Fluoropolymer can be defined as a fluorocarbon based polymer with numerous strong carbon–fluorine bonds. Fluoropolymers are the polymer materials containing fluorine atoms in their chemical structures. The fluoropolymers can be classified as semi-crystalline high performance thermoplastics. Fluoropolymer family consists of a range of homopolymers and copolymers.
Homopolymers consist of a single monomer that is repeatedly joined together to form a long chain of the polymer molecule. Copolymers consist of two different monomers that are alternated when joined together to form the long chain of the polymer molecule. Homopolymers can be further classified as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), PCTFE (polychlorotrifluoroethylene), and PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride). The copolymers can be further classified as FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene), ECTFE (ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene), and PFA (perfluoroalkoxy). PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is widely preferred for utilization in various end-user industries.
Fluoropolymers are characterized by their strong resistance to acids, bases, and solvents. Fluoropolymers tend to show outstanding temperature resistance, outstanding electrical properties, outstanding chemical resistance, lower coefficient of friction and better toughness. Owing to all such benefits, fluoropolymers play a crucial role in many products and services that are frequently used in the daily routine of human beings. Fluoropolymers are widely utilized in various industries such as automotive, cabling materials, data communication, aerospace, electronics, building, and renewable energy. Fluoropolymer is also used for coating in nonstick cookware and all-weather apparel. Moreover, fluoropolymers are extensively used for various semiconductor parts and chemical plants because they are maintenance-free even under severer conditions, and contribute in improving the productivity and purity of products. The durability and excellent performance characteristics of fluoropolymers in harsh environments and demanding applications are acting as major drivers for global fluoropolymers market. The concerns about the safety and environment effects of fluoropolymers can act as a restraint for the global fluoropolymers market.
The global fluoropolymers market is expected to grow at a single digit CAGR from 2014 to 2020. Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing market for fluoropolymers in the next six years. The main reason for this is the growing demand for fluoropolymers from developing countries such as China and India. Automotive and other transportation industries are the major end-use industries of fluoropolymers. Electrical and electronics is the second largest consumer of fluoropolymers where they are increasingly being preferred for use in wire and cable insulation, semiconductor fabrication, jacketing, and lithium-ion batteries. Increasing preference towards light weight vehicles, enhanced fuel efficiency, and lower emissions may be seen as possible reasons for increasing consumption of fluoropolymers in China, Japan and India. The key companies operating in the fluoropolymers market are largely focusing on these growing economies for tapping their enormous market potential. North America is another dominant market for fluoropolymers especially due to the significant demand in the U.S. from the wire and cable industry. PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is the dominant fluoropolymer, accounting for more than half (by weight) of world fluoropolymer consumption. China is the world’s largest consumer of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) while U.S. is the largest consumer of other fluoropolymers. .
Some of the major companies operating in the global fluoropolymers market are DuPont, DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, Ltd., AGC Chemicals Europe, Ltd., Dyneon GmbH, Solvay Solexis, 3M, AGC Chemicals Europe, Ltd., Gujarat Fluorochemicals Ltd., Shanghai 3F, Fuxin Hengtong, Zhonghao Chenguang Research Institute of Chemical Industry, Honeywell International Inc., and Jinan 3F Fluoro-Chemical Co. Ltd.