The global polyisobutylene (PIB) market size was estimated at USD 4.33 billion in 2015. It is expected to witness significant growth owing to rising demand from end-use industries such as sealants, fuel additives, pharmaceutical, and automotive. Growing use of polyisobutylene in the tire industry for manufacturing of tires and tubes is expected to drive the market growth over the forecast period. In addition, enhanced properties of polyisobutylene including impermeability to moisture and gasses are expected to add to the market demand over the next eight years.
Furthermore, increasing emphasis by governments of matured economies such as U.S. and Europe for eco-friendly polyisobutylene products is likely to fuel the growth in innovations aiming at the development of such products.
Polyisobutylene has increasing applications scope in industries such as adhesives, sealants, construction, healthcare, sports equipment, and automotive owing to its enhanced properties. These include superior impermeability, oxidation resistance, ozone resistance, and improved stability. In addition, improved weathering resistance is likely to increase the market demand for polyisobutylene in the manufacturing of products such as construction sealants, pharmaceutical stoppers, hosepipes, and various mechanical goods.
Growing use of polyisobutylene as a sealant in the sealing of photovoltaic system panels, owing to improved properties such as electrical insulation and resistance to gasses, and water vapor is expected to propel the market over the next eight years.
The automotive sector was the dominant segment accounting for a share of over 75 % in 2015. Rising use of polyisobutylene-based butyl rubber in the tire industry to manufacture tubeless tires owing to improved air retaining and bonding properties is likely to drive the demand over next eight years. Furthermore, growing use of PIB in the tire industry on account of improved heat retention capabilities during tire vulcanization is expected to augment demand.
Growing use of polyisobutylene-based butyl rubber in manufacturing automobile components including hosepipes and gaskets, and window strips owing to superior flexibility, thermal stability, and impermeability and improved oxidation resistance is likely to accelerate demand in automotive sector over next eight years. Rising automotive demand in the emerging economies of Asia Pacific and the Middle East & Africa on account of improving road infrastructure, rising spending capacity, and increase in per capita ownership of vehicles is expected to affect the automotive sector in the region, which in turn will drive the demand for PIB.
The additive segment accounted for around 11% of the overall market in terms of volume in 2015. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2016 to 2024. Rising R&D investments to improve the performance of diesel and gasoline fuel is likely to propel the demand for fuel additives over the forecast period. In addition, growing use of PIB in lubricant additives owing to its deposit control property is likely to propel the growth in the manufacturing industry over next eight years.
High molecular weight polyisobutylene was the prominent segment valued at USD 3.68 billion in 2015. High molecular weight polyisobutylene accounted for a significant share of market demand in industries including automotive and sealants owing to its superior UV, oxidation, and heat resistance properties.
Rising product use in the manufacturing of electric wire coatings owing to lightweight, improved flexibility, and dielectric properties is expected to drive the market over the forecast period. Also, these properties make polyisobutylene highly suitable for use in the manufacturing of waterproofing and roofing sheets, which in turn is expected to drive the market over the forecast period. Disposal of polyisobutylene from the tanker vessels in water bodies including the sea is expected to pose a challenge to the market growth.
Medium molecular weight polyisobutylene is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 5% from 2016 to 2024. Medium molecular polyisobutylene segment accounted for 9.2% of the global market in 2015. Growing application scope in adhesives industry is likely to fuel the demand over the next eight years.
Europe emerged as the dominant regional market accounting for 43.7% of the global volume in 2015. Rising demand for PIB from the industries such as automotive, tire and adhesives is expected to drive the demand over the next eight years.
Growing investments by petrochemical giants in R&D activities for new eco-friendly products is expected to accelerate the growth in the region. In addition, rising demand for packaging in the pharmaceutical industry to preserve the efficacy of drugs is expected to augment market growth over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness a significant share of demand on account of rising investments by the petrochemical companies in product innovation and development. Increasing demand for polyisobutylene in the end-use industries such as automotive and sealants is expected to fuel the growth.
Key market participants include BASF SE, Exxon Mobil, Lanxess AG, TPC Group, and INEOS. ExxonMobil is an oil & gas company involved in upstream and downstream exploration and production business. The company is also involved in manufacturing chemicals under its chemicals division. The company engaged in the production of polymers, chemicals &fluids, and catalysts.
The polyisobutylene (PIB) manufactured under the chemicals division finds its application in manufacturing tires, bottle stoppers, conveyor belt, tank lining, sealant tapes, vibration control, hoses, gaskets, and condenser packaging. In March 2014, Exxon Mobil announced the expansion of the petrochemical refinery in Singapore for the production of Halo-butyl rubber and hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins. This expansion would increase the production capacity of the company to 140,000 tons per year.
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