The unique features of fluoropolymer films include chemical resistance, superior dielectric properties, electrical insulation, high-temperature resistance, weldability, moisture resistance, transparency, mechanical strength, and surface processing possibilities. A significant part of the success of many industries has been attributed to the confidence that manufacturers and end-user industries have reposed in films made from fluoropolymers such as PTFE, PVDF, FEP, PVF, and so on.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com), U.S. Fluoropolymer Films Market, finds that the market earned revenues of over $1.05 billion in 2009 and estimates this to reach $1.60 billion in 2016.
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"Fluoropolymer film applications such as mold release, tank linings, photovoltaic backsheets, decorative and protective films, fabrication, and pharmaceutical blister packaging will increasingly consume films made from fluoropolymers," says Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Raghu Tantry. "The market is likely to grow over the next five to six years as end-use industries intensify the focus on high performance materials and seek higher benefit-to-cost ratios in films."
As fluoropolymer films are compatible with other polymer films such as PVC and PE, they can be incorporated into multi-layer films in photovoltaics and pharmaceuticals blister packaging.
The mature PTFE market has been in existence for over 60 years, and areas such as cookware, semiconductors, automotive, and construction have become saturated. As a result, the scope for fluoropolymer films has narrowed down and suppliers of resins need to go the extra mile to achieve better product outreach.
Another factor adding to the challenges for participants is the distinct lack of innovation, which has reined in market growth. Moreover, PTFE suffers from the inability to be melt processed, thus restricting its applicability. Lately, manufacturers have developed modified PTFE that can be melt processed, and this material is likely to buoy the future prospects of the market. Apart from this, the non-biodegradable nature of fluoropolymers and fluoropolymer films has proved to be a spoke in the wheel for the market.
Price, quality, delivery time, and back and/or forward integration the key competitive factors in the total U.S. fluoropolymer films market. Price is a critical criterion in supplier selection and a major determinant for attaining market share. This is particularly true for the PTFE films market, and other fluoropolymer films are beginning to feel the impact. Competition from overseas manufacturers has contributed to price pressure in the United States.
Chinese products, which are offered at a lower price, have overrun the market, unleashing price wars. As fluoropolymer films are perceived as high-performance products in many applied industries, quality and specifications will play a vital role in building brand image and capturing market share.
"Manufacturers that have the advantage of efficient film technologies and economies of scale and companies with captive fluoropolymer resin supplies have an edge within the fluoropolymer films market," says Tantry. "They would be better positioned to offer more attractive prices, discounts, and price programs."
U.S. Fluoropolymer Films Market is part of the Chemicals & Materials Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: U.S. Fluoropolymers Markets, U.S. Specialty Films Markets, European Specialty Films Markets and World Polyester Film Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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U.S. Fluoropolymer Films Market / N6F4