Medical Grade Polyolefin: Introduction
- Polyolefin is a kind of polymer that is formed by the polymerization of olefin monomer units. Polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) are the common types of polyolefin.
- Polyolefin is also considered non-toxic, making it ideal for usage in medical applications. It is vulnerable to oxidation; however, a range of anti-oxidant additives can tackle this issue.
- Usage of plastics such as polyolefin in health care application has increased owing to spiraling health care demand. New generation of medical devices are developed using polyolefin instead of traditional materials such as glass, paper, cardboard, or metal. Polyolefin is preferred as an alternative material due to its excellent properties such as durability, heat resistance, and ability to prevent chemical corrosion.
- Polyolefin is being increasingly used in medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging applications
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Medical Grade Polyolefin: Types and Applications
- Based on type, the global medical grade polyolefin market can be segmented into polyethylene, polypropylene, polymethylpentene, and others.
- High density polyethylene is used in the manufacture of medical consumables such as closures, rigid bottles, ampoules, needle sheaths, plunger rods for single-use syringes, and collapsible tube shoulders
- Low density polyethylene is employed in a wide range of applications such as squeezable bottles and ampoules, blow-fill-seal products, collapsible tube bodies, and film for primary and secondary medical and pharmaceutical packaging
- Polypropylene is primarily used in disposable syringes. Polypropylene is also employed in a wide range of medical applications such as actuator bodies, specimen cups, centrifuge tubes, multi-well micro-titration plates, trays, pipettes, and caps and closures.
- Medical grade polyolefin is a key component used in pharmaceutical packaging solutions such as container and closure systems. It is also used in a variety of medical devices such as drug delivery systems, syringes, MDPIs, and nasal sprays. The use of medical grade polyolefin in the health care industry are estimated to increase even against the backdrop of increasing regulatory concerns.
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Trends in Medical Grade Polyolefin Market
- In June 2020, SK Global Chemical Co. Ltd. completed the acquisition of functional polyolefin business from Arkema S.A. The business transaction was valued at Euro 335 Mn (US$ 375.9 Mn)
- According to LyondellBasell, one of the major polyolefin manufacturers, almost one-fourth of disposable devices and one-third of non-disposable devices are made up of polypropylene (PP). Polyethylene (PE) is used in almost one-tenth of disposables, a slightly larger amount of non-disposables; and substantial amount of pharmaceutical packaging.
- In 2016, BASF SE divested its global polyolefin business to W. R. Grace & Co., a global leader in specialty chemicals and materials
- In 2014, SABIC launched its first portfolio of certified renewable polyolefin. It was the first petrochemicals company to manufacture renewable second generation polypropylene and polyethylene.
- In February 2020, Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd entered into a strategic alliance to manufacture polyolefin for medical uses. This alliance enables Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. to convert combustible waste into ethanol. Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. further uses the ethanol as a raw material for polyolefin, thereby promoting circular economy initiatives to chemically recycle waste into polyolefin.
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Key Drivers of Medical Grade Polyolefin Market
- Implantable medical devices are widely used by the geriatric population with reduced immunity. Japan, Italy, Portugal, and Germany have significantly high population of the geriatric people. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, almost 2 billion people around the world are estimated to be more than 60 year old by 2050, three times the number it was in 2000. The U.K. and France face an increase in their health care budget and usage of implantable medical devices owing to rise in the geriatric population in these countries. This is estimated to augment the demand for medical grade polyolefin in the U.K. and France.
- Prices of medical grade polyolefin such as polypropylene, high density polyethylene, and low density polyethylene are lower than its alternatives such as metal and glass. This is estimated to propel the demand for medical grade polyolefin.
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