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Rise in Demand for Plastics to Drive the Heat Stabilizers Market

Harshal Deshmukh

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UV light and heat tend to oxidize several polymers such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), low density polyethylene (LDPE), and high density polyethylene (HDPE). The oxidation leads to embrittlement, loss of tensile properties, melt flow instability, and discoloration. The mechanism of stabilization (from heat and UV radiation) helps avert oxidation or alleviate its effects. Plastics, predominantly thermoplastics, may also require stabilization against degradation from heat during processing, manufacturing, or usage. Heat stabilizers, also termed as antioxidants, are chemical additives employed to protect plastics and polymers, especially those that contain regular repeating units or homopolymers, against oxidation and degradation resulting from exposure to UV radiation or heat. Heat stabilizers are usually employed in medical-grade PVC not only to prevent oxidation caused by high temperatures the resin might see during manufacturing and processing, but also to prevent from the excess heat it may be subjected to during storage or autoclaving.

Rise in demand for plastics, especially PVC, is the primary factor driving the heat stabilizers market. PVC is used in several applications, ranging from flooring, wires, cables, and film made from plasticized vinyl to tubes, pipe, sheets, and profiles processed from rigid PVC. Demand for PVC and other plastics such as HDPE and LDPE has been rising consistently over the years. Production of total plastics across the globe stood more than 320 million metric tons. This is anticipated to boost the demand for heat stabilizers in plastics & its downstream products. Furthermore, heat stabilizers are imperative in manufacturing of PVC molded, extruded, and rolled products, as PVC resin undergoes irreversible chemical and physical changes caused by high temperature and stress in the absence of a heat stabilizers.

Based on type, the heat stabilizers market can be segmented into metal soaps, organotin, and others. The metal soaps segment can be further sub-segmented into liquid mixed, calcium based, and others. The liquid mixed sub-segment is anticipated to expand during the forecast period due to the superior functionality and better characteristics over other types. These heat stabilizers are primarily employed in PVC components such as window profiles, coatings & floorings, sidings, wires, and cables.

Based on geography, the global heat stabilizer market can be divided into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is a major region of the heat stabilizers market, followed by North America. Over the last few years, lead (Pb) based heat stabilizers have been employed to stabilize rigid PVC across the globe, except in North America. Tin (Sn) based heat stabilizers dominated the market in North America.

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