Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/17/2018 -- The leading two companies operating in the global sulfone polymers market – BASF SE and Solvay S.A. – account for a lion's share in it, making it highly consolidated.
The two dominant players in the market have mostly prospered on the back of their large production units and a solid supply chain, which have made it possible for them to manufacture sulfone polymers in massive quantities to satiate the ever-increasing demand in the market. They have also made progress by leveraging strategic collaborations. Other players in the market too are following suit to gain greater share by looking out for beneficial collaborations and partnerships and also by expanding their production capacities.
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The market for sulfone polymers is expected to expand by clocking a 6.4% CAGR between 2016 and 2024 to become worth US$1.39 bn by 2024-end from US$805.4 mn in 2015, predicts a research report by Transparency Market Research.
Sulfone polymers find application in different areas such as automotive, medical, aerospace, industrial, consumer goods, and electrical and electronics, among others such as membrane, plumbing, military, etc. At present the medical sector holds a leading share in the market and going forward too is expected to hold on it. Numerous varieties of medical grade sulfone polymer and a flourishing medical industry worldwide are serving to boost the application segment of medical.
From a geographical perspective, North America held a leading share of 39.0% in the market for sulfone polymers in 2015. The market in the region has become saturated but will likely rise in the next couple of years because of the automotive sales picking up steam in the U.S. and the healthy expansion in the medical devices market.
Automotive Industry Majorly Fuels Demand
Various kinds and grades of sulfone polymers are being used in different industries these days. The automotive industry is one of them. Due to the lightweight, high transparency resistance, and high performance, sulfone polymers are increasingly finding application in making fuel-efficient vehicles. Apart from that, sulfone polymers are also finding application in producing oil pistons, impellers, oil pumps, headlight bezels, fog lamp housings, and optical reflectors.
Sulfone polymers offer greater degree of resistance to corrosion and wear and this has been fuelling their uptake in medical implants and medical devices too.
Strict Regulatory Procedures to Approve Usage in Specific End Use Segments Dampens Growth
However, one practice posing a challenge to the market for sulfone polymers is that they are subjected to strict regulatory processes. As a result, their usage is mostly limited to medical devices, aircrafts, and medical implants.
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Sulfone polymers, even though are used in producing food contact applications, namely baby bottles, are seeing moderate uptake in these areas due to stringent norms framed by health regulatory bodies to approve their usage. "Sulfone polymers in food contact applications can result in the leakage of bisphenol monomers that are known to pose a danger to health," explains the lead analyst of the TMR report.
In addition, massive capital required in building new manufacturing plants of sulfone polymers is also dealing a blow to the market. This has driven up their market price thereby egging different end use segments to find cost-effective alternatives. However, demand from the electrical and electronics segment due to superior flame retardant properties of sulfone polymers is expected to underpin the growth in the market in the near future.