Polyphenylene Sulfide Resins
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Published: January 2012
Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) is a crystalline thermoplastic characterized by a high heat-deflection temperature, excellent chemical resistance, outstanding dimensional stability and inherent flame retardance. The material has a continuous service temperature that ranges from 180°C to 240°C (356°F to 464°F). Major markets for PPS resins include automotive, electrical and electronics, industrial and appliances.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of PPS resins:
Compared with previous years, world demand for PPS during 2007–2011 grew at a robust, but slower, rate of 10% per year as a result of the global economic recession that began in 2007 and continued through part of 2009. This growth was driven largely by dramatic growth in the automotive, industrial and appliance industries in China. Other developed regions, including the United States, Western Europe and Japan, experienced a decline in growth during 2007–2009. However, consumption rebounded in 2010 and 2011, growing at healthy rates in these regions. Although growth in automotive production in the three developed regions had been sluggish, PPS resins benefited from the ever-increasing under-the-hood temperature of automobiles and the need for fuel and flame resistance for many automotive parts. Demand for electrical, electronic and industrial applications continues to grow.
Since 2004, Chinese PPS demand growth has risen sharply as a result of a confluence of several market factors. First, Chinese automotive production grew at about 20% per year during 2004–2007. Most U.S., European and Japanese automobile companies have been expanding in China, as have Chinese domestic automotive companies. Automotive parts manufacturers have also expanded in China in order to better serve their customers and to benefit from the lower labor costs. In fact, the automotive parts industry is growing at rates 5–10% above the growth of automotive production, reflecting the shift from imported parts to domestic manufacturing. Second, the electrical appliance industry, including refrigerators, air conditioners, washers and dryers, has been growing at about 15–20% per year. Third, demand for other machinery and industrial parts, such as compressors and chemical-resistant fittings, is also growing rapidly.
Total world consumption of PPS resins is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 9–10% from 2011 to 2016. PPS resins' excellent properties, wide-ranging applications and constantly growing number of applications will contribute to their future growth. During 2011–2016, China is expected to show the highest rate of growth in capacity (13% per year) and consumption (11% per year). Consumption in other regions is expected to grow 5–9% per year. Consumption growth will continue to shift toward China, where demand in filter bags and special applications is expected to rise sharply in addition to robust demand in electrical and electronics, automotive, and industrial applications. The European and Asian automotive industries and, in particular, the Asian electrical and electronics industry will help drive PPS resin demand.