Specialty Polymer Market Size, Share, and Trends 2024 to 2034

Specialty Polymer Market (By Type: Elastomers, Thermosets polymers, Thermoplastic polymers, Composites polymer, Electroluminescent polymers, Biodegradable polymers, Liquid crystal polymers, conducting polymers, Others; By End Use: Automotive, Building and Construction, Adhesives and Sealants, Electrical and Electronics, Medical, Aerospace, Marine, Other) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2023-2032

  • Last Updated : July 2023
  • Report Code : 2424
  • Category : Chemical and Material

The global specialty polymer market size was estimated at USD 78 billion in 2022 and is projected to hit around USD 149.88 billion by 2032, progressing at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period from 2023 to 2032.

Specialty Polymer Market Size 2023 To 2032

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Key Takeaways

  • In 2022, By type, the elastomers segment held the greatest market share. 
  • By end use, the automotive segment is growing at a CAGR of 8.9%. 
  • More than 80% of businesses in the automobile and allied industries claim that the coronavirus will directly affect their 2022 sales.
  • In 2022, APAC dominated the nitric acid market with a share of 65.7%.

The expansion of the electronics and construction industries is anticipated to increase demand for specialty polymers globally. The demand for high-performance polymers in specialized settings is also expected to increase throughout the projected period due to their enhanced endurance limit, electrical insulation, corrosion resistance, resistance to wear, and thermal stability. However, it is anticipated that price volatility for the raw ingredients used to make specialized polymers would be a major market restraint. The difficulty for the companies in the specialty polymers market is to keep up with the changes and alter their products in line with the constantly shifting demands of the end-use industries and technical breakthroughs in the application sectors. Given the aforementioned nature of the sector, there may be tremendous growth prospects for the market in the next years.

In order to provide polymers with the appropriate qualities for improved performance, specialty polymers are employed as polymeric additives. These are now utilized in lower amounts but are priced more for the customer. Construction, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and the automotive sectors are just a few of the many fields in which specialty polymers may be employed. In 2013, the demand for specialized polymers was mostly driven by the construction and electronics industries, which are also predicted to develop at the quickest rates going forward. A new trend in the market for specialty polymers is the customization of goods to meet the needs of a particular application as opposed to improving the overall product features. To generate possibilities in the specialty polymers market throughout the course of the forecast period, businesses should integrate digitally linked processes and concentrate on operational efficiency, supply source diversification, and cost control. Understanding and assessing the specialty polymers market landscape is complicated by the uneven recovery in various end markets and regions.

Growth Factors

The demand for the specialty polymer market is expected to increase due to growing industrial and construction projects with high standards of design and an emphasis on developing dependable and lasting buildings to prevent early repairs. One of the key reasons propelling the growth of the specialty polymer market is the rising awareness among multiple industries regarding such polymers that give great performance in challenging conditions without impairing particular activities.

Specialty Polymer Market Scope

Report Coverage Details
Market Size in 2023 USD 82.91 Billion
Market Size by 2032 USD 149.88 Billion
Growth Rate from 2023 to 2032 CAGR of 6.8%
Base Year 2022
Forecast Period 2023 to 2032
Segments Covered
  • By Type
  • By End Use
Regions Covered
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

Specialty Polymer Market

Key Market Drivers

  • Expansion of the aerospace sector - The worldwide market will grow by the aerospace sector, which is expanding primarily in North America as well as Europe. Due to their numerous engineering designable benefits, these materials are frequently used in aerospace applications. These benefits include precise strength characteristics that result in weight savings of 20–40%, the potential for quick process cycles, the capacity to match required dimensional stability, less thermal expansion, and superior fatigue compared to other materials like metals and ceramics. These polymers are the material of choice for many aircraft applications. Such a material may be designed to provide great strength with relatively low weight, resistance to corrosion, and long-term durability under the worst environmental conditions. 
  • The construction industry's growing demand - When it comes to the usage of these materials in the construction sector, specialty polymers are becoming a crucial component. The adoption of these construction polymers in the construction of walls and flooring with the greatest strength is a result of their technical, design, and structural benefits. The range of applications for construction polymers has expanded as a result of developments in construction technology. Large chemical corporations are gravitating toward the building polymer industry because of cost-effective production, manageable profit margins, and relatively simple raw material procurement. During the anticipated term, this aspect will fuel the market's expansion.

