The High-Performance Polymer Market Is Showing Growth
BlueWeave Consulting, a strategic consulting and market research firm, has released a new study on the high-performance polymer 3D printing market, showing very positive results for this segment. Indeed, it is expected to reach a value of $184.5 million by 2029, representing a CAGR of 8.5 percent over the period. But what exactly do high-performance polymers consist of in this case? It’s important to note that the company includes the polyamide family in this study, alongside plastics like PEI and PEEK. A somewhat surprising choice at first glance, as they do not have the same printing, thermal or mechanical profiles. However, this is still positive news for the market which has been particularly affected by the pandemic.
High-performance polymers are considered the most difficult plastics to print and process because they have very demanding profiles and require specific machinery, notably to ensure optimal temperature management. Typically, printing high-performance polymers requires a closed enclosure, a heated plate but also a heated printing chamber. The printing parameters are more technical, but the result is worth it as it enables very interesting properties in the final parts, useful for sectors such as aerospace or automotive where resistance to high heat or even smoke and fire is crucial.
BlueWeave Consulting’s study therefore focuses on the following material categories: Polyamide, Polyetherimide (PEI), Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and reinforced HPP, whether in filament, granular or powder form. It therefore focused on extrusion and laser sintering technologies. Of these four categories, polyamides had the largest market share – not surprisingly at first glance because of the greater ease of printing and widespread use of this polymer. In addition, polyamide is ideal for use in powder bed machines (SLS, MJF) which are currently seeing their heyday in the additive manufacturing market. The family of plastics is particularly popular in the medical sector, whether it is to produce devices such as prostheses and orthoses, but also instruments and tooling.
According to the report, however, it is PEIs that will lead the market, with very rapid growth. As a reminder, it is a material that is heat and flame resistant, is particularly strong and durable, and offers an attractive strength-to-weight ratio compared to metals. PEI also has good dimensional stability. It is therefore a material of choice in the aerospace, automotive and railway sectors, markets that were particularly affected by the health crisis but which have been growing again for several months now.
Finally, the market for high-performance polymers will be driven in particular by North America and the currently increasing demand for demanding automotive components. The study states:
A rise in the standard of living, as well as new automobile technologies, are a few of the factors driving the market in the United States. The 3D printing high-performance plastic market industry in the United States has been significantly strong for a few years, and it is expected to grow further during the projected period due to rising consumer demand in the automotive hub.
It remains to be seen how the automotive industry will evolve over the next few years. In the meantime, you can find more information in the study HERE.
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*Cover Photo Credits: Stasskol