Markets for reinforced plastics, large-diameter pipe, fluoropolymers and siding are among the subjects of new studies by Freedonia Group Inc. of Cleveland.
* U.S. reinforced plastics demand is expected to rise 2.5 percent annually to 4.2 billion pounds in 2007, valued at $6.5 billion according to ``Reinforced Plastics,'' a 273-page study. This will create a market for 2.9 billion pounds of resin and 1.3 billion pounds of reinforcements. Steady advances will be based on continued material and technology improvements, which will enhance performance characteristics and make reinforced plastics more competitive with metal and wood. Glass fibers will remain the leading reinforcement material due to low cost and performance.
Thermoset resins will remain dominant, accounting for 63 percent of total reinforced plastics demand in 2007. Reinforced thermoset demand is projected to grow 2.3 percent yearly to 2.7 billion pounds in 2007. Reinforced thermoplastics will exhibit more rapid growth based on their greater design flexibility, higher performance characteristics and easier processing. Polypropylene will remain the leading thermoplastic resin, however, the best growth is expected for reinforced thermoplastic polyester and polycarbonate.
Cost of the report is $3,900.
* Large-diameter pipe demand in the United States is projected to expand 2.4 percent annually to nearly 200 million feet in 2007, valued at $7.6 billion. Driving forces include stricter water management regulations, continued highway and street construction and the rehabilitation of aging or obsolete systems. Concrete pipe will remain dominant due to material advantages in demanding underground applications. Plastic pipe will present the best opportunities, however, based on performance improvements and cost and installation advantages over other materials.
Concrete large-diameter pipe demand is projected to rise 2 percent per annum to 108 million feet in 2007. Plastic large-diameter pipe demand is forecast to increase 4.7 percent per annum to 40.5 million feet in 2007. Plastic will comprise over 20 percent of all large-diameter pipe, creating a market for 1.1 billion pounds of resin. Storm sewers will remain the leading large-diameter pipe market due to broad applications and an aging pipe network.
The 194-page ``Large-Diameter Pipe'' report costs $3,700.
* U.S. demand for fluoropolymers is forecast to increase 5.3 percent a year to $1.7 billion in 2006, with market volumes topping 185 million pounds. Across end-use markets, fluoropolymer demand will be driven by the superiority of these materials over other plastics and rubber. While fluoropolymers have been around for more than 50 years, their use will continue to grow as conditions require the performance characteristics of these materials. The emergence of fluoropolymer grades that are easier to process will aid in material substitution across markets.
The 194-page ``Fluoropolymers'' report is available for $3,700.
* According to ``Siding,'' demand for siding in the United States is forecast to advance 1.5 percent a year to 111 million squares in 2007. Advances will be driven by a projected rebound in nonresidential construction expenditures from depressed 2002 levels. Demand for siding will also be fueled by a similar turnaround in the residential improvement market. Further gains will be restrained by the projected deceleration of new residential construction spending. In value terms, growth will outpace volume demand, advancing more than three percent annually through 2007. Gains will also be powered by a shift toward higher end products, especially for vinyl siding, the largest volume siding material.
Fiber cement siding is expected to post the strongest gains through 2007, advancing more than 4 percent per year in volume. This material, which benefits from a variety of performance advantages, will continue to wrest market share from wood and vinyl. Vinyl siding accounted for the largest share of demand for siding in 2002, with about 37 percent of volume sales. Among the various markets for siding, opportunities will be brightest for industrial and office buildings.
The 280-page report is $3,900.
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