The global polymer market is predicted to reach $946,991.3 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% between 2021 and 2030. The market growth can be primarily driven by the rising demand for this product in various end-use industries, such as construction, automotive, and electrical & electronics.
It is widely adopted in automotive manufacturing, owing to its low weight and cost, and it allows for substitutional freedom in designing and developing parts and components of different forms and sizes that would not be possible with any other materials. In addition, targets to lower fuel consumption and thus reduce carbon dioxide emissions can be achieved by using more and more lightweight materials like polymers in automobiles.
Additionally, the market is booming because it is one of the most utilized chemical products in practically all industries, including medical, aerospace, packaging, automotive, construction, and electrical appliances. This is because of its great performance, lightweight, cost-effectiveness, and frequently employed as an alternative to items made of metals and mineral materials. Also, the importance of the product is increased by the expansion of the retail sector and the thriving e-commerce sector's desire for suitable packaging materials.
In 2021, the elastomer category accounted for a significant revenue share in the market. This is due to the rising demand for elastomers from major application sectors, together with developments in processing technologies. Elastomers are elastic polymers that are weakly cross-linked and amorphous, as well as having a high glass transition temperature.
Also, because of the increasing demand for high-performance and lightweight materials in vehicle production, elastomers are in great demand in the automotive sector, due to their key qualities including excellent durability, strength, and pliability. The materials are used to make puncture-resistant seals, shield wires, and cables, and improve impact resistance in car interiors.
In 2021, the packaging category accounted for the largest market share, of about 46.2%. Polymers are replacing traditional materials, due to their critical properties such as high flexibility, protective, high resistance to shock/vibration, and high resistance to surface abrasion. Furthermore, due to technological advancements, the physical, mechanical, and barrier properties of the products have been enhanced by the addition of nanofillers to polymer matrices. Thus, these factors are driving the product demand in the packaging sector.
Earlier, plastic products were disposed of after use, which led to an increased amount of waste accumulation in landfills, resulting in harmful environmental effects. With the passage of time, manufacturers have started using advanced technologies in mechanical and chemical methods for recycling these products. The major advantage of recycling such materials is that it helps in reducing the cost of manufacturing, due to the reduction in consumption of new or fresh raw materials. Thus, optimal resource utilization through the recycling of these materials to reduce wastage and create a sustainable environment is the key trend being observed in the market.
Geographically, the North American market is projected to expand at a significant CAGR in the coming years. This can be ascribed to the surging demand for polymers in various industries, including aerospace, construction, automotive, and many others, in the region.
Some of the major players operating in the polymer market are The Dow Chemical Company, Evonik Industries AG, Royal DSM, Eastman Chemical Company, Covestro AG, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Exxon Mobil Corporation, BASF SE, Clariant International Limited, and Huntsman Corporation.