More than 10,000 different chemicals are found in plastics. Some of them are what turn plastics into useful materials in the first place: additives enable polymers to be processed; they protect plastics against heat, UV radiation and oxidation; they also improve properties such as hardness, flexural strength or fire behavior. In 2021, global demand for these essential additives reached a total of around 35 million tonnes.
Fillers are more than just extenders
The most widely used plastic additives are fillers: Last year, more than 18.5 million tonnes of calcium carbonates, carbon black, glass fibers and other fillers were used to increase the volume of polymers at a low cost. However, fillers are also increasingly being used to specifically modify certain material properties: Highly filled plastics with up to 85% filler content offer very good mechanical properties and are often more cost-effective than more traditional materials.
PVC needs large quantities of plasticizer
One type of plastic is especially reliant on additives: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) would be a brittle and hard material if plasticizers did not make it more flexible, supple and elastic. PVC manufacturers are by far the largest consumers of plasticizers, for example for the production of cable sheathing or flooring. If colors other than white are desired, PVC granules can be easily colored with pigments. The new Ceresana study also examines the use of additives in polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, engineering and other plastics.
Growing demand for plastic additives
Practical and lightweight plastics are increasingly replacing conventional materials such as wood and metal all over the world. Accordingly, Ceresana expects demand for plastic additives to continue to grow in the coming years. Large quantities of plastics are used in the construction industry, for example in insulation materials, films, door and window frames. The construction industry is the largest application area for plastic additives. Ceresana also forecasts a further increase in demand for these additives in plastic packaging. Other major customers are vehicle manufacturers and the electrical and electronics industry. The current market study details the development of individual plastic additives in the various regions of the world and in the 16 largest national sales markets. Asia-Pacific currently accounts for more than half of total demand for plastic additives, followed by North America and Western Europe.
Current market data on plastic additives
Chapter 1 provides a presentation and analysis of the global plastics additives market – including forecasts up to 2031: demand and revenue for each region of the world, consumption also for product types and application areas.
Various types of additives are considered in detail: Fillers, Plasticizers, Pigments, Flame retardants, Stabilizers, Impact modifiers, Lubricants / Slip agents, Antioxidants, Blowing agents and other plastic additives. The study also examines the application areas: Packaging, Construction, Transportation, Electrical & Electronics, Industrial and other applications.
Chapter 2 examines the largest national markets individually: 16 countries. Country-specific demand, demand per type of additive, demand per type of plastic, and revenues are presented. In addition, the demand for the individual application areas is analyzed. The different types of plastics are examined separately: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (PE), Polyurethane (PUR), Engineering plastics and other plastics.
Chapter 3 provides useful company profiles of the most important manufacturers of plastic additives, clearly arranged by contact details, revenue, profit, product range, production sites and brief profile. Detailed profiles are provided for 70 manufacturers.
As one of the world’s leading market research institutes, Ceresana specializes in the chemicals, plastics, packaging and industrial goods sectors, with a focus on automotive / mobility. Since 2002, companies have benefited from high-quality industry analyses and forecasts. Over 200 market studies provide more than 10,000 clients around the world with the knowledge base for sustainable success.