IHS Customer Logins

Obtain the data you need to make the most informed decisions by accessing our extensive portfolio of information, analytics, and expertise. Sign in to the product or service center of your choice.

Top Sites

Chemical Economics Handbook

Polyester Resins, Unsaturated

Published : Apr 01, 2012

Unsaturated polyester resins are produced by the polycondensation of saturated and unsaturated dicarboxylic acids with glycols. Unsaturated polyester resins form highly durable structures and coatings when they are cross-linked with a vinylic reactive monomer, most commonly styrene. The properties of the cross-linked unsaturated polyester resins depend on the types of acids and glycols used and their relative proportions.

On their own, cross-linked unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins have limited structural integrity, so they are often combined with fiberglass or mineral fillers before cross-linking to enhance their mechanical strength. Resins combined with fiberglass are referred to as fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP). Both lightweight and durable, FRP composites are consumed primarily by the construction, marine and land transportation industries, although they find use in a variety of other applications. Nonreinforced cross-linked unsaturated polyester resin is used to make cultured marble and solid surface countertops, gel coats, automotive repair putty and filler, and other items such as bowling balls and buttons.

The North American market, with four producers representing 82% of total capacity, is relatively concentrated, while the Western European market has four producers accounting for 70% of total regional capacity. The Japanese industry is composed of four major producers, accounting for 77% of total capacity.

The following pie chart shows world consumption of unsaturated polyester resins:

unsat-polyester-resins

The world market is consolidating and shifting to China, India and other Asian countries (excluding Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan). The market is at continued high risk for consolidation of some regional producers to increase the number of global players.

The recycling potential for unsaturated polyester is poor. The automotive industry, for one, is trying to reduce the number of polymers and use mainly unreinforced thermoplastics that can be more readily recycled. In Japan, recycling of used products (waste) is the key issue allowing the expansion of UPR markets.

The unsaturated polyester resin industry is mature and largely dependent on general economic conditions. Consumption growth will be highest in China, with an average annual growth rate of just over 5% for 2011–2016; growth in Asia will increase at an average annual rate of almost 5% during that time frame. The Middle East and Africa will also have an average annual growth rate of almost 5%. Central and Eastern Europe will have an average annual growth rate of about 4.5%, as will Central and South America. Consumption will grow in North America at an average annual rate of 3.5%. In Japan, unsaturated polyester resin consumption will grow at an average rate of 0.7% per year during the period.

Table of Contents

Summary
Introduction
Environmental Issues
North America
Europe
REACH
The EU VOC Directive
Manufacturing Processes
Spray-Up Resins
Press-Molding Resins
Flame-Retardant Resins
Chemical-Resistant Resins
Application Methods
Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastics (FRP)
Contact Molding
Press Molding
Resin Transfer Molding (RTM)
Sheet-Molding Compound (SMC)
Bulk-Molding Compound (BMC)
Preform Mat Moldings
Injection Molding
Other
Filament Winding
Continuous Lamination
Pultrusion
Resin Infusion
Nonreinforced Plastics
Casting
Other
Auto Repair Putty and Filler
Potting and Encapsulating Compounds
Surface Coating Resins
Raw Material Requirements
Supply and Demand by Region
United States
Producing Companies
Production
Consumption
Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastics (FRP)
Construction
Marine and marine accessories
Land transportation
Consumer goods
Electrical components
Other
Nonreinforced Plastics
Casting resins
Gel coats
Auto repair putty and filler
Other
Price
Trade
Imports
Exports
Canada
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Trade
Mexico
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Central and South America
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Western Europe
Producing Companies
Production
Consumption
Consumption by Country
Consumption by End Use
Building and construction
Pipes and tanks
Automotive/transportation
Marine
Electrical applications
Wind energy
Coatings (wood coatings, gel coats and Other top coats)
Other
Price
Trade
Central and Eastern Europe
Producing Companies
Production
Consumption
Trade
Africa and Middle East
Producing Companies
Production
Consumption
Trade
Japan
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Recycling
Consumption
Glass/Fiber-Reinforced
Construction
Industrial products
Marine and transportation
Other
Nonreinforced
Price
Trade
China
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Consumption
Trade
Other Asia
India
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Trade
Indonesia
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Republic of Korea
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Malaysia
Producing Companies
Trade
Philippines
Producing Companies
Trade
Singapore
Taiwan
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Thailand
Producing Companies
Trade
Vietnam
Oceania
Producing Companies
Salient Statistics
Filter Sort