Polyolefin resins are polymers containing one or more olefinic groups. These are high molecular weight hydrocarbons which include polyethylene, polypropylenes that comprise resins and copolymers. Polyolefin resins have the ability for withstanding exposures to almost all chemicals at most room temperature. They are less expensive and adaptable to different fabrication techniques. Automobile, film & sheet, fibers & tapes in the packaging, medical and construction are some of the key end user industries of polyolefin resins. Polyolefin resins are also used for coating and packaging purposes.
Among thermoplastics groups, polyolefins account for the largest product segment. Polyethylene and polypropylene are the most commonly used polyolefins. Polyolefin resins were invented in the research laboratory of Imperial Chemical Industries in 1931; however the large scale manufacturing did not start until 1950. Shift in the trend to use polyolefins over polyvinyl chloride (PVC) boosted the demand for polyolefin resins.
PVC, an important compound used in the automotive and construction industry, is considered harmful for the environment and hazardous to life. Polyolefins have replaced PVC due to their rubber like properties and hence are suitable for high performance industrial applications. The market for polyolefin resins is growing at a steady pace on account of its low cost and its capability of being fabricated by using modern techonologies such as extrusion, blow molding, calendaring and injecting molding. Non-polyolefin resins produced from elastomers can be used as a substitute for polyolefin resins, however reasons such as higher production cost of the former prevents the entry of substitutes in the market.
Polyolefin resin market is witnessing substantial growth on a global scale, owing to its increasing scope of applications coupled with technological advancement. Asia Pacific is the largest market for this compound accounting to the presence of key manufacturers in these regions. Other regions such as Latin America and Middle East account for the next largest market for polyolefin resins.
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