Acumen Research and Consulting recently published report titled “Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market – Global Industry Analysis, Market Size, Opportunities and Forecast 2021-2028”. Rapid product development activities and high demand from medical and defense sector is expected to augment the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market growth.
The global ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market was US$ 2.9 Bn in 2028 and is expected to register CAGR of 9.9% from 2021-2028.
North America accounts for revenue of US$ 607.6 Mn in 2020 in the global ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market; this can be attributed to the rising demand from various end-use industries such as aerospace and medical. The government spending on the development and strengthening of the defense sector is increasing along with enhanced and efficient aircrafts having low maintenance. The flourishing aerospace industry in the region and passenger preference for quick and comfortable air transport is rising; subsequently increasing the demand for aircraft that are fuel-efficient and provides a better flying experience. For instance, in 2021, 950 units of commercial aircrafts are estimated to be delivered worldwide. Aerospace & defense manufacturers are investing high in the development of new solutions that aid in lowering the expense of raw materials and increase revenue. Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene is a plastic that has properties superior as compared to other plastic materials. The UHMWPE is a high-strength and low-cost plastic that improves equipment efficiency, provides noise reduction, and offers excellent wear resistance for components.
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The wide applicability of UHMWPE in the biomedical sector is expected to impact the growth of target market in this region. The biomedical sector is witnessing rapid advancements with high investment by the government for R&D activities and focus towards the development of enhanced bio-products. There is a noticeable increase in the number of patients suffering from chronic diseases and injuries. The high flow of surgeries pertaining to the total joint arthroplasty in the US, along with demand for enhanced joint replacement products is expected to impact the growth of target market. According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, every year there is more than 1 million arthroplasty performed in the US. The UHMWPE has high durability and biocompatibility making it suitable for joint arthroplasty products. Major players operating in the country are focused on enhancing the business through strategic acquisitions and partnerships; this is expected to boost the growth of the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market. Currently, UHMWPE is extensively used in the majority of surgeries related to knee replacements and 85% of hip replacements, totaling over two million orthopedic implants per year.
The market in Asia-Pacific is expected to witness faster growth in the target market due to the flourishing chemical and material industry. The presence of major fiber manufacturers operating in the country such as India, China, Vietnam, etc., along with rising demand for life-saving gears from the defense sector are factors expected to support the growth of target market. The UHMWPE is extracted through the gel-spinning process. These extracted fibers are lightweight and chemically inert increasing their application in body armor products. The governments of developing countries are providing favorable business policies attracting manufacturers across the globe. Availability of 100% FDI and tax benefits is resulting in major players shifting the production facilities to emerging economies. This is expected to boost the growth of the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market.
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Vietnam is experiencing rapid urbanization and development. The government spending on the development of present infrastructure and policies encouraging public-private partnerships (PPP) is shaping the economic aspect of the country. Accordingly, the government of India is focused on enhancing the country’s manufacturing capabilities. Initiation of “Make in India” program in order to facilitate investment, foster innovation, and enhance skill development is expected to impact the growth of target market.
Rising demand from the medical and aerospace sector for raw materials that have enhanced properties and are lightweight is a major factor expected to drive the growth of global ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market. Ligament/tendon reconstruction is also regarded as a promising research application area for UHMWPE. UHMWPE shows excellent results in fibroblastic cell adhesion assays for ligament regeneration, bioglass and PCL coatings. Major players are focused on enhancing the customer base through new product launches and strategic partnerships.
- In 2017, Radians, a global manufacturer of safety products launched new cut protection gloves with the help of Dyneema Diamond Technology. The company partnered with DSM with the focus to introduce new UHMWPE products. This product launch helped the company enhance the business and increase the customer base.
- In 2018, Total Plastics International signed a strategic distribution agreement with Restoration Medical Polymers (RMP). RMP is a manufacturer of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) implants products. The agreement helped RMP to enhance its product reach and increase the revenue.
- In 2017, DSM Biomedical, a global fiber manufacturing company launched “Dyneema Purity Black fiber”. The launched product are used in various medical devices such as surgical sutures and cables of SGX (white), VG (blue) and RP (radiopaque yellow) fibers.
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Restrains and Opportunities
Factors such as high cost of product and stringent government regulations related to product approval are expected to hamper the growth of global ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market. There is the high cost associated with the production of UHMWPE ultimately increasing the end product cost. In addition, the government imposing various regulations related to the use of plastic in medical implants will create barriers in the market. In 2019 the USFDA regulated the use of UHMWPE in medical products. The FDA covered the three main areas of product material processing and characterization, biocompatibility and shelf life, and packaging. The FDA offers recommendations that are supposed to be included in the submissions for four types of UHMWPE which include conventional UHMWPE, highly cross-linked UHMWPE, highly cross-linked UHMWPE containing antioxidants and nonconventional UHMWPE. In addition, unstable economic conditions leading to slowing down the manufacturing sector is expected to challenge the growth of target market. However, increasing investment by major players and focus towards development of new cost-effective methods are factors expected to create new opportunities for players operating in the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market over the forecast period.
The global ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market is segmented into types and application. The types segment is divided into powder UHMWPE and particle UHMWPE. Among types, the powder UHMWPE segment accounted for revenue of US$ 951.6 Mn in 2020 in the global market. UHMWPE powder form is frequently used as an additive in coatings, lubricants, rubbers, and plastics to improve lubrication and abrasion resistance. The application segment is bifurcated into pharma & healthcare, construction, chemical & material, and aerospace & defense.
Players profiled in the global ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market are Celanese Corporation, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., Braskem, DSM, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. TEIJIN LIMITED, Honeywell International Inc., TSE Industries, Inc., and St. Lawrence Steel Company. The ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market is highly competitive due to the high presence of manufacturers operating in the market. Increasing new product launches and the establishment of new production facilities is expected to augment the market growth.
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