The ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW PE) market is estimated at USD 1.4 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 2.2 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 9.4% from 2020 to 2025. Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW PE) is a simple linear background polyethylene possessing unique properties. Due to its ultra-high molecular density, it provides high abrasion resistance and impact strength in comparison to other engineering polymers. Apart from this, the material can also be optimized for more application specific requirements such as noise resistance, low coefficient of friction, excellent chemical resistance, self-lubrication, bio-compatibility, wear resistance, and electric insulation resistance.
Major companies such as Celanese Corporation (US), Koninklijke DSM N.V. (Netherlands), LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Netherlands), Braskem S.A (Brazil), Asahi Kasei Corporation, (Japan) Du Pont De Nemours Inc. (US), Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (Saudi Arabia), Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Japan), Honeywell International, Inc. (US), and Teijin Limited (Japan) and others are key players in the UHMW PE market. These players have been focusing on developmental strategies, such as expansions, acquisitions, partnerships, joint veture, and new product developments, which have helped them expand their businesses in untapped and potential markets.
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Celanese Corporation is engaged in the provision of technology and specialty materials business. It operates through the following segments: Engineered Materials, Acetate Tow, and Acetyl Chain. The Engineered Materials segment includes the engineered materials business, food ingredients business, and certain strategic affiliates. The company adopts growth strategies to increase its market share. For instance, in April 2018, Celanese Corporation announced the addition of a new GUR ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW PE) production line at its Nanjing, China manufacturing facility to support the growth in its engineered materials business, specifically the electric vehicle market
Koninklijke DSM N.V. has a major business of nutritional and pharmaceutical ingredients and industrial chemicals. The business segments offered by the company include nutrition, materials, innovation center, and corporate activities. The company has a presence in all the major regions, including North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. The performance materials segment produces synthetic fibers, engineering plastics, and resins used in coatings, and include engineering plastics, DSM Dyneema, and DSM Resins. DSM acquired majority shares of ICD, a UHMW PE fiber manufacturer in China.
The acquisition of the majority share in ICD will bring complementary manufacturing and technology assets to DSM and will strengthen the company’s presence in this UHMW PE market. DSM introduced Dyneema Purity Black fiber, the first black medical-grade UHMW PE fiber. Further the company also fouses on the new product development. For instance, in July 2019, the fiber builds are expected to be 15 times stronger than steel, has a small profile, high pliability, and biocompatibility.
Braskem S.A is considered as a major player in the petrochemicals market, owing to its comprehensive product portfolio, and serviceability. It has 29 production plants in Brazil, four in Mexico, five plants in the US, and two plants in Germany. The company adopts several growth strategies to expand its presence in the international market. For instance, the company partnered with Pegasus Polymers for the distribution of UTEC in 2017. With this partnership, the company was not only been able to expand its geographical reach but also penetrate deeper into the Chinese market by increasing the sales network.
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