The global polycarbonate sheets market size was valued at USD 1.5 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 2.5 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period (2022–2030). A thermoplastic material with design flexibility for sheet makers is polycarbonate. In challenging circumstances, polycarbonate is renowned for keeping strength and color. Numerous uses for polycarbonate sheets include clear windows on prototype models, translucent prototypes with color tints, machinery guards, roofing, and more. Increased demand for the product roofing system is one of the factors driving market expansion. The advantages of a roofing system made of polycarbonate sheets are their strength, use, U.V. protection, fire resistance, and visual appeal.
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Polycarbonate sheets are widely used in many end-use industries such as construction, electrical, automotive, and medical. This is attributed to its exceptional physical and chemical properties such as high toughness, high impact strength, chemical & heat resistance, transmittance, U.V. resistant, and others. The automobile industry in developing countries is contributing to the growth of the polycarbonate sheets market. The automotive industry increasingly uses polycarbonate and its blends to produce vehicle body parts. The main reasons for selecting these materials are the possibilities for weight reduction and cost savings through highly integrated modular design. Reducing the weight of the vehicle can increase its efficiency, and a polycarbonate sheet is an excellent option as it is lightweight and has high tensile strength.
Furthermore, emerging countries, like India and China, are investing heavily in infrastructure development, leading to the growth in construction activities in these countries. The change in construction activities has increased the demand for transparent roofing products in both residential and industrial sectors, which, in turn, will increase the demand for polycarbonate sheets.
As the population increases, the demand for better farming appliances also increases. Many governments across the globe are providing financial aid to farmers, owing to which the agricultural industry is growing, which, in turn, is creating demand for polycarbonate sheets. Polycarbonate sheets are used in constructing greenhouses and livestock breeding. They are also used for making nurseries for plants. These sheets have an excellent U.V. protection layer that controls the intensity of dangerous U.V. radiations, thereby preserving the plants inside.
Furthermore, cowsheds, pigsty, and hen houses can also be made from polycarbonate sheets as it optimizes the ambient temperature, which is beneficial for animal growth and economically helpful. Additionally, people who live on the farm build their homes out of polycarbonate sheds to keep warm. A polycarbonate sheet shelter is excellent for providing protection from wind and cold weather for humans.
Polycarbonate sheets are rapidly being used in various applications, but there are some concerns regarding their environmental impacts. The applications of polycarbonate sheets are increasing, but the recycling process has not been developed at the same pace. It contains bisphenol A, which is not ideal for use in the food industry. Additionally, these sheets are not biodegradable, which is a potential environmental threat.
Polycarbonate sheets make C.D.s, DVDs, vehicle parts, and roofing structures. The unintentional disposal of these waste products in river beds or the sea poses a significant danger to marine life. Furthermore, these polycarbonate sheets are challenging to recycle. Reuters Instrument Code (R.I.C.) for polycarbonate is seven, which indicates that polycarbonate is challenging to recycle. Furthermore, recycled polycarbonate sheets have lower impact resistance than newly manufactured polycarbonate sheets.
Increasing construction activity in developing countries, such as India, China, and Brazil, will provide a lucrative opportunity to grow the polycarbonate sheets market. China is among the top consumer of polycarbonate in industries such as automotive, electrical & electronics, construction, food packaging, and healthcare. The rise in the population of India and China has led to the infrastructural growth of medical equipment and healthcare facilities. Therefore, the need for better healthcare facilities due to the growing population will further contribute to developing the polycarbonate sheets market. In the manufacture of optical discs, such as C.D.s, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, polycarbonate sheet is the most used material.
Furthermore, rapid urbanization in developing countries is increasing the demand for home video entertainment, especially in developing countries with slower internet speeds, resulting in increased Blu-ray disc use. Other countries, like Japan, Thailand, Germany, and South Africa, contribute to the global development of plastic polymer due to improved technology, government funding, and increased demand from end-user industries such as packaging, electronics, and medical.
The global polycarbonate sheets market share is segmented into type, end-use industry, and region.
Based on type, the global polycarbonate sheets market is classified into Solid, Multiwall, Corrugated, and Others.
Multiwall Polycarbonate dominates the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period. The rise in construction activities in developing countries is the primary growth factor for multiwall polycarbonate sheets. These sheets have applications for skywalks, railway station roofing, stadium roofing, pergolas, carports, and indoor partitions. Growing urbanization and industrialization in developing countries, such as India and China, is propelling the demand for multiwall polycarbonate sheets. Furthermore, advertising activities have increased in developing countries in the personal, baby, and other industries. Therefore, this has increased the demand for multiwall polycarbonate sheets.
