass, and Ceramics Yield to Engineering Plastic Compounds

Engineering plastic compounds are steadily replacing metals, glass, and ceramics in various applications, primarily due to continuous advancements and improvements in the plastic industry. For instance, polyamides have superseded metal automotive gear shift modules due to their lightweight and high-strength properties. This trend is particularly prominent in the automotive industry, where the replacement of metals plays a pivotal role in reducing vehicle weight, simplifying part integration, and reducing overall manufacturing costs. In response to government regulations and concerns related to fuel efficiency standards, as well as consumer preferences for fuel-efficient vehicles, automakers are increasingly focusing on improving fuel economy. The favorable properties of engineering plastic compounds, such as high heat resistance, have led to their use in the electrical components of hybrid electric cars.

Engineering plastics resins are widely utilized across various industries, with their compounds primarily in demand for high-temperature applications, including automotive, industrial, aerospace, and electronics manufacturing. The transformation of these engineering plastic resins into compounds involves the melting of plastics with additives, fillers, or reinforcers, resulting in alterations to their physical, thermal, electrical, or aesthetic characteristics. Depending on the addition of these additives, a wide range of properties can be achieved, including conductivity, flame retardance, wear resistance, structural strength, and precoloration.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Engineering Plastic Compounds Market

The medical technology sector has been in a state of constant evolution, and with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the need to respond to trends both within and beyond hospital premises has become imperative to provide better care at lower system costs. The trend toward miniaturization and compactness is driving new requirements in the medical industry. Globally, hygiene and public health safety have assumed paramount importance, necessitating that devices withstand various chemicals and sterilization procedures. In orthopedics applications, single-use products have become the preferred choice over reusable products. This shift has driven the industry to opt for plastic materials, which can significantly reduce costs. In the realm of sophisticated medical applications with high-performance requirements and long-term preparation stability, increasing client demands have prompted manufacturers to expand their portfolios of engineering plastic compounds for medical technology.

Growing Demand for Engineering Plastic Compounds in Electric Vehicles Fuels Market

The automotive sector offers substantial opportunities for the engineering plastic compounds market. Plastics are increasingly favored in automotive applications to reduce weight and enhance fuel efficiency. Plastics are employed in the manufacture of a wide array of parts, including lights, bumpers, engine components, dashboards, headrests, switches, clips, panoramic roofs, seats, airbags, and seat belts. Key engineering plastic compounds, such as polyamide, polycarbonate, and ABS, collectively account for a significant share in automotive manufacturing. The use of plastics has not only contributed to vehicle weight reduction but has also provided cost-saving benefits. For example, a nylon bracket used to secure components under the hood may incorporate mounts and other features directly into its design.

Engineering thermoplastics are lighter and stronger than several metals, including aluminum, magnesium alloys, and aluminum alloys, making them an attractive option to replace traditional metal parts. Beyond the automotive sector, engineering plastic compounds offer significant potential to replace metals in applications ranging from household appliances to construction and infrastructure. For instance, nylon is replacing metals in under-the-hood motor vehicle applications, and polycarbonate is finding use in construction, medical, and consumer markets.

Adopting Avoided Emissions to Curb Environmental Impact

To achieve sustainable manufacturing goals, numerous manufacturers are investing in research organizations to develop innovative, eco-friendly, closed-loop recycling processes for engineering plastics. For example, Exeter Advanced Technologies (X-AT), in collaboration with industrial companies, has developed a recycling process using a solvolysis method. This process separates composites and plastic compounds into different components, such as fillers, fibers, and resins, under specific temperatures and pressures for reuse in new applications. Companies like Entec Polymers offer post-consumer nylon products certified to ULs most rigorous adherence standards for PCR-based products. Mitsubishi Chemical has developed a bio-based polycarbonate resin derived mainly from plant-based isosorbide, offering excellent durability for use in various applications, including optical, electronic equipment, automotive components, and interior and exterior decor.

The concept of avoided emissions pertains to the environmental benefits associated with reduced emissions downstream during the use phase of products. While avoided emissions may not contribute to specific Science-Based Targets, they result in reduced emissions for customers and end-users. For instance, DSM Engineering Plastics supplies products for packaging films in the food industry, which require effective oxygen barrier properties and high puncture resistance. These films play a crucial role in reducing food waste by protecting food during transport, retail, and consumer use, thereby extending shelf life. The reduction of food waste alleviates the burden on the food production system, leading to significant avoided emissions. By adopting this production approach, companies can earn goodwill in the market and garner favor from customers and end-users alike.

China and India Driving Global Engineering Plastic Compounds Industry

The Asia Pacific region commands the largest share of over 45% in the engineering plastics compound market, driven by rapidly growing economies like China and India, as well as ASEAN countries such as Malaysia and Thailand. The substantial investments in these regions are due to high consumption of engineering plastic compounds. Increased disposable income has shifted consumer buying patterns, influenced by globalization and westernization. These countries are also attracting foreign investors to establish manufacturing plants, creating employment opportunities and revenue streams. This has provided global manufacturers with numerous prospects to set up production facilities in emerging economies.

The burgeoning population in the Asia Pacific region has fueled demand across various end-use industries, including automotive and transportation, electrical and electronics, consumer appliances, and building and construction. The automotive industrys growth has led to an increased need for engineering plastic compounds. The flourishing electrical and electronics sector is also driving the engineering plastic compounds markets expansion.

Top Eight Companies Hold Significant Share in the Global Engineering Plastics Compounds Market

Key companies operating in the global engineering plastic compounds market include BASF SE, Idemitsu Kosan Company Ltd., SABIC, Asahi Kasei Advance Corporation, Lanxess AG, and Covestro AG, among others. According to Fairfield Analysis, the top eight companies collectively account for approximately 60% of the engineering plastics compounds market. These companies continually expand their product portfolios to meet the rising demand from the automotive, building and construction, and electronics industries. They are also investing heavily in expanding their production bases, focusing on Asia Pacific countries due to easy access to raw materials, low labor costs, and cost-effective technology.

Together, these companies boast a compounding capacity of more than 2.6 million tons, encompassing products such as PBT compounds, polycarbonate compounds, TPE compounds, polyamide compounds, and ABS compounds. Other key players in the market, including Trinseo, Kraiburg TPE, Radici Plastics, Petrochemical Conversion Company (PCC), Chevron Philips, Repsol, and Polyone Corporation, among others, collectively possess production capacities of around 11.3 million tonnes.

Browse Global Engineering Plastic Compounds Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2021-2025 – [2023 UPDATE Available – Forecast 2023-2030*] (By Type Coverage, By End Use, By Geography, By Company):

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