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The Many Plastics used in the Global Automotive Industry: A Brief Inspection of the Industry’s Future

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The use of rubber and metals in the automotive industry is extensive and well-documented. However, these materials have slowly begun to be rivalled by the increasingly versatile sector of plastics. Roles that were previously exclusive to rubbers and metals are now being assigned to plastic alternatives that not only do an equal if not better job, but also end up weighing and costing less. Other major advantages imparted by the use of plastics include higher toughness, resilience, durability, and corrosion resistance.

Browse the full Global Automotive Plastics Market Report:

The global automotive plastics market is progressing at an extremely healthy CAGR between 2012 and 2018. The end of 2018 should see the global automotive plastics market reach a value of US$32 bn.

Modern Plastics and their Use in the Automotive Industry

The greatest advantages of using plastics in automobiles are their recyclability, safety, flexibility, comfort, and corrosion resistance. From a design perspective, this implies far more freedom of design than what other material could provide. Here are some of the more commonly used plastics in the automotive industry today:

  • Polyurethane – It is an exceptionally tough plastic that can withstand high temperatures. It is known for its large range of hardness ratings, making it a versatile plastic. It is commonly used in electrical potting compounds, suspension bushings, insulation panels, and flexible seating.
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – It is a shiny plastic that is highly resistant to low-temperature corrosion and is used in dashboards, wheel covers, and many other automotive parts.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride – It is a flexible plastic that is an exceptional flame retardant. It possesses high gloss and negligible to none lead content, and is used in manufacturing pipes, doors, cable sheaths, and instrument panels.
  • Polypropylene – It is highly resistant to most chemicals and is used in making the carpet, gas cans, bumpers, and chemical tanks.

Nisshinbo to Lead Asia Pacific Automotive Plastics Industry

Nisshinbo Holdings has announced that they will purchase Nanbu Plastics for almost US$82.6 mn. The deal could help the Asia Pacific automotive plastics market flourish over the next few years. Nisshinbo, a Japanese firm, so far has plants located in India, Thailand, and China. The takeover of Nanbu will allow the firm to strengthen its hold over plastics manufacturing in Asia. Nisshinbo started out as a textile business and later expanded into wireless communications and brake pads.

Browse the full Press Release of Global Automotive Plastics Market

The global automotive plastics industry is currently led by Solvay Plastics, Momentive Performance Materials, Inc., Magna International, Inc., Johnson Control, Inc., Evonik Industries, Akzo Nobel N.V., and BASF SE. The innovative strides made by these companies are what creates progress in the field, thereby creating a significant amount of space for the use of plastics in automobiles. For instance, an increasing number of automobile producers are looking to use biodegradable plastics to appeal to environment-conscious consumers. At the same time, conventional plastics are set to receive a consistent boost for the time being, as the global automotive industry surges. More areas of automobile construction are expected to find uses for modern plastics, including powertrains, chassis, and various components that are under the hood.