Polyethylene are low cost commodity plastics that can be reused due to its thermoplastic nature. Cross-linking of polyethylene helps enhance its thermal resistance and the end product so obtained is transformed from thermoplastic to thermosetting plastic.
Cross-linked HDPE is gaining traction over raw HDPE due to its thermosetting nature, high mechanical strength, and better stress crack resistance. Furthermore, cross-linked HDPE can be produced economically and thus, finds wide application in domestic and industrial plumbing services. This in turn, is fueling growth of the global cross linked polyethylene market, a trend that is expected to sustain over the forecast period.
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Plumbing was the largest application segment in the global cross linked polyethylene market in 2016 and is expected to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period. Conventionally used plumbing materials such as copper and PVC do not perform well in high temperatures and when highly chlorinated water is transported through them over prolonged periods. This is key and highly lucrative growth area for manufacturers of cross-linked polyethylene to exploit. Thus, various players in the market are focusing on R&D activities to deploy cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes for supply of chlorinated water and for radiant heating applications. Also, other emerging applications such as use of PEX pipes in mining activities and solar applications are also paving the way for growth of the cross-linked polyethylene market globally. XLPE storage tanks are widely used in the chemical industry due to their ability to withstand acidic corrosion and heat.
Automotive has emerged as the fastest growing application area for Cross Linked Polyethylene
Automotive segment is expected to witness fastest growth over the following decade. The automotive sales in China grew by 15%, in the U.S. grew by 0.2%, and in Europe 7% Y-o-Y in 2016. This rapid growth of automotive industry is expected to boost growth of the automotive application segment in the global cross linked polyethylene market.
Asia Pacific, followed by North America and Europe accounted for major share in the global Cross Linked Polyethylene market both in terms of revenue and volume in 2016 and the trend is estimated to remain the same over the forecast period. In 2016, Asia Pacific held a share of 47.68% in terms of volume. The growing demand for plumbing in Asia Pacific due to growing population, increased urbanization and commercial sector is expected to drive the growth of the global cross linked polyethylene market over the forecast period.
Major players in the global Cross Linked Polyethylene market include ExxonMobil Chemical Company, LyondellBasell Industries, 3H Vinacom Co., Hanwha Chemicals, Arkema Group, AkzoNobel N.V., Falcone Specialities AG, Borealis AG, and PolyOne Corporation.
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