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Chemical Market researchers PP films

HOUSTON — Total demand for polypropylene films in North America, Europe and Japan was 3.2 billion pounds in 1995, and is experiencing a 5.1 percent annual growth rate through 2000, according to a new study.

Western Europe is the largest market, accounting for 44.3 percent of the total, or 1.44 billion pounds. Japan is second at 29.6 percent, and North America lags at 26.1 percent, according to the report by Chemical Market Resources Inc. of Houston.

The study includes both oriented and unoriented films used in packaging and nonpackaging applications. The market has been a hotbed of merger and acquisition activity, even among the major players.

The 250-page study costs $5,500.

Tel. (281) 333-3313, fax (281) 333-3361, e-mail cmrhoutex@

Plastic use growing in medical packaging

NORWALK, CONN. — The market value of plastics used to package medical, pharmaceutical and specialty health-care products was $801 million in 1995, and projected to be $1.08 billion in 2000, reflecting an annual growth rate of 6.2 percent, according to a new study.

Plastics packaging for medical products is growing fastest, at a 6.8 percent rate, according to the study by Business Communications Co. Inc. of Norwalk.

That growth includes packaging for items sold to and used by medical practitioners in hospitals, blood banks, clinics, hospices, nursing homes and similar institutions. It also includes sterile products, such as syringes.

The specialty packaging sector is not a mature market, according to the study, and consists of higher-priced plastics, such as polycarbonate and nylon. It is currently the smallest segment, accounting for $175 million in sales in 1995, and is growing at a 6.5 percent annual rate.

The report, ``RP-107R, Plastics in Healthcare Packaging,'' costs $3,150.

Tel. (203) 853-4266, fax (203) 853-0348.

Pressure-sensitive tape subject of study

CLEVELAND — Pressure-sensitive tapes with plastic film backings will continue to account for both the largest and fastest-growing segments of the tape market, according to a new study.

Product enhancements will allow tapes to further supplant other joining and bonding technologies, such as liquid adhesives, mechanical fasteners and spot welding, according to the study by Freedonia Group Inc. in Cleveland.

Plastic-backed pressure-sensitive tapes recorded sales of $1.71 billion in 1989, increasing to $2.42 billion in 1995. The report forecasted sales of $3.31 billion in the sector in 2000, for an annual growth rate of 6.5 percent since 1995.

The 190-page report, ``Pressure Sensitive Tapes,'' costs $3,300. Tel. (216) 921-6800, fax (216) 921-5459, e-mail

Competition causing auto opportunities

AKRON, OHIO — Major intermaterials and interprocess competition is creating new opportunities in the automotive interior skin and foam sectors, according to a new report.

The forces driving the intermaterials competition include: increased durability and performance requirements; increased aesthetic and luxury requirements; changes in passenger safety legislation; incorporation of air bags; potential for anti-PVC directives in Europe, recycling-related pressures, the emergence of new metallocene and nonmetallocene polyolefin resins; and increased availability of polyolefin sheet foams.

At the same time, the auto interior plastics part industry is rapidly globalizing and consolidating, according to the report from Robert Eller Associates Inc. of Akron.

The report costs $12,000. Tel. (330) 665-1139, fax (330) 665-1982.

ICP, EO polymers are subject of study

NORWALK, CONN. — The markets for inherently conductive polymers and electro-optic polymers are projected to begin developing by the turn of the century, and may post total sales of $308 million by the year 2006, according to a new report.

ICPs conduct electricity, and EO polymers develop optical characteristics through the influence of an applied electrical field. Neither technology had developed significant volumes of commercial sales by the end of 1996.

ICP sales should grow to $60 million by 2001 and $228 million by 2006, representing an annual growth rate of 30.6 percent.

The potential for EO materials is much broader, because the polymers provide a much more rapid and efficient means of transmitting data than electricity. The study, by Business Communications Co. Inc. of Norwalk, forecasts EO market growth to reach $80 million by 2006.

The report, ``RP-160, Electro-Optic Polymers: New Directions,'' costs $2,950.

Tel. (203) 853-4266, fax (203) 853-0348.

BCC offers study on chemical stabilizers

NORWALK, CONN. — The global market for chemical stabilizers used in thermoplastic resins is driven by strong competition, toxicity issues, mergers and acquisitions, and new products, according to a study by Business Communications Co. Inc. of Norwalk.

The largest market segment is heat stabilizers used in PVC, vinyl chloride copolymers and chlorinated PVC. It accounted for 145.1 million pounds of material sold in the United States in 1996, 322 million pounds in Europe, and 148.5 million pounds in Japan.

Antioxidants are the next- largest segment, accounting for 75.1 million pounds in the United States, 91.3 million pounds in Europe and 28.3 million pounds in Japan. The third major segment is light stabilizers, accounting for 16.1 million pounds in the United States, 12.1 million pounds in Europe and 7.9 million pounds in Japan, according to the market report.

The study, ``RP-227, Stabilizer Markets for Plastic and Thermoplastic Elastomers,'' costs $2,950.

Tel. (203) 853-4266, fax (203) 853-0348.