Key Market Challenges 

  • High cost as well as complex fabrication of specialty polymers - Specialty polymers are relatively expensive. Its production is a difficult procedure that calls for cutting-edge technology. Cost also varies based on a variety of circumstances, including the state of the market. Also, the next drawback is a complicated fabrication. The material is sometimes destroyed when impacted since it is not as essential as its substitutes. An object's internal structure can dissolve even though its outside remains intact. High repair costs are another negative. These variables will limit market expansion within the anticipated time frame.

Key Market Opportunities

  • The rise in the automotive sector - Due to the global expansion of the automobile industry, the market is anticipated to soar in the upcoming years. The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers said that 91.7 million automobiles were produced in the year 2019. In the upcoming years, it is anticipated that the growing demand for hybrid, electric, but also lightweight cars will play a significant role in the market's overall growth. The need for lightweight automobiles is being driven by the rising requirement for pollution reductions and fuel economy. Materials that improve the design, functionality, and manufacturability of machined and moulded components are in high demand from engineers and vehicle manufacturers. In a hybrid, electric, and plug-in hybrid automobiles, the magnet wire insulation and slot liners have been improved by a special mix of several types of modern polymers. Several businesses have started offering specialty, cutting-edge, and high-performance polymers for their clients in recent years. For instance, one of the market's major companies, Solvay, offers specialty polymers to improve the downscaling of transmissions and the efficiency of powertrains, electrification, and weight reduction. In the upcoming years, these developments are predicted to accelerate market expansion.

Type Insights

In 2022, the specialty polymers market's elastomers category held the greatest market share. Elastomers are polymers with both viscosity and elasticity, and as a result, they are referred to as viscoelasticity. The weak intermolecular forces that hold the molecules of elastomers together cause them to typically have low Young's modulus, high yield strength, or high failure strain. They take on the special ability to recover their former size and shape after being greatly stretched. The sector of elastomers with the biggest share was natural rubber. The elastomers that can be found naturally are those made of natural rubber. 

The substance that makes it up is latex, a milky white liquid that falls from the peel of tropical and subtropical trees. It is made up of solid particles floating in the liquid. The primary locations for this latex rubber are Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. The natural rubber has been a useful material in engineering for a long time since it can withstand abuse while still carrying out essential tasks. High tensile and tear strength are combined with exceptional fatigue resistance in natural rubber. For dynamic or static engineering applications like tires, printer rollers, agitators, and other parts that will frequently come into touch with abrasive surfaces or other harmful materials, natural rubber is the perfect polymer due to its properties. During the anticipated term, this aspect will fuel the market's expansion.

End Use Insights

In 2022, the automotive industry was the main market for specialty polymers, rising at a CAGR of 8.9%. Automobile applications for specialty polymer materials have seen a significant surge, and these uses are expected to continue growing. The low weight and generally improved qualities of the polymers are the main reasons why they are making their way deep within the majority of applications. The average penetration of specialty polymers worldwide is 120 kg/vehicle, whereas the average penetration of plastics in India is 60 kg/vehicle. Vehicles employ a broad range of polymers. The fundamental purposes of such extensive usage of specialty polymer materials in automobiles determine the aesthetics, usefulness, economy, and low fuel consumption of the vehicles. 

