Overview of Plastic Modification Industry

The connotation and characteristics of plastic

Engineering plastics and general plastics

Engineering plastics mainly refer to thermoplastics that can be used as structural materials. Engineering plastics have excellent comprehensive properties, high rigidity, low creep, high mechanical strength, good heat resistance, and good electrical insulation. They can be used for a long time in harsh chemical and physical environments and can replace metals as engineering structural materials. Engineering plastics can be divided into general engineering plastics and special engineering plastics. The main varieties of the former are polyamide (PA), polycarbonate (PC), polyoxymethylene (POM), polyphenylene ether (PPO) and polyester (PBT). And PET) five general engineering plastics; the latter usually refers to engineering plastics with heat resistance above 150Co, the main varieties are polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), liquid crystal High molecular polymer (LCP), polysulfone (PSF), polyimide (PI), polyaryletherketone (PEEK), polyarylate (PAR), etc.
There is no clear dividing line between engineering plastics and general-purpose plastics. For example, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS) lies between the two. Its advanced grades can be used as engineering structural materials. The grade is ordinary general-purpose plastics (abroad generally speaking, ABS is classified as general-purpose plastics). For another example, polypropylene (PP) is a typical general-purpose plastic, but after glass fiber reinforcement and other blending, its mechanical strength and heat resistance have been greatly improved, and it can also be used as a structural material in many engineering fields. For another example, polyethylene is also a typical general-purpose plastic, but ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene with a molecular weight of more than 1 million, due to its excellent mechanical properties and high heat distortion temperature, can be widely used as engineering plastics in machinery, transportation, Chemical equipment etc.

Plastic modification technology

In order to improve the strength, toughness, flame retardancy and other properties of plastics, it is usually necessary to improve certain aspects of the performance of the synthetic resin substrate through blending techniques such as reinforcement, filling, and addition of other resins on the basis of synthetic resins. Electricity, magnetism, light, heat, aging resistance, flame retardancy, mechanical properties and other aspects meet the requirements for use under special conditions. Additives for blending can be flame retardants, tougheners, stabilizers, etc., or another plastic or reinforced fiber, etc.; the substrate can be five general plastics, five general engineering plastics, or special engineering plastic.

Market overview of the plastic modification industry

Upstream and downstream conditions

There are many kinds of plastics and they are widely used. About 90% of the commonly used resin raw materials are polyethylene PE, polypropylene PP, polyvinyl chloride PVC, polystyrene PS and ABS resin. However, each plastic has its limitations.

In the past few decades, people have been committed to the development of new polymer materials. Among the thousands of newly developed polymer materials, few have large-scale applications. Therefore, we cannot hope to develop new ones. Polymer materials to improve performance. However, it has become a natural choice to process plastics by filling, blending, and reinforcing methods to enhance their flame retardancy, strength, and impact resistance.

Ordinary plastics have shortcomings such as flammability, aging, low mechanical properties, and low operating temperature in industrial use and daily consumption. Through modification, ordinary plastics can achieve performance enhancement, function increase, and cost reduction. The upstream of the modified plastic is the primary form resin, which uses additives or other resins that improve the performance of the resin in one or several aspects such as mechanics, rheology, combustibility, electricity, heat, light, and magnetism as auxiliary materials. , Toughening, strengthening, blending, alloying and other technical means to obtain materials with uniform appearance.

Five general-purpose plastics as base materials: polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyvinyl chloride

Five general engineering plastics: polycarbonate (PC), polyamide (PA, also known as nylon), polyester (PET/PBT), polyphenylene ether (PPO), Polyoxymethylene (POM)

Special engineering plastics: polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), liquid crystal polymer (LCP), polysulfone (PSF), polyimide (PI), polyaryletherketone (PEEK), polyarylate (PAR), etc. .

In terms of downstream applications, modified plastics are mainly used in industries such as home appliances, automobiles, and electronic appliances.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, with the development of my country’s macro economy, the market capacity of modified plastics has further expanded. The apparent consumption of modified plastics in my country has continued to increase from 720,000 tons in early 2000 to 7.89 million tons in 2013. The compound growth rate is as high as 18.6%, and the home appliance and automobile industries account for a relatively high proportion of downstream applications.