Solid is the fastest-growing segment. Expansion of the automobile industry in developing countries is one of the main factors propelling the demand for solid polycarbonate sheets. These sheets are used in numerous applications in the automobile industry, such as windows and doors. In addition, car manufacturers are continuously reducing the car's weight to increase efficiency. A solid polycarbonate sheet is an excellent choice for car use due to its lightweight and high tensile strength.
Corrugated is the third-largest segment. Due to urbanization and industrialization, the growing construction industry is mainly escalating the demand for corrugated polycarbonate sheets. These sheets are used primarily for roofing structures, such as sheds, pet enclosures, carports, railway stations, schools, stadiums, and bus stops, as they provide ample protection against storms & heavy winds and are low on maintenance. Furthermore, corrugated polycarbonate sheets are also used in the packaging industry, owing to their strength and durability as an alternative to paperboards and wooden packaging.
Based on end-use industries, the global polycarbonate sheets market is fragmented into Building & Construction, Electrical & Electronics, Automotive & Transportation, Aerospace & Defense, Packaging, and Others.
The Electrical & Electronics segment dominates the market and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period. China, South Korea, and Japan are some of the countries with established electronics industries. Furthermore, the need for high service temperature, spike temperature resistance, flexibility, hardness in delicate parts, and non-flammability properties in electrical & electronic materials has escalated the demand for polycarbonate sheets as they fulfill quality and safety requirements such as heat resistance and electrical insulation. Furthermore, remote working has increased the demand for electronics products, such as mobile phones and computers, which, in turn, has increased the demand for polycarbonate sheets.
Building & Construction is the fastest-growing segment. Growing construction activities in developing countries, such as India and China, and government support for infrastructure development projects are driving the growth of the polycarbonate sheets market. In addition, as polycarbonate sheets transmit 80 to 90% of the incident light, architects and builders prefer polycarbonate sheet roofs for better energy efficiency, which surges the demand for polycarbonate sheets. In the coming years, it is estimated that the progress of vaccination activities may resume construction activities and boost the construction industry. This might increase the demand for polycarbonate sheets.
Automotive & Transportation is the third-largest segment. Automobile manufacturers are continuously reducing the weight of vehicles to make them more efficient in terms of performance and mileage. Thus polycarbonate sheets are excellent for this purpose as they are lightweight and provide incredible strength. Furthermore, it is expected that the automobile's use of plastic materials, such as polycarbonate sheets, will grow in the coming years. These are the significant factors contributing to the growth of the polycarbonate sheets market in the automotive & transportation industry.
Region-wise, the global polycarbonate sheets market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Asia-Pacific dominates the global polycarbonate market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific polycarbonate sheets market is analyzed across China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, and the rest of Asia-Pacific. China has a dominant share in the market, owing to the presence of manufacturers and established consumer bases such as electronics, automotive, and others. In Asia-Pacific, polycarbonate sheets are consumed in electrical & electronics, automotive, and construction industries, which acts as a critical driving force for the market. China, South Korea, and Japan have the presence of established automotive and electrical & electronics sectors. Additionally, the demand for polycarbonate sheets increased in the healthcare sector due to the emergence of COVID-19.
Europe is the second-largest region and is estimated to generate USD 265 million, growing at a CAGR of 3.2% during the forecast period. Europe has the advantage of the presence of major raw material manufacturers in the region, such as Bayer AG, Covestro, etc. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted aerospace & defense manufacturing in Europe. Air carriers reduced their flight schedule by 60–95% or canceled all flights. Furthermore, business travel is static as many companies are not physically visiting suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders.
France, Germany, Spain, and the UK had the majority of COVID-19 cases, and these countries are also the major aerospace industries in Europe. For instance, Airbus has manufacturing operations in France, Germany, Spain, the U.K., and Italy. This consequently decreased the demand for polycarbonate sheets from the aerospace & defense industry. Polycarbonate sheets are also used as roofs. The demand for plastic roofs is increasing for greenhouses, carports, school canopies, pools, patios, and others. Some major roof solution providers are B.S.R. Group, Bramac Europe, Ward Roofing, Wienerberger Roof, and others.
The North American polycarbonate sheets market is analyzed across the US, Canada, and Mexico. A large consumer base for polycarbonate sheets in North America is a significant factor contributing to the market's growth. In North America, polycarbonate sheets are consumed in construction, automotive, and electrical & electronics industries, which acts as a critical driving force for the market. In addition, the demand for polycarbonate sheets increased in the healthcare sector due to the emergence of COVID-19.
The key players operating and profiled in the polycarbonate sheets market include Covestro AG, Uvplastic Material Technology Co., Ltd., Jiaxing Innovo Industries Co., Ltd., Polyvalley Technology Co., Ltd., Emco Industrial Plastics, Exolon Group, Palram Industries Ltd, Spolytech, MG Polyplast Industries Pvt. Ltd., and Tuflite.