Acrylic processing aids are used to enhance the extrusion- or injection-molding performance of polymer compounds, especially polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Processability of PVC compounds determines the appearance and physical properties of the molded parts. This factor can be improved through the use of acrylic processing aids. Acrylic processing aids perform functions such as decreasing the melting temperature through rapid fusion of PVC compounds, improving the melt uniformity, improving the heat stability, maintaining and improving the surface gloss of PVC products, and maintaining the melt flow-ability. Processing aids, also known as flow improvers, are often confused with lubricants, as both enhance the flow-ability of PVC. Processing aids are substances attuned with PVC molecules and they normally have high molecular weight, tending to offer wall-adhering PVC compounds. On the other hand, lubricants are low-molecular-weight substances that tend to produce wall-slipping PVC compounds.
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Based on fabrication, the global acrylic processing aids market has been classified into injection molding, extrusion molding, and others (such as filament winding, pultrusion). Based on end-use industry, the market has been segmented into packaging, consumer goods, automotive, building & construction, and others. Increasing building and construction activities in emerging economies is a key factor expected to drive the APA market during the forecast period. However, decline in research and development activities related to acrylic processing aids is likely to hamper the market during the forecast period.
Among fabrication types, the extrusion segment held the leading share of the acrylic processing aids market in 2015 and the trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. Extrusion is used to process high volumes of plastics. The raw materials, which are in the form of granules, flakes, or powders, are fed into extrusion machines and melted under high temperature, depending on the type of plastic. Acrylic processing aids help in improving and controlling the melting temperature by providing excellent heat stability. This is a key factor anticipated to drive the acrylic processing aids market in the extrusion segment in the next few years. Other segments such as injection molding and others (filament winding, pultrusion, etc.) are expected to expand at a moderate rate during the forecast period.
Among end-user industries, the building & construction segment held a major share of the acrylic processing aids market in 2015 and it is likely to dominate the market during the forecast period. The segment is projected to expand rapidly during the forecast period. Increasing demand for cost-effective building and construction products such as pipes, containers, and roofing and rising demand for cost-effective PVC products are projected to fuel the building & construction segment during the forecast period. Automotive is another lucrative segment, which is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period.
The APA markets in Europe and North America, which are already at a mature stage, are likely to witness sluggish growth during the forecast period. The market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at the maximum CAGR during the forecast period, followed by Middle East & Africa. Infrastructure development in the Middle East is expected to propel the demand for acrylic processing aids in MEA during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific constituted a major share of the global acrylic processing aids market in 2015 and is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period. Growth in building and construction activities and the expanding automotive sector are the key factors likely to propel the demand for acrylic processing aids in the region in the next few years.
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Key players operating in the global acrylic processing aids market are Kaneka Corporation, Arkema SA, The Dow Chemical Company, LG Chem Ltd., Shandong Ruifeng Chemical Co. Ltd., Shandong Rike Chemicals Co., Mitsubishi Rayon Co.Ltd., 3M Company, BASF SE, and Akdeniz Kimya A.S.