Specialty materials are required to perform under extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, and chemical exposure in today’s technologically advanced and ever-changing industrial environment. A specialty material that is used for coating and other corrosion protection applications is corrosion resistant plastic. Corrosion resistant plastics are a type of specialty plastics that are utilized in numerous applications where corrosion protection of the metal surfaces from chemical, moisture, and other corrosive agents is of utmost priority. Corrosion resistant plastic products are witnessing significant demand across the globe due to their high flexibility of application in different conditions. Extensive testing is carried before the selection of corrosion resistant plastic to choose the right material for a specific application. The corrosion resistant material needs to pass all the necessary tests to qualify for the end-use application.
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Some commonly utilized corrosion resistant plastics, which hold up well in most harsh conditions and are employed across the globe in various applications, are PVDF (polyvinylidene difluoride), PEEK (Polyether ether ketone), and PVC (Poly vinyl Chloride). Several industries such as food processing, medical, oil & gas, and chemical utilize corrosion resistant plastics to protect their machinery from corrosion due to exposure to corrosive agents. These industries witness a high demand for chemically inert materials to mitigate losses from corrosion to their plant equipment. PVDF resins are employed in the renewable energies, power, and chemical processing industries attributed by their excellent resistance to harsh chemicals, temperature, pressure, and effects of nuclear radiation. PVDF is also extensively used in the pharmaceutical, medical, semiconductor, and food & beverage industries due to its easy availability and purity in multitude of forms and types.
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PVDF is also a widely applied corrosion resistant plastic in the plating, mining, and metal processing industries. Excellent resistant to hot acids in a wide concentration range is a major property of PVDF plastic. Automotive and architectural markets also utilize PVDF plastic attributed to its good UV degradation and chemical resistance even under extreme weather conditions. PEEK (Polyether ether ketone) is a highly popular corrosion resistant plastic employed in numerous industries due to its superior chemical inertness and tensile strength. Excellent chemical and corrosion resistance properties of PEEK make it one of the highly preferred corrosion resistant plastics for orthopedic surgery and medical implants around the globe. PEEK exhibits excellent thermal and mechanical properties which makes them creep resistant at high temperatures. PEEK plastic also has a very low hydrolysis resistance, flammability, and radiation resistance, which makes PEEK plastic a preferred choice in the automotive, aerospace, chemical, and food processing industries. It is also utilized for load bearing and wear applications such as valve pump gears, seats, and compressor valve plates.
Another type of corrosion resistant plastic used extensively in multiple applications is PVC. PVC plastic is widely employed in underground water piping, municipal, and electrical applications. PVC plastic is the third most extensively produced plastic in the world and utilized extensively in construction and water pipelines, as compared to its metallic counterparts such as iron, copper, and wood. Physical and chemical composition of PVC plastic can be altered or changed by the usage of chemical additives and plasticizers. PVC plastic is employed extensively in making door and window frames, outdoor signs, medical tubing, electric cable insulation, flooring, sporting equipment, green houses, and outdoor/indoor synthetic playgrounds due to its low cost, chemical inertness, wide availability, and corrosion resistant properties.
Another type of corrosion resistant plastic made from PVC is CPVC resin. It is produced by the chlorination of PVC resin to make pipes. The physical properties of CPVC plastic resembles with many properties of PVC plastic, including excellent corrosion resistance and low conductivity at room temperatures. The extra chlorine content in CPVC plastic also makes it more corrosion resistant, as compared to PVC plastic. CPVC plastic is widely employed in making hot chlorine pipes, water pipes, high-pressure electric cable sheaths, and sulfuric acid pipes.
Rise in usage of corrosion resistant materials in automotive, power, healthcare, chemical, oil & gas, and construction industries is anticipated to boost the global corrosion resistant plastics market. Materials made from corrosion resistant plastics are replacing several traditional metals and raw material substrates in the vehicle fabrication, refining piping, power, and chemical processing industries attributed by their low cost and high flexibility in applications. Asia Pacific accounted for a significant share of the corrosion resistant plastics market followed by Europe and North America. Availability of cheaper labor, cost-effective manufacturing, raw materials, and rise in indigenous production of corrosion resistant plastics are expected to drive the market in Asia Pacific.
Key global players producing corrosion resistant plastics are DuPont, PPG, Akzo Nobel, Curbell Plastics, Aetna Plastic, and Victrex.