Polyacetal Strategy Report, 2005-2025
Polyacetal (POM) also known as Polyoxymethylene exhibits good low temperature impact resistance, high dimensional stability, favorable frictional properties, low water absorption, good mechanical strength and abrasion resistance. Commercially polyacetals are available in two grades; Homopolymer (POM-H) and Copolymer (POM-C). Copolymers offer better chemical properties whereas homopolymers have better physical properties.
Globally the POM industry is witnessing growth on account of increasing applications and growing demand in Asia-Pacific and other developing regions.POM is gradually replacing other engineering plastics in variety of applications. It serves end-use industries such as Automotive, Electrical &Electronics, Industrial, Consumer & Home Appliances, Food Contact, Medical Devices, Sporting Goods and Others
Most of the POM resin manufacturers are in Japan, South Korea, China, United States, Germany, Taiwan whereas Malaysia, Thailand, and Netherlands have the presence of at least one player each. The major players in the POM market are DuPont, Celanese Corporation, Polyplastics, Mitsubishi- Engineering Plastics, Kolon Plastics, Korea Engineering Plastics, BASF, Yunnan Yuntianhua Co., Ltd. and Asahi Kasei. Other manufacturers of POM include LG Chemical, Formosa Plastics Corp and Zaklady Azotowe Tarnowe.
Metals Replacement Properties & tightening of emission standards in the automotive industry, growth in electric and hybrid vehicles supported by growing purchasing power in developing economies are some of the key drivers for polyacetal demand.
The following chart shows world consumption of Polyacetals in key end-uses:
Polyacetal End-Uses, 2005-2025
The market growth is driven by substitution of POM for other engineering thermoplastics and increasing use for automotive applications in North America and Western Europe and Electrical &Electronics applications in China.
Post discovery in 1960’s POM has experienced various capacity additions and emergence of newer market players. Polyplastics is the major producer of POM with a market share of 17%. Celanese Corporation is the second largest producers followed by DuPont and Korea Engineering Plastics. BASF, one of the key manufacturers plans to close its POM manufacturing unit in Ludwigshafen, Germany and shifting its production base to South Korea.
The global POM demand in 2016 was estimated to be over 1200 kilo tons which has grown at an aggregate rate of 4% per annum between 2005 and 2016. Utilization rates for POM globally averaged nearly at about 73% between 2005 and 2016. The utilization rates peaked to 87% in 2007 before declining to 71% in 2009 mainly due to decline in demand as well as a result of new production capacities coming on-stream. The demand for POM was affected in 2008-2009 with market contracting by an average of 4.6%, however, the demand recovered steadily after that and reached its pre-recession level by 2010.
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