Chlorinated Polyethylene Resins and Elastomers
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Published: March 2012
Chlorinated polyethylene resins and elastomers (CPE) exhibit excellent physical and mechanical properties, including resistance to chemicals, oils, heat and weather, low-temperature performance, compression-set resistance, flame retardancy, high filler acceptance, tensile strength and resistance to abrasion. In addition, CPE polymers can range from crystalline or rigid thermoplastics to a flexible elastomer product, making them highly versatile. These polymers are used as the major and/or minor component in a wide assortment of applications in industry. The largest application for CPE is as an impact modifier. Other important end-use applications for CPE include wire and cable jacketing, roofing membranes, geomembranes, automotive and industrial hose and tubing, coated fabrics, molded shapes, extruded profiles, and as a base polymer.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of chlorinated polyethylene:
China and the United States are the two largest consumers of chlorinated polyethylene. In China, roughly 75% of the CPE consumed is used for impact modification of PVC for door/window profiles, pipe/drainage applications and sheets, and certain styrenic copolymers. The other 25% is used in flexible sheeting for roofing applications, electrical wires and cables, and other rubber product uses (e.g., oil hoses and seals, shoe soles and new applications). In the United States, about 80% of CPE is consumed for impact modification and the rest is for other uses, including, but not limited to, wire and cable jacketing, roofing applications, automotive and industrial hose/tubing, and molded shapes.
World CPE consumption increased at an average annual rate of 3.7% during 2008–2011. World consumption of CPE is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of about 5% during 2011–2016. The slower growth in world consumption from 2008 to 2011 was mainly due to the worldwide recession. From 2011 to 2016, average annual growth rates in terms of consumption will all be on the positive side as there will be an uptick in world markets and end-use applications for CPE.
During 2011–2016, estimated world capacity will far exceed projected consumption, and there is a high possibility that the industry will face further consolidation.