North America Glass Filled Polypropylene Market: Introduction
The glass filled polypropylene in North America was valued at US$ 600 Mn in 2019 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 3.5% from 2020 to 2030. Based on country, the U.S. held the major share of the glass filled polypropylene in North America in 2019.
Major Drivers of North America Glass Filled Polypropylene Market
According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy, 10% reduction in overall vehicle weight can result in a 6%-8% fuel economy improvement. This decline in weight can be achieved by replacing cast iron and traditional steel automotive components with lightweight materials such as glass filled polypropylene.
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This can directly reduce the weight of a vehicle’s body and chassis by up to 25%-35%, thereby lowering a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Automotive manufacturers and OEMs operating in North America are seeking innovative materials to reduce vehicle weight and achieve fuel efficiency and carbon emission targets due to stringent environmental norms and government regulations. Rise in the need for lightweight materials in automotive structures has boosted the demand for glass filled polypropylene.
Glass filled polypropylene offers various structural and weight advantages over traditional steel automotive parts. It is used as a raw material to manufacture various structural, interior, exterior, and other automobile components. Therefore, glass filled polypropylene is preferred in the manufacture of automobiles. This is driving the demand for glass filled polypropylene in North America. Automotive manufacturers such as GM and Ford Motor Company have already started to follow the trend of using advanced materials to explore weight reduction solutions that could improve performance and fuel efficiency.
In 2014, Ford Motor Company unveiled its lightweight concept vehicle, wherein glass fiber polymer composites resulted in a nearly 25% weight reduction as compared to the older version.
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Long Fiber to Dominate North America Glass Filled Polypropylene Market
In terms of type, the glass filled polypropylene market in North America has been segmented into short fiber and long fiber. Based on volume and revenue, long fiber segment dominated the glass filled polypropylene market in North America with more than 50% share in 2019. Its share is expected to rise by the end of the forecast period. Long glass fiber polypropylene is generally available in length more than 10 mm. Long glass fiber polypropylene is commonly produced through the pultrusion process, wherein glass fibers are chemically coupled with polypropylene resin to enhance performance.
Properties of long glass fiber type of glass filled polypropylene include rigidity and impact strength. This is expected to drive the demand for long glass fiber in North America. Additionally, excellent mechanical properties make long glass fiber polypropylene ideal for usage in a wide range of application segments, including automotive and electrical & electronics components. Short fiber glass filled polypropylene is available in different types, ranging from 10% to 50% glass loading by weight. The length of short fiber glass filled polypropylene typically varies from 0.2 mm to 1 mm. It is economical as compared to long glass filled polypropylene. Short fiber glass filled polypropylene compounds provide excellent strength and dimensional stability, and bridge the price-to-performance gap between neat resins and long fiber glass filled polypropylene.
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Market Share of Prominent Players
Key players operating in the glass filled polypropylene market include North America are Mitsui Chemicals Inc., SABIC, Repsol S.A., RTP Company, Avient Corporation, Washington Penn Plastic Co. Inc., Ravago, PolyPacific, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, The Plastics Group of America, and Borealis AG. The glass filled polypropylene market in North America is consolidated. Currently, manufacturers of glass filled polypropylene in North America are increasing their research and development activities to gain higher share of the glass filled polypropylene market.
In 2019, Mitsui Chemical Inc. announced its plan to establish a new manufacturing unit for long glass fiber polypropylene (LFPP) at its China-based manufacturing subsidiary Mitsui Advanced Composites (Zhongshan) Co, Ltd. With the addition of the new plant, the company’s production capacity is expected to increase to 10,500 tons per year. Operation of the new plant is estimated to commence from September 2020. In 2018, SABIC announced it had launched SABIC PP PPA20 advanced high-gloss impact glass filled polypropylene for applications, including home appliances, furniture, and other household consumer goods.
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