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Polymer Additives

Market Driven Plastics Functional Fillers and Specialty Additives

SpecialChem / Sep 16, 2008

Fillers for plastics are basically divided into inactive (or extender) fillers and active (or functional) fillers. Fillers are very widely used in the plastics industry, and their growth rates currently exceed those of the resins themselves. They are used in all three major categories of polymers (thermoplastics, thermosets and rubbers). Fillers are essential components of many polymeric products; the fillers market is both complex and valuable (2.3 billion Euros in Europe in 2008). Fillers, typically inorganic materials, can be natural or synthetic products and they vary widely in price and application. Inactive fillers are mainly used to reduce costs; functional fillers bring about a special change in properties. Thus a plastics compound meets the requirements demanded of it–though in reality no filler is fully inactive and reduces costs only. Demand for fillers and additives are strongly dependent on demand for plastics but other market drivers are important, namely,(1) evolving food distribution with demand for improved packaging,(2)changes in fire regulations.

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