Polymethyl methacrylate, abbreviated as PMMA, is a clear transparent thermoplastic, used as a substitute of glass. The fragility of glass has seen increased adoption of PMMA across various industries, which find the impact resistant, chemical resistant and weather resistant properties of PMMA significantly important. Demand for PMMA across industries such as electronics, signs and display, lighting fixtures, automotive, construction, and sanityware has induced a sharp growth trend in the global PMMA market, especially after the recession of 2009.
The global PPMA market, which faced a sharp decline during the recession due to drop in demand from end user segments, is exhibiting a quick and steady recovery. The more than expected growth rate of end user industries such as electronics and automotive, even induced a supply shortage of PMMA in 2010. This has forced PMMA manufacturers to expand and enhance their production capacity, so as to meet the supply bottlenecks.
The global PMMA market can be segmented on the basis of grade types and applications in various industries. A geographic analysis of the global market on key growth regions such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America can provide a cross sectional view of demand and market growth of the global PMMA market.
On the basis of grades, the global PMMA market can be categorized as general purpose grade PMMA and optical grade PMMA. For classification by applications, the global PMMA market can be segmented into industrial sectors such as electronics, signs and display, automotive, construction, lighting fixtures, and sanity ware.
A major share of new demand for PMMA is originating from developing economies across Asia-Pacific regions, which are experiencing high economic growth. The growth of the PMMA market is further supported by development of increased number of new applications in the electronics industry. A major use is in making of LED TVs. PMMA is required for manufacture of optical PCBs (printed circuit boards), which are in high demand due to LED TV growth. Asia has been a major contributor to this growth trend. The major share of revenue and demand in the global PMMA market is contributed by the signs and display segment, which has seen development of novel applications of PMMA. In Western markets such as Europe, however, the market is facing growth challenges due to stringent government regulations, which now support eco-friendly products.
With the continuous growth and high demand coming from Asia-Pacific regions, the market is projected to exhibit strong growth trends in the short term, and has many new opportunities to be explored.
All the major suppliers of PMMA are now focusing on the Asia-Pacific regions. The key suppliers of PMMA across the globe are Evonik Industries AG, Germany; LG MMA, South Korea; Quinn Plastics, UK; Chi Mei Corp., Taiwan; and Arkema SA, France.
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