Polysulfides are chemical compounds that primarily comprise chains of sulfur atoms. These compounds exhibit various functional properties due to which they are chiefly consumed in building & construction, marine, aerospace, glass insulation, and polymer processing industries. Polysulfides possess high flexibility, high tensile strength, impermeability, chemical and weather resistance, and heat insulation. Hence, they are favorably used in coating and sealing applications. These sulfur compounds are generally classified as anionic and organic polysulfides. Anionic polysulfides contain anions that are hydrogen polysulfide conjugate bases, while organic polysulfides primarily comprise an alkyl group. Polysulfides are also available in the form of metallic salts such as sodium sulfide and sodium hydrosulfide. Additionally, these sulfur compounds are processed and supplied in the global markets as polysulfide elastomers and polysulfide sealants, respectively.
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Increasing consumption of polysulfides in downstream markets especially aerospace, building and construction, and rubber processing are expected to drive growth of the global polysulfides market by 2023. Polysulfides are primarily used as a functional chemical for sealing applications in aerospace and building & construction industries. They are primarily used in sealing double-pane insulation of glass windows, construction, adhesives & sealants, fuel tanks, and body parts in aircraft. Excellent flexibility, resistance to ozone and flex cracking, and good adhesion are key attributes of polysulfides due to which they are widely used in building & construction and aerospace industries. Usage of elastomers in rubber processing is also likely to boost demand for polysulfides by the end of 2023. Polysulfides are consumed as crosslinking compounds during vulcanization of rubber. As crosslinking compounds, polysulfides facilitate in connecting polymer chains in rubber, thus improving its rigidity. Furthermore, polysulfide elastomers possess significant elasticity in comparison with other elastomers and regain their original structure at a faster pace.
However, growing environmental concerns regarding VOC emissions of sulfur compounds is anticipated to dampen growth of the global polysulfides market. Sulfur compounds pose environmental hazards such as depletion of ozone, soil infertility, and transportation of polysulfides such as hydrogen polysulfide in groundwater and marine aerosols. Nevertheless, other end-users of polysulfides such as marine and piping industries are projected to provide significant growth opportunities to the global market by 2023 due to their high chemical, solvent, and weather-resistant properties.
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In terms of global demand, Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period. Development of infrastructural activities in this region, primarily in China, India, and Malaysia, is expected to increase consumption of construction chemicals such as coatings, adhesives, and sealants. This, in turn, is anticipated to drive the market for polysulfide sealants as they provide outstanding flexibility and high weather resistance to the final product. High growth in the marine industry in Asia Pacific is likely to drive demand for polysulfides. Europe is estimated to hold the second-largest share of the polysulfides market due to continuous research and development in aerospace and marine sectors. Furthermore, demand for insulating materials in the building & construction sector is projected to provide lucrative market opportunities for polysulfides by the end of 2023 due to cold climatic conditions in the region. The markets in the Middle East & Africa and Latin America are likely to depict sluggish growth due to steady economic conditions in these regions. However, the polysulfides market in North America is anticipated to witness declining growth by the end of 2023 as its end-user markets have matured.