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The global polycarbonate sheets market is mainly driven by the growing application of polycarbonate sheets in various end-use industries, such as automotive and transportation; electrical and electronics; and building and construction. These sheets impart structural, safety, and aesthetic features to automobiles. For instance, owing to their light weight, durability, and glass-like transparency, these sheets are widely used in the headlamps of cars. Besides, the growing focus of manufacturers toward replacing glass with lightweight polycarbonate sheets in automotive glazing activities is an important factor supporting the polycarbonate sheets market growth. This is further leading to huge investments in plastic glazing technologies by major automotive manufacturers such as Volkswagen Group and Fiat S.p.A. for achieving structural efficiencies.
The increasing use of these sheets in the form of ultraviolet (UV)-resistant roof panels in agricultural outbuildings, such as barns and greenhouses, is another factor driving the growth of the polycarbonate sheets market. The sheets used for this purpose can be single walled, which provide negligible light diffusion and less heat retention, or thin walled, which provide additional strength, more light diffusion, and improved insulation. Triple-walled sheets are also used in agricultural structures, owing to their superior strength in addition to better heat retention property. These are semi-opaque plastic sheets that can also be used as wall units to allow the warmth and light to reach farm animals.
Polycarbonate sheets or panels are lightweight and transparent materials with high impact strength, great elasticity, and high functionality at a wide range of temperatures. Some of the main applications of these sheets include general and safety glazing, roofing, and protective screening. These are available in different forms, based on standard and UV grades, designed to meet the requirements of different applications. In addition, the low-cost and high-performance factors associated with these sheets contribute to their wide usage in the medical device and packaging fields.
The growing use of these sheets in the medical industry for replacing high-priced resins, such as polysulfone, polyetheretheketone, polyphenylsulfone, and polyaryletherketone, in different devices is anticipated to provide potential growth opportunities to the players in the polycarbonate sheets market. This can be attributed to the use of standard formulations as well as advancements in existing formulations that can sustain certain processing or end-use conditions, such as radiation treatment and autoclaving of medical devices. These advancements include the development of radiation grades, high-temperature grades, and polycarbonate blends and films, and lipid-resistant grades of polycarbonate sheets. Major application areas of these sheets in the medical field include renal dialysis, cardiac surgery products, surgical instruments, and intravenous connection components.
Based on type, the polycarbonate sheets market is categorized into solid, multi-walled, corrugated, and other sheets. The demand for multi-walled sheets is increasing owing to their light weight, high UV resistance, impact strength, and thermal insulation, and excellent transparency. These features make them suitable for use in skylights, sidelights, signage, displays, decorative partitions, and greenhouses, in addition to air conditioning, heating, roofing, and glazing applications. Besides, the recovering construction industry in developed economies of North America and Europe and growing investments in the construction industry of emerging economies of Asia-Pacific (APAC), Latin America (LATAM), and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) are expected to back the growth of the category in the polycarbonate sheets market.
Based on end users, the polycarbonate sheets market is categorized into building and construction; electrical and electronics; automotive and transportation; agriculture; and other industries. The demand for these sheets in the building and construction industry is on the rise on account of ongoing infrastructural activities in different regions, especially APAC and MEA, for roofing, screening, and safety purposes. Moreover, the increasing requirement for highly efficient lightweight materials in automobiles and aircraft is another factor driving the polycarbonate sheets market growth.
Some of the major players operating in the global polycarbonate sheets market are 3A Composites GmbH, Arla Plast AB, Asahi Glass Co. Ltd., Covestro AG, Evonik Industries AG, Excelite, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company Inc., Plazit Polygal Group, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Suzhou OMAY Optical Materials Co. Ltd., Teijin Limited, and Trinseo S.A.