Styrenic Polymers Market for Medical Applications: Description

  • Styrenic polymers, or styrenics, are a class of the plastics family, with styrene as the main building block. Polystyrene is the parent material for all styrenic copolymers. It is a widely utilized thermoplastic material. It is employed in various end-user industries such as automotive, building & construction, electrical & electronics, and medical among many others.
  • Styrenic polymers that are employed in medical applications include polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene acrylonitrile (SAN), styrene butadiene block copolymers (SBC), styrene methyl methacrylate (SMMA), and others. Styrenic polymers are employed in various applications in the medical industry. For instance, these are utilized in the manufacture of surgical instruments, portable medical devices, liquid containers, connector tubes, and bags.

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What are Key Growth Drivers of Global Styrenic Polymers Market for Medical Applications Market?

  • Plastics offer a wide range of desirable attributes that enable them to be utilized in design and development of various medical device applications. Traditionally, medical devices are made of metals, ceramics, or glass.
  • However, advancement of technology has accelerated the pace of replacement of traditional materials with plastics, as plastics provide a broad range of advantages over metallic devices. These advantages include design versatility, lightness in weight, easy disposability, better aesthetics, and cost-effectiveness. The shift in trend toward plastics augurs well for styrenic polymers, as they account for a large share of medical plastics market.
  • Plastics are easier to process and provide flexibility to design ergonomic devices. Modern medical devices have become functionally more complex and smaller in size.
  • Components such as gears, levers, axels, buttons, actuators, and counters also need to be miniaturized, while maintaining high performance, reliability, durability, and dimensional stability. These components can be easily micro-molded with plastics to manufacture precision parts with tight tolerance.
  • Mass production of medical devices with plastic components also provides economic advantage while maintaining optimum functionality. Styrenic polymers, in particular, exhibit a wide range of properties through different products such as polystyrene, ABS, SAN, and block copolymers.
  • The shift in market dynamics from traditional materials to plastics has propelled the medical plastics market as a whole. This includes styrenic polymers, which accounts for about 17% share of the global medical polymers market.

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What are Key Challenges for Global Styrenic Polymers Market for Medical Applications Market?

  • The higher price of common styrenic polymers (such as polystyrene and ABS) over its competitors restrains the market to some extent.
  • The price sensitive nature of the market, especially in Asia Pacific, is anticipated to hamper the market for styrenic polymers due to its high prices.
  • However, the prices of styrenic polymers are estimated to decline due to the rapid fall in prices of raw materials in recent years. This is projected to boost the demand for styrenic polymers.

Lucrative Opportunities for Players in Global Styrenic Polymers Market for Medical Applications Market

  • The medical device market dynamics directly influence the styrenic polymers market in medical applications. The medical and healthcare industry has expanded in the recent past, due to the rise in geriatric population and advancements in medical technology.
  • The geriatric population has increased significantly across the world. According to the WHO, the population above 65 years of age has risen rapidly over the last 50 years. The number of people aged 60 years and above is estimated to increase from 605 million in 2000 to 2 billion by 2050.
  • Furthermore, this significant rise in population is expected to trigger the growth of non-communicable diseases (e.g. cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases). These diseases currently account for about 87% of the overall diseases among the aging population in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.
  • Rise in the geriatric population is likely to drive the medical devices market in the near future. The medical devices market is projected to expand further, due to increasing life expectancy and rise in population in several regions across the world.

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Asia Pacific to Dominate Global Styrenic Polymers Market for Medical Applications Market

  • In terms of consumption, Asia Pacific constituted a prominent share of the styrenic polymers for medical applications market in 2018. The trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. Increase in focus on providing better health care to highly populated countries in the region is estimated to act as key driver of the market. Furthermore, in terms of growth potential, Asia Pacific is expected to lead the global market during the forecast period.
  • The styrenic polymers market follows the dynamics of the medical polymers market. The market is projected to expand at an above-average pace in the near future. Rise in medical and health care standards coupled with growth in regional GDP and PPP are anticipated to drive the medical plastics market, including the medical styrenics market.

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Leading Players in Global Styrenic Polymers Market for Medical Applications Market

  • Medical device and medical packaging manufacturers procure styrenic polymers of different grades and qualities. Low degree of integration exists between styrenic polymer manufacturers and final product manufacturers. The styrenic polymers market is fairly consolidated, with some companies accounting for a significant share of the market. The volume of styrenic polymers used in medical applications is less, as compared to its primary applications in automotive and building & construction industries.
  • INEOS STYROLUTION Group GmbH is a leading manufacturer of styrenic polymers for medical applications in the market. Other notable manufactures include
    • LG Chem Ltd.
    • Chi Mei Corporation
    • Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC
    • Kraton Corporation
    • Trinseo LLC
    • TSRC Corporation
    • SABIC.
  • The styrenic polymers market for medical applications is moderately consolidated in nature, with the top few companies occupying considerable market share.

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