The global polyimides market is expected to register a CAGR of 4.82% during the forecast period, 2018 to 2023. Asia-Pacific is dominating the market, accounting for around 35% of the global market in 2017.
Polyimides have a wide range of applications because of their unusual properties. The polyimides derived from aromatic dianhydrides and diamines, containing stable flexible units, exhibit high thermal stability, excellent mechanical properties, film & fiber forming ability, excellent adhesive properties, and non-flammability. Owing to these exceptional properties, polyimide and its products are preferred in many applications, including electronics, aerospace, automotive, medical, and many others.
The major applications of polyimide products in automotive include thrust washers, electrical switches, and so on. Polyimide tape is utilized for wrapping switches, diaphragms, sensors, coils, and others. In the aerospace industry, polyimide finds application in wire insulation, motor windings, electrical switches, structural adhesives, structural composites, foam insulation, bushings, baffles, flanges bearings, thrust washers, thrust discs, seal rings, and many others.
According to Boeing, the global aircraft fleet is expected to increase by more than two-fold in the next twenty years, to reach 45,240 by 2035. The global sale of automobiles is also increasing with the increasing urbanization and disposable incomes in developing economies. These increasing applications, combined with the growing demand for new motor vehicles and aircraft, are expected to drive this market in the near future.
Polyimides (PI) are majorly used in the packaging industry, primarily for packaging of water (bottled), food, and alcoholic beverages. Though it is a downstream product of crude oils, with growing environmental concerns and depleting oil reserves, polyimides manufacturers are shifting toward the development of bio-based PI. The bio-based PI market is still in its growth stage, and is commercially available as a partially bio-based product. Moreover, governments of many countries are focusing on creating awareness regarding the usage and benefits of bio-based PI. The demand for packaged foods is increasing at a rapid rate with rising middle class incomes in emerging countries. This, along with the rising consumer preference for safe and environmentally compatible products, is boosting the demand for bio-compatible polymers, such as bio-based PI during the forecast period.
China is the largest producer of polyimides in the Asia-Pacific region. Demand due to the growing population and increasing urbanization rates has made China the largest consumer of polyimides over the years. Polyimides have a wide variety of applications in commercial, military, and other applications. They are used in the electronics industry as adhesives, flexible cables, as an insulating film medical tubing, in 3D printing, aerospace, chemicals, automotive, water treatment, healthcare, and other industries, owing to their excellent electrical and thermal insulation characteristics. Additionally, the demand for PI in China has remained strong over the past few years, owing to increased electrical, electronics, and packaging applications. The rising electronic assembly activities and the expanding packaging sector in China are expected to raise the demand for polyimides at a healthy rate in the coming years.
Major players: DowDupont, Mitsui Chemicals, SABIC, Saint Gobain and Toray International Inc., among others.
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