Methylpentene copolymer is a thermoplastic polymer. It shows properties such as transparency, low moisture absorption, high thermal stability, good electrical and acoustical properties, chemical resistance, good dielectric characteristics, and excellent optical properties. Copolymers of 4-methyl-1-pentene are commercially used, owing to its transparency and robust processing behavior. It is used in various applications such as laboratory apparatus, medical equipment, ovenware, wire and cable coating, sonar covers, ultrasonic transducer heads, speaker cones, optical components, baking cartons, animal cages, and heat resistant non-woven materials, among others.
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Methylpentene copolymer is a lightweight, high temperature polyolefin. It is available in the form of sheets, rods, tubes, and films. Rising applications of methylpentene copolymer in baking cartons, paper coatings, release film and paper, high-frequency films, and food packaging such as gas permeable packages for fruit and vegetables is driving growth of the global methylpentene copolymer market. According to the World Packaging Organization (WPO), packaging market is expected to be valued at US$ 1 trillion over the forecast period, which in turn will drive demand for methylpentene copolymer in the packaging industry.
Demand for methylpentene copolymer in manufacturing of electrical components such as LED molds and components of various electric equipment such as coffee maker is increasing significantly. Furthermore, growing electronics sector in the region is expected to aid in growth of the market. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, annual U.S. retail sales of electronics and appliances in 2011 was US$ 99.93 billion, which increased to US$ 103.52 billion in 2014. This growth in the electronics industry is driving growth of the methylpentene copolymer market.
Asia Pacific held dominant position in the global methylpentene copolymer in 2017 and is expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. China, India, Japan, and South Korea are the major growth engines in this region. Moreover, presence of major players in this region such as Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and their initiatives to enhance their business is also expected to positively aid in growth of the market. For instance, in 2015, Foster Polymer Distribution, a business unit of Foster Corporation specializing in the distribution of medical polymers and additives, announced partnership with Mitsui Chemicals to distribute TPX polymethylpentene (PMP) olefin copolymer to the North America medical market.
Rising environmental concerns is a major factor hampering growth of this market. Methylpentene copolymer (TPX) is considered eco-friendly, as it is halogen-free. However, any type of plastic in landfills takes several years to decompose and this leads to environmental pollution. Plastic pollution is a major environmental concern, globally. Around 4 Mn tons of garbage is disposed every day, out of which, 15% (0.60 Mn tons) comprises plastics. Plastics are expected to account for around 20% of the entire pollution in the next 25 years, as compared to an estimated 7% currently.
Major players operating in the global methylpentene copolymer market include Mitsui & Co., Ltd and RTP Company Inc.
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