Microcellular plastics are biodegradable plastics with various sustainability properties including thermal insulation, sound insulation, cushion, energy absorption, filtration, selective light transmission and diffusion, and tissue engineering scaffolds. The factors limiting the use of these plastics include higher material cost, and limited number of processing units. Microcellular plastics may replace the conventional plastics, if the extremely high cost won’t be a constraint for large scale production.
The global microcellular plastic market is driven by growing demand for plastics in food packaging and healthcare segments. The transportation, electronic and toy making industry is also fuelling the demand for these plastics, owing to their increasing application in various end user industries. Microcellular plastics offer better and enhanced properties, in comparison to conventional. These properties include low residual stress, shorter cycle times, and less material consumption. The growing demand for high performance materials in various end-user industries is expected to fuel the growth of the market for microcellular plastics across the globe during the forecast period. Microcellular plastics processing contains three basic elements, creating a gas/polymer solution, inducing a thermodynamic instability to nucleate billions of micro voids, and controlling the diffusional growth of stable nuclei.
Based on application, the global microcellular plastic market has been segmented into transportation, food packaging, healthcare, construction, electronics, and toys.
The global microcellular plastics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.0% during the forecast period. In 2015, North America was the largest market for microcellular plastics and held significant share in the global market. The factors driving the growth of the microcellular plastic market in North America are the developing research and activities linked to the microcellular plastic production by key market players and increasing demand of high-performance plastics in industries, such as food packaging, healthcare and transportation.
The growing demand for microcellular plastics in construction, food packaging and transportation is driving the growth of the microcellular plastic market in Asia-Pacific. Asia-Pacific is expected to witness significant growth in the global market. The growing economies of countries, such as India and China are fuelling the growth of the market, owing to high rate of industrialization. The demand in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is expected to be stable during the forecast period, due to the strong demand from end-user industries. The demand for microcellular plastics is expected to grow in growing economies, such as South Africa and countries in GCC.
Some of the major competitors in the global microcellular plastics market include ABC Group Inc., BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, COMPAGNIE DE SAINT-GOBAIN, Huntsman Corporation, Rogers Corporation, INOAC Corporation, Mearthane Products Corporation, Grisworld LLC, and General Plastics Manufacturing Company.