Monday, 17 January 2022

Chemical and Plastics Industry: What Are Some Major Trends To Watch Out For In 2022?

 

Trends of Chemical and Plastics Industry in 2022

Today in this blog post we look at what is ahead in 2022 in terms of trends to watch. The chemical and plastics industry is on the path of recovery in 2022. However, clouds in the shape of rising energy and raw material prices, inflationary pressures, spread of Omicron (Covid-19) and supply chain disruptions continue to darken the sky.

To counterbalance the energy and raw material costs, companies will probably lower their capital investments and expansions. The global GDP growth is expected to be 4.3% in 2022 (5.6 % in 2021).

Major transitions of the global economy

Business leaders have to steer their companies through several transitions this year. One is the transition from a pandemic to endemic Covid-19. Another is the switch of central banks from fiscal stimulus policy to restraint policy expressed due to raising in interest rates and stricter credit conditions.  In addition, the transition from a hydrocarbon-based energy to a renewable energy supply will be a challenge for major corporations.

Long-term trends which push demand in plastics and specialty materials (2020-2030)

The switch from internal combustion engine cars to alternative powertrains such as electro and hydrogen will bring new plastic compounds to the market covering new requirements such as electromagnetic shielding and stringent flame ratings, together with sustainability aims.

Robotics and automation will further push the borders in polymer processing, allowing to manufacture complex injection moulding parts.

3D-printing continues to be improved, both from hardware as well as from material side (heat transfer materials).

In addition, fluoropolymers can be seen as an enabler to support the realization of the digital megatrends such as  the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), 5G standard, AI, blockchain and the Metaverse (check out this post with more details).

Other trends which shape the plastics industry are the challenge to speed up advanced recycling and the circular economy, together with creating a sustainable future.

Thanks for reading and #findoutaboutplastics

Greetings,

Herwig Juster

Interested to talk with me about your plastic selection, sustainability, and part design needs - here you can contact me 

Interested in my monthly blog posts – then subscribe here and receive my high performance polymers knowledge matrix.
New to my Find Out About Plastics Blog – check out the start here section
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Literature:

[1] HIS Markit

[2] Amercia Chemistry Councel (ACC)

[3] CEFIC

[4] https://www.findoutaboutplastics.com/2019/10/fluoropolymers-as-enabler-for.html


Monday, 10 January 2022

Global Warming Potential (GWP) vs. Thermal Properties of Thermoplastics

Hello and welcome to a new post. Today we continue with the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of thermoplastics. In a previous post I presented the GWP of different plastics vs. their density. In this post I show the GWP values of thermoplastics compared to their different thermal properties and transitions: Tg, heat capacity (Cp), short term temperature exposure (HDT) and long term temperature exposure (UL Yellow Card). This allows for a better assessment of the different GWP values in relation to the resin properties.

Allover, there are five major environmental indicators, which can have an impact on our surroundings (check also my previous post on this topic):

-Global Warming Potential (GWP, 100 years)

-Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP)

-Acidification Potential (AP)

-Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP)

-Eutrophication Potential (EP)

In addition, energy consumption, water footprint, dust/particulate matter and non-hazardous / hazardous matter can be considered too. Furthermore, it is important to consider the whole lifetime of a plastic part and GWP will be one of the parts supporting polymer material selection decisions.

GWP of thermoplastics vs. glass transition (Tg)

GWP of thermoplastics vs. short-term temperature impact (HDT)

GWP of thermoplastics vs. long-term temperature impact (UL RTI)


GWP of thermoplastics vs. heat capacity (Cp)

Thank you for reading and #findoutaboutplastics

Greetings,

Herwig

Interested to talk with me about your plastic selection, sustainability, and part design needs - here you can contact me 

Interested in my monthly blog posts – then subscribe here and receive my high performance polymers knowledge matrix.
New to my Find Out About Plastics Blog – check out the start here section
You can support me here on  PayPalMe
Polymer Material Selection (PoMS) for Electric Vehicles (xEVs) - check out my new online course

Literature:

[1] https://legacy.plasticseurope.org/en/resources/eco-profiles

[2] Korea LCI database;

[3] Ecoinvent database

[4] https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/31009455.pdf

Monday, 3 January 2022

Publicly Traded Materials Stocks - 2021 Performance and Outlook

Hello and welcome to the first post of this New Year 2022!

Materials companies were hit hard in 2021: from supply chain disruptions due to Covid-crisis, the North American winter storm (“Uri”) resulting in force majeure at chemical companies in the Texas region, the Suez Canal blockage after the grounding of Ever Given and global inflation (Eurozone around 4%; North America around 7%).

However, looking at the financial markets, things were booming. The S&P 500 finished 2021 with a gain of 27% for the year and the NASDAQ composite increased 21.4% in 2021. The Vanguard Materials Index Fund ETF made also 26% in 2021. Altogether, the 11 main sectors were up double-digits (Energy sector + 46%, Real Estate +41%, Technology +33%, Financials +32%, Consumer Discretionary +27%, Utilities +14.1%, Consumer Staples +14.3%, Communication Services +15.1%, and Industrials +19.5%).

How did the 30 major material stock companies perform in 2021?

25 out of the 30 stocks could make gains for their shareholders (date of estimation: 02.01.2022) and this is seven more compared to 2020. AdvanSix (Nylon 6 producer) and Rogers Corp were in the lead with high double digit gains and above.

Performance of 30 major material stocks

As in the beginning already pointed out, inflation is on the horizon worldwide and prices need to be balanced, together with optimizing the assets. Demand on resin products will keep going, despite new Corona-variations. The industry has already two years’ experience to deal with this pandemic scenario making them more confident to handle the upcoming demands. 

Also interesting to see where analysts see the potential this year: Energy, Communication Services, and Technology (62%) are on the buying list. Consumer Staples, Utilities, and Financials have a more bearish buying outlook.

Thank you for reading and #findoutaboutplastics

Greetings,

Herwig

Literature:

[1] https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2021-12-31/asian-shares-mixed-in-scant-new-year-eve-trading#:~:text=The%20S%26P%20500%20finished%20with,%2C%20climbed%2021.4%25%20in%202021

[2] Factset Earnings Insight