Global Elastomeric Alloys Market: Overview
Elastomeric alloys fall under the category of thermoplastic elastomers. An elastomeric alloy is a blend of a thermoplastic and an elastomer. However, they possess significantly superior properties compared to conventional blends, as they are manufactured by using specialized thermoplastic processing methods. Typically, an elastomeric alloy contains polymer alloys of rubber and an olefinic resin. Commercially available elastomeric alloys are thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs), melt-processible rubbers (MPRs), and thermoplastic olefin (TPO).
Global Elastomeric Alloys Market: Drivers & Restrains
Elastomeric alloys can be utilized as an alternative material in several applications of silicone, latex, or rubber. They can be processed with the help of the conventional processing methods such as blow molding, extrusion, and injection molding. Elastomeric alloys are ideal materials in applications, wherein elastic properties are required. Elastomeric alloys are available in varying ranges of hardness and tensile strength. Typically, they are available in the hardness range of 55A to 50D, and in the tensile strength range of 800 psi to 4,000 psi.
Among elastomeric alloys, thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) have advantages such as ease of processing and higher speed over the conventional thermoset (vulcanized) alloys. A few other advantages are lower energy costs for processing, availability of standard grades (which lacks in case of thermoset alloys), and recyclability of scrap. Availability of standard grades of TPEs is a particularly crucial advantage for several manufactures.
The market for elastomeric alloys has been witnessing growth since the late 1900s. For instance, Monsanto Chemical Co. commercialized a line of TPVs in 1981 under the brand name Santoprene. The alloy was based on polypropylene (PP) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber. It was designed in comparison with thermoset rubbers for applications in middle performance range. The company launched another TPV alloy composed of PP and nitrile rubber, under the brand name Geolast, in 1985. The product was designed to offer higher oil resistance than that of EPDM-based material. As the product offered oil resistance comparable to that of thermoset nitrile and neoprene, Geolast could be used as a replacement for thermoset nitrile and neoprene.
In 1985, DuPont launched its MPR product line consisting of Alcryn, which was a single-phase material. This line of MPR products contained plasticized alloys of chlorinated polyolefins and partially crosslinked ethylene interpolymers. Alcryn provided stress-strain behavior similar to that of the conventional thermoset rubber. It also exhibited exceptional resistance to weather and oil.
A key factor positively impacting the global elastomeric alloys market is growth of the global automotive industry, primarily the global cars sector. Automotive is a major end-user of elastomeric alloys. Commercial applications of elastomeric alloys include electric insulation, automotive protective boots, medical tubing and syringe plungers, hose covering, gaskets, seals, roofing sheets, and architectural glazing seals.
Global Elastomeric Alloys Market: Key Segments
Based on end-user industry, the market for elastomeric alloys can be segmented into automotive, industrial machinery, oil & gas, building & construction, medical, and others. Automotive is a leading end-user segment of the elastomeric alloys market, followed by the medical segment.
Global Elastomeric Alloys Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of geography, the global elastomeric alloys market can be classified into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is a lucrative market for elastomeric alloys. The region accounted for nearly 50% share of the global elastomeric alloys market in 2017. The region is likely to offer lucrative growth opportunities to the elastomeric alloys market during the forecast period as well. Numerous manufacturing facilities located in the region, especially in China and Southeast Asia, are offering significant growth opportunities to the elastomeric alloys market in the region. Asia Pacific is followed by Europe and North America.
Global Elastomeric Alloys Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global elastomeric alloys market include AdvanSource Biomaterials Corp., JSR Corporation, SO.F.TER. S.r.l (Celanese), and NYCOA.
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