Specialty Materials - Plastics, Composites, and Additives:

High performance plastics, elastomers, fibers, alloys, specialty additives, coatings, adhesives, and related specialty raw materials, intermediates, and chemicals

Specialty materials are high value added materials that can enhance structural and/or process characteristics of a product. They may be used as catalysts for the production of or as components of end products, and can be engineered to meet defined performance requirements and specifications. Specialty materials include composites (thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics, carbon fiber, resins, building materials, etc.), elastomers/rubber products, high performance polymers (PSU/PES, PVDF, PPS, SBC, etc.), specialty chemicals (raw materials, intermediates, additives, coatings, adhesives, etc.), and exotic metals and alloys (superalloys, titanium, tantalum, tungsten, vanadium, etc.). Enhanced and/or specialty characteristics imparted by specialty materials include improved weatherability, weight characteristics, durability, dimensional stability, thermal stability, antisticking, resilience, color retention, chemical resistance, stain resistance, corrosion resistance, flame retardancy, UV light resistance, electrical and heat insulation, higher endurance limit, noise dampening, various consumer effects such as differentiated colors, gloss or translucence, and many more.

The core of this segment is formed of high performance materials for the rubber and plastic industry. There is increasing demand for specialty materials in the aerospace, automotive, aviation, electronics, photovoltaic, nuclear, paints & coatings, cosmetics, packaging, textiles, construction, mining, as well as oil and gas drilling markets. Such demand is driven by growing preferences for component weight reduction, manufacturing and operating cost reduction, higher performance, and waste reduction, and is fueled by economic recovery in the West and increase in per capita incomes in developing countries. Due to their sustainable demand and increase in the number of applications, the specialty materials industry is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years.

The major players in the specialty materials market include PolyOne, Celanese, 3M, A. Shulman, Sumitomo, Cytec, Clariant, Specialty Materials Company, Dow Chemical, Solvay, Ferro, Arkema, and Evonik Industries.

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