The chemical industry is expected to incur an expenditure of more than US$ 2.8 Trn in the coming 18 years. The chemical industry includes specialty chemicals, fine chemicals, adhesives & sealants, commodity chemicals, packaging materials, agrochemicals, metals & minerals, industrial gases & catalysts, paints & coatings, pigments & inks, petrochemicals, among others. Various chemicals are being widely used across construction, pharmaceutical, and textile industry, among others. The emergence of novel products and applications, increasing environmental awareness, and changing consumer preferences are positively impacting the chemicals & materials industry’s growth. Economic growth and growth of ancillary industries in emerging economies have been the key to the growth of the chemical & materials industry over the recent past. However, there were several factors that were restraining the chemical industry, which include stringent regulations from the government, increasing cost of resources, and emission policies.
The development of bio-based and renewable chemicals is another key trend that has emerged in the industry. These materials are likely to address environmental issues associated with the chemical industry. Environmental protection, economic growth, and social responsibility are the key requirements that the industry needs to meet in order to counter growth hurdles in the long run.
The chemical industry across the globe has witnessed fundamental changes in the past years owing to the change of manufacturing locations to emerging economies. As a result, it is expected that the opening of new manufacturing units will increase the demand for chemicals in the coming days. In addition to this, it is anticipated that higher sales growth of chemical products would be from emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, and Korea. The Middle East is also expected to witness high investments, M&As, and R&D activities, which will further promote the growth of the chemical Industry. This is primarily due to higher GDP growth rates resulting from economic growth and new application development areas in these regions.
The chemicals and materials used in industrial applications have enhanced properties, such as toughness, hardness, durability, and elasticity. With the development of advanced materials, the design of new products, from warships to medical devices and computers, has changed drastically. Examples of some advanced materials are polymers, metal alloys, ceramics, composites, and biomaterials, among others. The emerging product group includes carbon nano materials, activated carbon, titanium, and others, which will witness high demand in future.
The players operating in the global materials industry are highly responsive to changes in consumer trends. The materials which are of high quality and consist of superior characteristics for the required purpose are called advanced materials, and they are in high demand among consumers. Manufacturers are focusing on the development of advanced materials as well as upgrading the existing products in order to enhance the desired properties of chemicals. Researchers are also developing advanced materials such as Vectran, Dyneema, Zylon PBO, among others, which is expected to have a positive impact on the materials industry. Major players operating in the materials industry are, The Dow Chemical Company, Akzo Nobel, 3M Company, and Momentum Performance Materials Inc., among others.