According to the U.S Department of Energy, utilization of lightweight materials in just one quarter of the U.S. vehicle fleet is expected to result in fuel savings of up to 5 billion gallons by 2030. Also, 10% reduction in weight of the vehicle can account for 6-8% fuel economy improvement. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed the National Program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Economy Standards. The program aims to reduce gasoline use in the country by 2 million barrels per day by 2025 by achieving superior fuel efficiency in automobiles. This factor of lowering the consumption of gasoline is expected to drive growth of the PA 12 market, as light weight vehicles consumes less gas and are manufactured using PA 12.
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In Europe, polyamide 12 is majorly used in 3D printing, metal coatings, automotive, and personal care industries. Growing 3D printing market in Europe is anticipated to boost demand for polyamide 12. According to the European Union, 3D printing reduces waste in production process and it avoids usage of cutting fluids, which possess potential hazards to human health. These are the factors supporting growth of 3D printing segment as well as fuelling demand for polyamide 12 in the region. For instance, in February 2018, Evonik Industries AG opened a new plant for specialty polyamide 12 powder in Marl, Germany to meet increasing demand for PA 12 from the 3D printing segment.
China and Japan are the growth engines in Asia Pacific polyamide 12 market. Polyamide 12 is increasingly being used by automobile manufacturers, as a substitute for metal in various components such as fuel tubes and brake liners, in order to reduce the weight of the vehicle. According to the OICA, China, Japan, and India were the first, third, and fifth largest automotive markets in 2017, respectively worldwide, which is expected to be major factor driving growth of the Asia Pacific polyamide 12 market. Major industry players are expected to focus from mature markets of Europe and North America to Asia Pacific due to high growth potential in the region. For instance, in February 2018, Arkema Group announced plan of capacity expansion for its polyamide 12 production facility in Changshu, China to meet increasing demand for polyamide 12 in China.
The major driver for the growth of polyamide 12 market include increasing demand for PA 12 in oil and gas pipeline application due to its better elongation property and minimal water absorption, which allows high usage in pipeline application, as the molded parts show almost no dimensional changes with variation in atmospheric humidity. Some of the major driving factors are various government initiatives such as Evonik’s research and development process towards modified polyamide 12 was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The unique biotechnological process relies on renewable resources. Palm kernel oil is a base for various other chemical products, which are produced by Evonik. Over the long run, the entire new process has the potential to replace or complement the butadiene-based production of PA12.
Polyamide 12 material has wide application in manufacturing of various consumer goods. For instance, it is extensively used in flake jackets, chairs, and toothbrush bristles. Pebax is a thermoplastic polyamide elastomer from Arkema Group and the 33 series of Pebax from the company uses polyamide 12 for hard segments. The product offers easy molding, excellent bending-fatigue and rebound resilience, low specific gravity, shock resistance at low temperatures, stable flexibility, and finds wide application in manufacturing skiing boots and belts. This is expected to aid in growth of the segment over the forecast period (2018 – 2025).
In February 2018, the company started a new production line for specialty polyamide 12 powders (PA 12) under its VESTOSINT brand at its largest production site in the Marl Chemical Park, Germany. The new facility was introduced in order to produce high-performance powders for growing demand for 3-D printing.
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Major players operating in the polyamide 12 market include Evonik Industries AG, Arkema Group, DowDuPont Inc., Ensinger GmbH, UBE Industries Ltd., Techmer PM LLC., Invista S.a.r.l., Ems-Chemie Holding AG, RTP Company Inc., and Toray Industries Inc.