In August 2009, the country launched the policies of “home appliances to the countryside” in rural areas and “replace old for new” in urban areas. The market for home appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators quickly recovered, driving the rapid growth of demand for modified plastics for home appliances. After experiencing the rapid growth of home appliances going to the countryside, the growth rate of my country's home appliance industry has slowed down, and the demand for modified plastics has also slowed down. The growth in the automotive sector has become the main reason for the increase in consumption of modified plastics.

The field of home appliances

At present, China has become a big country in the production and consumption of household appliances, and it is the manufacturing center of global household appliances. Most of the plastics used in the manufacture of household appliances are thermoplastics, accounting for about 90%. Almost all plastics used in household appliances need to be modified. At present, the proportion of plastics in major household appliances in China is: 60% for vacuum cleaners, 38% for refrigerators, 34% for washing machines, 23% for TVs, and 10% for air conditioners.

Home appliances to the countryside began in December 2007, and the first batch of pilot provinces and cities ended at the end of November 2011, and other provinces and cities also ended in the following 1-2 years. From the perspective of the output growth rate of four types of home appliances such as air conditioners, color TVs, washing machines and refrigerators, the output growth rate of home appliances was very high during the period when home appliances went to the countryside. The future growth rate of the home appliance industry is expected to remain at a growth rate of 4-8%. The steady development of the home appliance sector provides stable market demand for plastic modification.

Automotive industry

The automobile industry is a major application field of modified plastics in addition to the home appliance industry. Modified plastics have been used in the automotive industry for nearly 60 years. Used in automobiles, they can reduce weight, be environmentally friendly, safe, beautiful, and comfortable. Energy saving, durability, etc., and 1kg of plastic can replace 2-3kg of steel and other materials, which can significantly reduce the weight of the car body. Studies have shown that a 10% reduction in the weight of a car can reduce fuel consumption by 6-8%, and greatly reduce energy consumption and car exhaust emissions. Increasingly stringent energy consumption and exhaust emission standards. With the advancement of technology, in the following decades, the application of modified plastics in automobiles has gradually developed from interior materials to exterior parts and engine peripheral parts, while the application of modified plastics in automobiles in developed countries From the initial stage of non-acceptance, it has gradually developed to 105 kilograms per vehicle in 2000, and reached more than 150 kilograms in 2010.

The consumption of modified plastics for automobiles in my country has grown rapidly. At present, the average consumption of modified plastics per vehicle in my country is 110-120 kg, which is far behind the 150-160 kg/vehicle in developed countries. With the improvement of consumers' environmental awareness and stringent exhaust emission standards, the trend of lightweight cars becomes more and more obvious, and the use of modified plastics for cars will continue to increase. In addition, in the past ten years, my country's automobile sales have experienced a round of rapid growth and became the world's largest automobile market in 2009. Although the growth of automobile sales has gradually slowed down in the following years, it is expected to maintain steady growth in the future . With the increase in the consumption of modified plastics for vehicles and the growth of automobile sales, the consumption of modified plastics for vehicles in my country will continue to grow rapidly. Assuming that each automobile uses 150kg of plastic, considering that the annual output of Chinese automobiles exceeds 20 million, the market space is 3 million tons.

At the same time, because automobiles are durable consumer goods, there will be a certain replacement demand for existing automobiles during the life cycle. It is estimated that the plastic consumption in the maintenance market will account for about 10% of the plastic consumption in new cars, and the actual market space is larger.

There are many market participants in the modified plastics industry, which are mainly divided into two camps, multinational chemical giants and local companies. International manufacturers have leading technology and excellent product performance. However, the product variety is single and the market response speed is slow. Therefore, the market share of my country's automobile market is not not tall. Local modified plastic companies are mixed, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises with a production capacity of less than 3,000 tons, and the automotive industry has high requirements for product quality stability. It is difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises to ensure the stability of product quality, so it is difficult to pass the certification of automobile companies . After large-scale modified plastics companies pass the certification of vehicle companies and enter their supply chain, they will usually become their long-term partners, and their bargaining power will gradually increase.

Post time: Nov-30-2020