Concerns have changed from supply-side manufacturing problems to diminished business as the virus has expanded throughout the world. The major industrialized economies most impacted include South Korea, Italy, and Japan. As a result, 80 percent of businesses in the automobile and allied industries claim that the coronavirus will directly affect their 2021 sales. 78% of businesses lack the personnel necessary to staff a full manufacturing line. The global auto supply chain is related to China to a greater than 80% extent. China's vehicle sales fell by more than 18% in January 2020. According to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), sales for the first two months of 2020 may have decreased by at least 40%. Global automakers will be impacted by production deficits brought on by China's supply chain interruptions this year, but once things have returned to normal, the market will increase steadily during the projected period.

Specialty Polymer Market Share, By Region, 2022 (%)

Regions Revenue Share in 2022 (%)
North America 24.7%
Asia Pacific 40%
Europe 19.3%
Latin America 11%
MEA 5%

Regional Insights

With a share of more than 40%, APAC leads the market for specialty polymers in 2022, which is then dominated by North America and Europe. The economy of APAC is mostly driven by the economic dynamics of nations like China and India, although the current situation is changing due to an increase in foreign direct investment for the growth of South East Asia's economy. Southeast Asian nations are seeing rapid expansion in the building and construction industry. You can consider the expansion of specialty polymers to be directly correlated with the expansion of the building and construction sector. Construction production is predicted to increase by 70% to $12.8 trillion by 2022, making up 14.6% of the global output. Along with the United States, some of the largest rising economies driving expansion are China, India, Russia, Brazil, and Poland. In 2020 and 2022, the global GDP is projected to expand by 3.8% and 3.9%, respectively. 

Specialty Polymer Market Share, By Region, 2022 (%)

However, nations like China, India, and the United States will have the fastest growth, which will outperform the global GDP. With an average annual growth rate of 7.63% in construction, India will surpass Japan to become the third-largest construction industry. During the anticipated term, this aspect will fuel the market's expansion.

Recent Developments

  • SK Capital Partners LP purchased Baker Hughes' specialty polymer business in July 2020. "The specialty polymer company is a pioneer in the development of innovative polymerization technology," claims Mario Toukan, Managing Director of SK Capital. The firm sees tremendous growth potential in the continued development of useful, problem-solving products that overcome difficulties and provide great value to clients.
  • In June 2021, Necicolor S.p.a, a significant thermoplastics distributor, was acquired by Nexeo Plastics, one of the biggest distributors of thermoplastic resin and a subsidiary of GPD Companies Inc. Nevicolor offers its clients top-notch polymers made in part from recycled resources. Customers of Nexeo Plastics in Europe would have access to specialty polymers, custom-made compounds, recycled materials, and lab services as a result of this purchase. In the upcoming years, this development is anticipated to have a significant influence on the market.

Specialty Polymer Market Players

  • 3M
  • Arkema Group
  • BASF
  • Evonik Industries
  • Solvay Group
  • Croda International Plc
  • Specialty Polymers Inc.
  • PolyOne Corporation
  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • Clariant

Segments Covered in the Report

By Type

  • Elastomers (Natural rubber, Polyurethanes, Polybutadiene, Silicone, Neoprene)
  • Thermosets polymers
  • Thermoplastic polymers
  • Composites polymer
  • Electroluminescent polymers
  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Liquid crystal polymers
  • conducting polymers
  • Others

By End Use

  • Automotive
  • Building and Construction
  • Adhesives and Sealants
  • Electrical and Electronics
  • Medical, Aerospace
  • Marine
  • Other

By Geography

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

Frequently Asked Questions

The global specialty polymer market size was accounted at USD 78 billion in 2022 and it is expected to reach around USD 149.88 billion by 2032.

The global specialty polymer market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2023 to 2032.

The major players operating in the specialty polymer market are 3M, Arkema Group, BASF, Evonik Industries, Solvay Group, Croda International Plc, Specialty Polymers Inc., PolyOne Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, Clariant.

The driving factors of the specialty polymer market are the increase in demand for high-performance specialty polymers and the rise in demand for lightweight materials.

Asia Pacific region will lead the global specialty polymer market during the forecast period 2023 to 2032.

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