— Ultra-high Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market size is forecast to reach $2.3 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period 2021-2026. Globally, the increasing usage of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene in applications such as pipe extrusion and chemical containers is also expanding the growth of the market. Furthermore, rising demand for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene from aerospace & defence and automotive applications due to its superior physical qualities, such as resistance to chemicals, moisture, corrosion, and dirt, as compared to other polymers, is expected to boost the market significantly over the forecast period.
Impact of Covid-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to a significant impact on the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene industry, as government-imposed lockdowns forced the closure of manufacturing facilities and disrupted the product's supply chain in the year 2020. The production units of businesses in the electronics and mechanical industries were impeded by a scarcity of raw materials and labor. applications.
Ultra-high Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market Segment Analysis- By Form
Sheet form held the largest share in the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market in 2020. Bacterial growth, moisture, high-impact, and odours are all immune to ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) Sheets. Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene sheets are increasingly used in a wide range of applications such as cooking, boating, and medicine. Furthermore, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene is a solid and durable engineering plastic that can outlast other engineering plastics.
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Ultra-high Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market Segment Analysis- By Application
Healthcare sector held the largest share with 35% in the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market in 2020. Owing to the biological durability, biocompatibility, high creep resistance, wear resistance, and low friction, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is primarily used in the medical industry for the fabrication of cardiovascular and orthopaedic implants.
Ultra-high Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market Segment Analysis- Geography
Asia-Pacific region held the largest share of more than 42% in the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market in 2020. Rising growth of automotive, medical, and electronics industries in the region has uplifted the growth of the market. According to the OICA, the overall motor vehicle production in Malaysia increased from 564 971 units in 2018 to 571 632 units in 2019. Hence, the rising production of automotive in this region is expected to drive the market during the forecast period. Additionally, the increasing usage of UHMWPE owing to its alluring properties in orthopaedic applications in Asia Pacific countries has driven the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market growth. One of the reasons for the recent increase in demand for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is the expanding medical sector in Asia-Pacific. Thus, the rising demand for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene in various applications is therefore anticipated to drive the market in the Asia-Pacific region over the forecast period.
Ultra-high Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market Drivers
Increasing demand from end use industries
Increased investments and initiatives from governments of various countries around the world to provide superior protective gear to their military sectors have uplifted the market growth. Ballistic defence items, such as shields and plate inserts, bulletproof vests, battle helmets, and protective armour, made up of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) are essential in aerospace & defence end use industries. Government initiatives such as the Soldier Protection System have also raised the aerospace and defence industry's product demand, which has raised the demand for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). UHMWPE is also a stronger and safer alternative to steel in wire ropes used in the aerospace and defence industries. Because of its selflubricating and vibration-reducing properties, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene is used in supportive belts, car seat components, and truck shock spacers in the automotive industry.
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Ultra-high Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market Challenges
Rising Cost of Ultra-high Molecular Weight Polyethylene
Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is a high-performance polymer that outperforms traditional metals and polymers like steel, polypropylene, and polyethylene. Higher impact strength, low friction coefficient, remarkable energy absorption ability, and wear and abrasion resistance are among these properties.
Ultra-high Molecular Weight Polyethylene Market Landscape
Major players in the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market are Celanese Corporation, Koninklijke DSM N.V., LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., the Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials group of companies, Crown Plastics, Inc., China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), Asahi Kasei Corporation, LianLe Chemical Corporation, Braskem, Mitsui Chemicals, Dotmar Engineering Plastics, TSE Industries, Inc., and others.
In October 2020, Celanese Corporation's Texas manufacturing facility has begun producing GUR ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. The company's GUR engineered materials portfolio will grow as a result of this expansion.
In July 2019, Dyneema Purity Black fibre, the first black medical-grade UHMW PE fibre, was launched by Koninklijke DSM N.V. The fibre structures are 15 times stronger than steel, with a low profile, biocompatibility and high pliability.
Asia-Pacific region dominates the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene market owing to the rising production of automotives in emerging economies such as China, India, Japan, and Malaysia.
Growing popularity of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene due to its wear-resistance, high biocompatibility, and ductility in the healthcare industry is driving the market growth.
The increasing adoption of lightweight, noise-reducing, and impact-absorbing materials produced by the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene in the automotive industry is further accelerating the growth of the market.
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