Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) is a wholly aromatic, crystalline polymer containing sulfide linkages. PPS is a polymer member of a high performance thermoplastics (HPTPs) family. These HPTPs are low volume, high priced polymers which are used in variety of niche applications, requiring extraordinary properties. These HPTPs represent a very small share in the overall market for thermoplastics. PPS is relatively brittle in nature and is generally compounded with carbon fibers and glass to improve its mechanical properties. Approximately 85% of the PPS available in the world market is compounded using the aforementioned products. One of the major factors which driving polyphenylene sulfide market demand is the growing end use industries mainly in the emerging markets of Asia Pacific (China and India) and Latin America (Brazil and Argentina). China is rapidly emerging as the automobile manufacturing hub of the world as major automakers are shifting their manufacturing base to China owing to low labor cost and huge market potential. Chinese automobile production increased from 18.41 million in 2011 to 19.27 million in 2012 which have in turn increased the demand for PPS in China. However, the high price of PPS is a major constraint for the market and could negatively impact the demand for PPS over the forecast period.
The global market for PPS saw a slight decline during the global recession era. The drop in polyphenylene sulfide market demand was largely contributed by the downturn of automotive and appliance industries mainly in the developed economies of the U.S., Western Europe and Japan. However, the drop in demand from these regions was more than offset by the surging demand for PPS in emerging economies of China, India and Brazil. China emerged as one of the major consumers of PPS and is growing at a rapid rate owing to growing industrialization in the nation.
Polyphenylene sulfide market demand was estimated at 80 kilo tons in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 10% from 2014 to 2020.
Major applications for the polyphenylene sulfide market include electronics and electrical, automotive, filter bags, coatings and industrial. Other application segments such as aerospace and defense have also been included in the report. Filter Bags were the largest application segment in 2012 accounting for over 25% of the market. Filter bags are majorly used in coal fired power plants, thermal plants and incinerators and the growing industrialization Asia Pacific is expected to drive the demand. Polyphenylene sulfide market demand for filter bags in China was over 17,000 tons in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20% from 2013 to 2020. Automotive was the second largest consumer of PPS accounting for one quarter of the market in 2012. PPS is used in various automotive components such as switches, engine components, transmission components, coolant systems and pistons among others. A key factor responsible for growing PPS demand is the growing automotive industry in India, China, Japan, Brazil and Thailand. The key manufacturers such as India, China and Japan witnessed an increase in automotive production by close to 5% which has resulted in increased demand for PPS.
Electronics and electrical was also a large applicationfor the polyphenylene sulfide market and finds use in a variety of electrical appliance components. The global appliances market has grown in value from USD 455 in 2010 to approximately USD 540 million in 2012. In addition, important trend in manufacturing electronic components is the use of lead-free solder which requires plastic parts involved in the soldering process to withstand 240-260°C. PPS not only satisfies the high-temperature requirement but also its inherent flame resistance and excellent electrical properties make it a preferred and most cost-effective choice in this application. The other growing applications of PPS were coatings, industrial, defense and aerospace. There is opportunity in the form of PPS being used as a subway insulator and in the film form. The development of subway system in China is expected to augment the demand for PPS over the next few years.
Asia Pacific was the largest regional polyphenylene sulfide market, owing to the large population in the region. Asia Pacific accounted for over 75% of total market share in terms volume in 2013. The market in this region is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.9%. The European market was valued at USD 78.6 million in 2013, and is expected to grow at a rate lower than the overall average over the forecast period. In addition, growing industrialization in countries of Asia Pacific is expected to drive the demand for filter bags at a CAGR of more than 13%. The RoW market valued at USD 32.4 million in 2013 is expected to grow substantially over the next six years. Growing industrialization and high demand in the automotive sector is expected to drive the PPS market over the forecasted period.
The global polyphenylene sulfide market comprises of companies including Chevron Philips, DIC, Kureha Corp, Fortron, Toray, Tosoh, Chengdu Letian and Lumena among others. Chevron Philips dominates the market in terms revenue, whereas in terms of production capacity in volumes Lumena is the market leader.