Flexible PVC Films Market – Snapshot
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the third most extensively manufactured synthetic polymer, next to polypropylene and polyethylene. It is easily available in two forms: rigid and flexible. Flexible PVC films are manufactured by adding plasticizers such as phthalates, adipates, citrates, benzoates, and trimellitates. These films have good barrier properties to oil and grease; however, these are oxygen-permeable, and puncture-resistant. Flexible PVC resins are more pliable and soft as compared to rigid resins due to the addition of plasticizers such as diisononyl phthalate.
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The flexible PVC films market is driven by high demand from end-use industries and expansion of the packaging industry. Packaging is a major industry driving the global economy. With the advent of new technologies, innovative products, and increasing worldwide focus on ethical packaging, the packaging industry is anticipated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period. Demand for flexible packaging continues to increase at a rapid pace as compared to other packaging types. This is primarily due to its functionalities, convenience, premium branding, and sustainability. Flexible packaging also provide durable barrier protection and compactness, while sustaining low carbon footprint. Furthermore, consumption of flexible packaging is projected to increase at the rapid pace during the forecast period, due to high demand for smaller and more convenient packaging, improvements in design, lightweight nature of flexible packaging. These factors are anticipated to propel the global flexible PVC films market in the packaging segment during the forecast period.
Availability of substitutes such as ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and metallocene polyethylene (mPE) is anticipated to hinder the flexible PVC films market. As manufacturers of medical devices and supplies continue to focus on conservation of resources and reduction of waste materials, they are actively seek new materials that are likely to help them meet application demand, while offering various opportunities for volume or weight reduction. Furthermore, fabricators are looking for different methods that might help reduce the weight, thickness, and volume of device components, without harming the structural integrity or functionality of the device. Moreover, for disposable devices and materials, it is necessary to opt for raw materials that easily decompose, which will reduce raw materials and wastage. Metallocene polyethylene (mPE) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) resins are anticipated to substitute flexible PVC. Numerous studies show that mPE films offer a number of attractive performance attributes, including superior tensile strength, elongation, and toughness, and excellent resistance to puncture, impact, and bursting. EVA films is also used as an alternative to flexible PVC for medical device applications as these can be fabricated with radio-frequency (RF) sealing equipment. Furthermore, films made with EVA is tough and has low-temperature sealability, clarity, flexibility, and impact and puncture resistance. However, preference for mPE films and EVA resins is increasing as compared to flexible PVC films, especially in North America. Preference for mPE films and EVA resins is anticipated to hamper the flexible PVC films market, unless alternative technologies are developed that help overcome the drawbacks of flexible PVC films.
The flexible PVC films market has been segmented into three categories: product, manufacturing technology, end-user industry, and region. Based on product, the flexible PVC films market has been bifurcated into clear flexible PVC films, and opaque flexible PVC films. In terms of revenue, the clear flexible PVC films segment constituted market share of more than 60% in 2017. Based on manufacturing technology, the flexible PVC films market has been segregated into calendaring, extrusion, lamination, and others. In terms of revenue, the calendaring segment held more than 45% share of the market in 2017. Based on end-user industry, the flexible PVC films market has been segregated into automotive, packaging, medical, construction, textile, and others. In terms of revenue, the packaging end-user segment accounted market share of more than 35% in 2017.
In terms of region, the flexible PVC films market has been classified into Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. In 2017, Asia Pacific dominated the flexible PVC films market with more than 35% share and is expected to follow this trend during the forecast period. The region is projected to create opportunities for the flexible PVC films market. China is projected to dominate the market in the region due to the expansion of end-user industries, particularly the packaging industry. China is among the leading markets for packaging industry. It tops the list of major automobile producing countries across the globe. Also, it is the major global exporter of textiles. The expansion of the market in the regions is also attribute to high growth potential of the market in India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The packaging industry is the major consumer of flexible PVC films in Asia Pacific.
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Major market players in the flexible PVC films market include Caprihans India Limited, Marvel Group, NanYa Plastics Corporation, Allen Plastic Industries Co., Ltd., and Galata Chemicals (a wholly owned subsidiary of Artek Surfin.