PVC plasticizers and stabilizers are types of additives that are widely used in the plastics industry. The PVC plasticizers are infused into plastics to deliver flexibility and elasticity owing to the utilization in the wiring and cable industry. Whereas, PVC stabilizers are those additives which are permeated into plastics to enhance their thermal resistance. These additions increase flexibility, extensibility and processability of PVC by decreasing viscosity of the polymer melt.
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Plasticized PVC is often synthetically created by the internal or external plasticization methods. Whereas, the internal plasticization method is complex and can lead to longer reaction times and increased costs. However, external plasticization is the most commonly used method because low-cost PVC plasticizers and stabilizers contribute to the formulation of wide-range of products.
Chemical processing includes various components like functional groups of ester, phthalate, terephthalate, citrate, benzoate and many others giving them characteristics of outdoor weather ability, solvency, resistance to hydrolysis and flame retardancy.
PVC plasticizers and stabilizers go hand-in-hand because their complementing features of providing flexibility and thermostability respectively are incorporated together in manufacturing of wires, cables, sheets and films. Since PVC is the third most used plastic after PE and PP, it is originally available in two forms: rigid and flexible.
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Rigid PVC is widely required in manufacturing pipes, doors, windows as well as in automotive, household and furniture. For as much as, flexible PVC is replacing rubber in plumbing, cable insulation, imitation leather and inflatable products.
PVC is heated to soften it for molding further or using it into flexible products, they need to be stabilized to prevent decomposition resulting from hydrogen chloride elimination. PVC stabilizers help in improving productivity and enhance PVC’s resistance to light, weathering and heat.
Calcium and Tin-based stabilizers provide rigidity to films and sheets and have replaced the Liquid Mixed Metals (LMM) for flexible applications, especially in the areas where stringent air quality requirements are in place.
PVC plasticizers and stabilizers minister to solutions contributing to the elasticity and heat resistance in PVC components. However, based on their limited uses a vast range of alternatives have entered the market that overcome the worries associated with PVC plasticizers and stabilizers.
These substitutes deliver similar results at low-cost, maximum compatibility, outdoor weather ability, and low-temperature flexibility. For instance, a certain vegetable oil derivatives, alkyl sulfonic acid esters, adipates and trimelliates are used commonly over phthalate plasticizers.
Albeit the infusion of PVC plasticizers and stabilizers enhance the durability and utility of PVC products, howbeit their leaching into the substances is a huge concern. ECHA, MHRA, USPCSC and most healthcare and consumer care protection agencies in different regions have enforced bans and regulatory actions.
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The PVC blood bags, IV tubes, catheters etc. infused with specific PVC plasticizers and stabilizers such as Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate plasticizer and lead-based stabilizer are shown to be carcinogenic on humans.
Furthermore, the extravagant applications of PVC plasticizers and stabilizers in automobiles, flooring, wallpapers, wires and cables insulation, footwear and many more are expected to sustain their affirmative demand.
Also, companies have initiated investing in green technology for manufacturing bio-plasticizers analyzing the forthcoming wave of environment-friendly products. All in all, the PVC plasticizers and stabilizers market is anticipated to witness a sloping increase on the back of concrete applications in the automotive, building and construction, packaging and explicit end-use industries.
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PVC Plasticizers and Stabilizers Market: COVID-19 Impact Insights
COVID-19 pandemic has forced countries to impose lockdowns and strict social distancing measures across the globe, flattening the global economic curve. The PVC plasticizers and stabilizers industry felt the impact of COVID-19 from all the directions. COVID-19 has presented massive disruptions in the demand-supply equilibrium across multiple industries, leading to economic losses at a global level. Supply chain disruption, decreased demand, risk of workforce getting infected and travel restriction resulted in the steep fall in production.
COVID-19 has caused economic hardship for consumers, businesses and governments across the world. Labour-intensive industries are still at risk as they won’t be able to meet their demand due to risk of workforce getting infected.
The global PVC plasticizers and stabilizers market also witnessed a small yet significant slump during Q1 of FY2020. However, the situation soon started recovering as the PVC plasticizers and stabilizers started being used for the production of healthcare tools and products like IV tubes, blood bags, catheters, CPB tubules and many others.
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