Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) is a thermoplastic polymer of Methyl Methacrylate (MMA). It is a clear, strong and lightweight plastic generally used as a substitute to glass due to its energy efficiency and weather resistance. It is available in two grades and can be classified as optical and general purpose grades based on its usage. PMMA is manufactured in four forms including extruded sheet, pellets or resins, beads (powder) and cell cast sheets and blocks. It has wide usage in various industries such as electronics, construction, signs and displays, furniture and interiors, solar panels, sanitary ware fashion and apparel, lighting and decorative, medical and healthcare among many others
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The global PMMA market is expected to be driven by the growth in end user industries such as electronics, automobiles and construction where PMMA is used in TV display panels, facades, windows, light panels, coating and emulsions amongst other functionalities. Moreover, developing technology coupled with a wide range of broadening applications of PMMA is expected to boost the market growth in the coming future.
Manufacturers are working on developing bio-based PMMA owing to volatile petrochemical raw material prices and frequent supply bottlenecks. Research is in process to develop PMMA from plant sugars through fermentation. This might solve the raw material supply issues and promise secure as well as eco-friendly raw material supply.
Extruded PMMA sheet emerged as the largest consumed adhesive in almost all industries including signs and display, electronics, construction among others. This form accounted for more than 50% of the total PMMA consumed in 2012. PMMA beads are expected to be the fastest growing market owing to its use in fast growing coatings and emulsions industry. PMMA beads form is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 7.6%, from 2013 to 2019. PMMA pellets were the second most consumed form worldwide
Signs and display dominated the application market and accounted for more than 35% of the total market in 2012. Electronics is expected to be the fastest growing application market for adhesives at a CAGR of 8.3% from 2013 to 2019. The growing disposable income in developing countries is one of the major factors driving the demand for electronic equipments and further demand for PMMA. In addition, light weight and energy efficiency of PMMA contribute to its improving demand in various industry segments. Automotive and transportation segment is one such application market for PMMA. Demand for light weight vehicles with better efficiency and lower emissions has seen a boost owing to strict regulatory laws executed in North America and Western Europe.
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Asia Pacific continued dominating the PMMA market and accounted for more than 50% of the total volume in 2012. Asia Pacific along with being the largest market is also the fastest growing market for PMMA. Asia Pacific was followed by Europe and North America witnessing moderate growth due to Euro zone crisis and recession. Brazil is all set to host the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. These events have been prompting the growth of construction activities in Brazil, which is expected to drive the market for PMMA in Central and South America (CASA) over the forecast period. Middle East is expecting its first PMMA plant in Saudi Arabia to be set up by SABIC in collaboration with Mitsubishi Rayon Company. Middle East and Africa is expected to witness an above average growth rate over the next six years.