The global is highly consolidated as the top two players, namely BASF SE and Solvay S.A. accounted for over 80% of the overall market in the year 2015. The global supply of sulfone polymers needs expansion of production units and developed and strong supply chain. Presence of both large production units and strong supply chain is benefitting these players to sustain their dominance, observes Transparency Market Research (TMR). Prominent vendors in this market are involving in strategic collaborations, which could help them strengthen their distribution channels. For instance, in 2015, Biesterfeld Plastic GmbH and Solvay Specialty Polymers signed a distribution agreement for the distribution of Solvay’s sulfone polymer grades in Finland and Scandanavia.
Transparency Market Research has projected that the market value will reach US$1,394.7 mn by the end of 2024 from its valuation of US$805.4 mn in 2015. The market is anticipated to expand with a steady CAGR of 6.4% over the forecast period 2016-2024.
Based on application, the medical sector accounted for a leading share in 2015, contributing to over 24% to the overall market. This segment is most likely to sustain its dominating position die to the presence of large number of medical grade sulfone polymer product varieties and the continuous growth in the global medical industry. Geographically, the North America market held the leading share in the global market, accounting for more than 39% in the year of 2015. This region is expected to remain dominant over the forecast period. Furthermore, Europe is expected to expand at a steady rate over the forthcoming years due to development of healthcare infrastructure and medical industry in this region.
Demand from Automotive and Medical Sectors to Propel the Market
Several varieties and grades of sulfone polymers are finding applications across various segments in the industry. Due to the increasing environmental awareness and their high performance, high transparency resistance, and low weight qualities, sulfone polymers are being demanded from the automotive industry. Manufacturers from automotive industry are adopting low-weight materials for better performance and fuel efficiency. Furthermore, rising applications such as impellers, oil pistons, oil pumps, fog lamp housings, headlight bezels, and optical reflectors are propelling the overall market. Sulfone polymers provide higher levels of corrosion and wear resistance, which has fueled their usage in medical implants and medical devices.
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High Cost of Production could hinder the Market Growth
Various applications of sulfone polymers need to go through stringent regulatory terms. Due to these rules and regulations the usage of sulfone polymers has gotten restricted in the fields of aircrafts, medical devices, and medical implants. Sulfone polymers are used in manufacturing various food contact applications such as baby bottles, these types of applications suffer very low rate of expansion due to presence of health regulatory bodies. Using sulfone polymers in food contact applications may lead to the leakage of bisphenol monomers, which have adverse effects on health. Due to the aforementioned reasons, the applications of sulfone polymers may get restricted in the food industry over the forecast period. Furthermore, high costs involved with the building new manufacturing plants of sulfone polymers could restraint the market growth. Various end-user segments are trying to find cost-effective alternatives for sulfone polymers. Nonetheless, the growing demand for sulfone polymers in electrical and electronics segment due to superior flame retardant properties is most likely to help the market grow with a steady rate.