The unexpected shifts in the global markets because of the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus have brought many major and minor tremors to industries of all sizes including the Expanded PTFE Market.
It was estimated prior to this unanticipated outbreak that the Expanded PTFE Market was expected to reach an estimated value of US$ 0.7 billion in 2025. However, the gradual slowing down of industries will undoubtedly impose limits on the previously estimated growth rate.
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Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was inadvertently discovered by DuPont in 1938. It has become the most widely used fluoropolymer in the world with its usages in various industries, such as oil & gas, electronics & telecommunication, automotive, and food & beverages, and pharmaceuticals.; as it offers excellent properties, such as dielectric, low friction, hydrophobic, non-wetting, high density, and high-temperature resistance. With regards to the growing needs of the industry, such as lightweight, cost-effective, pliable; W.L. Gore & Associates experimented with PTFE, to increase its applications by improving its properties with the help of the heating process. Gore has implemented heating the PTFE rods and then gradually pulling it from either end. After many iterations, Gore had finally discovered expanded PTFE in the year 1969.
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the market by disrupting the growth trajectory of several end-use industries. The pandemic has exacerbated the existing challenges of already struggling automotive and aerospace industries with the delays in B737 max approval, production halts, and curtailment in production rates. Also, the lockdown in several major countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 has marked an indelible dent in the market growth, making complete recovery almost negligible in the remaining quarter of 2020.
However, there are a few industries that remain unaffected/negligibly affected by the COVID-19 out of which major ones are medical, food & beverages, and electrical & electronics. Healthy organic growth of these industries, especially medical devices and electronics, is expected to partially offset the overall decline of the market in 2020.
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Based on the form type, the market is segmented as sheets, tapes, membranes, fibers, and others. Membranes are likely to remain the most dominant as well as the fastest-recovering form type in the post-pandemic market scenario, owing to its extensive usage in the medical industry for applications such as ostomy bags, hearing aids, IV infusion filters, and surgical suction filters.
Based on the application type, the market is segmented as gaskets, filtration & separation, dielectric materials, and others. Filtration & Separation is likely to maintain its dominance in the market during the forecast period. The dominance is majorly due to wide usage of expanded PTFE for filtering air, water, and other particles in turbine engines, drug discovery, and bioprocessing; filtering fogs from headlights of a vehicle; and venting gas from compression packings and medical applications, such as IV filter vent and ventilation, coupled with increasing penetration of ePTFE for filtration application in various industries, such as food packaging, pharmaceuticals, and metals & mining.
Based on the end-use industry type, the market is segmented as chemical, ground transportation, medical, industrial, aerospace & defense, and others. Among them, aerospace & defense and automotive are the-worst affected industries due to the pandemic, whereas medical is the least-affected one. The medical industry is also likely to remain the most dominant as well as the fastest-growing end-use industry type in the expanded PTFE market over the next five years. Expandable PTFE is widely accepted by medical device manufacturers in offering tailor-made properties with better biocompatibility than metallic biomaterials. Biocompatibility, chemically inert, and sterilizable are the three key properties of ePTFE due to which it is highly preferred for various applications in the medical industry.
In terms of region, North America is projected to remain the largest market for expanded PTFE during the forecast period. The USA is not only the largest market of North America but also in the world, owing to the presence of a large number of medical device manufacturers, aircraft OEMs, tier players, raw material suppliers, and expanded PTFE manufacturers. The country is also one of the most affected nations by the COVID-19 with having the largest number of positive cases in the world. It is also expected that the country to recover at a healthy rate, backed by the organic growth of the medical industry, expected recovery in the automobile and aircraft production, and advancements in medical devices.
Asia-Pacific is expected to be the least-declined market in 2020, followed by the fastest recovery over the next five years, propelled by an expected recovery in air passenger traffic with early recovery in domestic travel and expected recovery in automotive production with a higher focus on adopting HEVs. China and India to be the growth engines of Asia-Pacific’s market as they are the largest markets for automotive, chemical, industrial, electrical & electronics as well as owning a considerable share in the other end-use industries
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, expanded PTFE manufacturers, distributors, and end-users. Some of the key players in the expanded PTFE market are W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Lenzing Plastics GmbH & Co. KG, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A., Nitto Denko Corporation, Rogers Corporation, Donaldson Company, Inc., Markel Corporation, Parker-Hannifin Corporation, Teadit Group, and Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. The key end-users of these markets include medical device manufacturers, aircraft OEMs, automotive manufacturers, chemical industry, oil & gas manufacturers.