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Tecnon OrbiChem provides senior executives, including procurement managers and business segment managers, with the business intelligence they need to make timely, well-informed decisions based on reliable and accurate data and analysis of key factors shaping the plastics and polymers markets.
We produce go-to benchmarks for decision makers providing the full-spectrum view of supply chain dynamics that can enable them to make informed strategic decisions and creative business development plans to improve efficiencies and maximize profits.
Tecnon OrbiChem advises companies in the plastics and polymers sector, such as automotive and OEMs, on grasping new opportunities arising from changing industry needs, including capacity expansions, growth in industrialising markets, product improvements, and changing public sentiment influencing environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives.
Our market intelligence provides the analysis and vision that enable today’s strategic planners to position their companies for continuing success in both the near- and long-terms.CONTACT US
The polymers that have come to dominate plastics raw materials use are the polyolefins. LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE and polypropylene now account for two-thirds of global consumption of polymer materials. This comes from a combination of high performance with low cost. They depend on the availability of the monomers ethylene and propylene coming from crackers that require an investment of billions of dollars, using mostly petroleum or natural gas-based feedstocks. These thermoplastics are accompanied by others such as PVC and polystyrene, also low cost, that offer advantages for particular outlets (e.g. PVC for pipes and rainwater goods, offering a century of weathering capability with fire resistance).
In addition there is a wide range of higher performance materials, available at a higher cost, classified as engineering plastics. These vary from comparatively low cost materials like ABS, polycarbonate, PMMA, polyamides (nylon), polyacetal and PBT to super-performance materials like polyamide-11, PTFE , polysulphone, polyphenylene oxide and TPX. These are thermoplastics, which the transformer buys as-is and uses. But there are also the thermosetting resins, made from two or more reacting monomers, where the user can vary the recipes among the monomers to precisely get the performance that he needs. These designer resins include phenol-formaldehyde, polyurethanes, unsaturated polyester and epoxy resins. The basic recipe can be modified by a myriad of co-monomers and additives, allowing the manufacturer to fine-tune the performance to the end-use. Reinforcement with fibres such as glass fibre enables exceptional strength to be achieved, to which is added fire resistance.
A factor that will become of increasing importance is the ability to recycle plastic materials at the end of their life. Much is being done, especially with PET resin, but much more needs to be done. This will require a combination of the plastics industry’s capability of designing recyclable parts (which means eschewing blends and multiple layers) with the public’s growing awareness of the need for disciplined collection and sorting of waste plastics. Here, much needs to be done.VIEW FULL PORTFOLIO
Tecnon OrbiChem provides detailed and comprehensive coverage of markets, prices, developments and commercialisation of plastic materials, both commodity plastics and engineering resins, to allow informed decisions to be made by buyers, sellers, marketers, commercial planners and company executives. Such services, aimed at immediate commercial needs, are accompanied by supply-demand analyses aimed at supplying deeply researched data in support of long term planning.
Day-by-day contact with the chemical and plastics industry is combined with scheduled interviews with chemical executives to collect data and views on polymer and monomer markets, ranging from observations on current conditions to decades-long visions for the future. Tecnon OrbiChem provides its analyses of the data and offers its insights into the future direction of the industry, ranging from a few weeks to a few decades as the horizon.
Our insight into the current and future Plastics Industry is based on our understanding of its history.
There were some plastics being produced and used before 1945, but they were generally seen to be brittle and dark in colour. The emergence of petrochemicals in the post-war world transformed that perception, with new polymers being introduced to the industry and to the public that were brightly coloured, unbreakable and above all cheap. Today we throw away containers that pre-1945 would have carefully preserved and used over and over. So, who would make or buy a pail made of wood today?
The new polymers were above all thermo-plastic, meaning that they could be transformed by injection moulding, calendaring, extrusion and blow moulding into shapes and end-uses that were never possible before. The rates of production could go up 10, 100 or even 1000-fold. Vinyl records allowed music to be played anywhere and the cost of household goods tumbled, putting them in the reach of all household budgets.
The fabricators of complex articles now have a variety of plastics to choose from, going from low-cost materials that have created the throw-away society to high-cost, high performance engineering polymers that support the electronics industry in its quest to develop even more complex goods at even lower prices. A world without plastics would mean a world without computers, mobile phones, and lots of medical equipment. Supermarkets could not exist, at least in their present form, without plastic packaging.
Today's industry has dozens of different plastic materials available in hundreds of different grades to choose from for each new part to be made. Now traditional ways of transforming plastics are being revolutionised by the introduction of additive manufacturing, commonly called 3-D printing. The designer of new goods or parts needs to choose carefully between materials of different performance capabilities, appearance and attractiveness to the end-user.CONTACT AN EXPERT
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