Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/11/2018 -- Properties of polymers are often altered by incorporation of various additives. This is done to address the requirement of specific properties from end-use industries. Additives are also incorporated to enhance the performance of polymers. Furthermore, they help ease processing or manufacturing. Various types of additives such as fillers, anti-aging additives, colorants, plasticizers, lubricants, impact modifiers, antioxidants, flame retardants, and blowing agents are available in the market. Antioxidants are chemicals that are added to plastics/polymers to protect them against the ill effects of oxidation during processing. Oxidation can cause degradation of polymers due to factors such as temperature, electromagnetic radiation, contaminants, and atmospheric pollutants. Therefore, small amount of antioxidants are usually added to polymer matrix to mitigate the damaging effects of oxidation. These antioxidants are often classified into two basic types based on the way they interrupt the oxidation process: chain breaking antioxidants and preventive antioxidants. Chain breaking antioxidants interrupt the primary oxidation cycle by removing the propagating cycles. Aromatic amines and hindered phenols are the popular chain breaking antioxidants available in the market. On the other hand, preventive antioxidants interrupt the oxidation by inhibiting the generation of free radicals. Phosphite esters, sulfur compounds, esters of thiodipropionic acid, and metal dithiolates are a few types of preventive antioxidants.
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Antioxidants play an important role in the plastics industry. They are used in various processes such as polymerization of polymers, extrusion, and injection, molding. Some polymers such as polypropylene, polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene acrylonitrile resins, and polyvinyl chloride are sensitive toward oxidation. Therefore, the application of antioxidants can be segmented in terms of its use in various polymers. Among various polymers, styrene blends such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and SAN resins are sensitive to oxidation during processing. Thus, they require large amount of antioxidants during melt processing. Therefore, ABS and SAN are anticipated to account for significant share of the plastic antioxidants market in the near future. Furthermore, demand for antioxidants is expected to rise significantly during the forecast period due to the increase in demand for ABS in industries such as automotive and electrical & electronics. However, the stringent regulations adopted by most of the health regulatory authorities on the toxicity of additives, the use of migratory synthetic antioxidants is prohibited in the plastic applications which involve direct contact with human such as food packaging and medical use. Nonetheless, health and consumer demands have been the key driving factors of recent developments of non-migratory natural antioxidants.
Antioxidants play a vital role in various stages in the plastics industry. They stabilize polymers/ plastics during shelf life/storage or during the processing techniques. Therefore, the antioxidants market can be further segmented based on stage/phase. In the storage phase due to certain effects such as weathering, exposure to UV or moisture, degradation of polymers because of oxidation is possible. Thus, antioxidants are used to increase the self-life of polymers by inhibiting oxidation in the storage phase. However, the processing technique is projected to dominate the plastic antioxidants market. Processing techniques such as extrusion & injection are carried out at high temperatures. During processing, plastic materials are subjected to varying temperatures and stresses (especially shear stress), and the possibility of oxidation is high. Therefore, significant amount of antioxidants are employed during the plastic processing phase. Additionally, demand for antioxidants is expected to increase in proportion to the demand for plastic products during the forecast period.
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The global plastic antioxidants market is highly fragmented, with China being a prominent manufacturer of plastic antioxidants. Key players operating in the plastic antioxidants market include Ampacet Corporation, NOCIL Limited, SI Group, Inc., Adeka Palmarole, BASF SE, Solvay S.A., Clariant AG, Sumitomo Chemical Company, Lanxess, A.Schulman, Inc., and Evonik Industries AG