Analysis on Rigid Transparent Plastics Market in North America announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue: Rigid Transparent Plastics.

The North American transparent plastics market is estimated at more than 3.3 billion pounds in 2010, and is expected to reach 4 billion pounds by 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7%.

Clear polycarbonate consumption is estimated at 950 million pounds in 2010 and is expected to increase at a 4.1% a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach 1.2 billion pounds in 2015, led by automotive, medical, and electronics applications.

The acrylic transparent market is valued at 866 million pounds in 2010 and is expected to reach more than 1 billion pounds by 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8%. Building/construction applications account for almost 60% of total volume, but the electronic segment will show the largest growth.



The objective of this study is to provide an analysis of rigid transparent plastics in terms of current and forecasted usage. New developments in clear plastics expanded usage in existing and new applications, and competition between polymers exhibiting optical clarity will be covered. The competitive scenario between glass and clear plastics will also be noted, as well as detailed discussions on the competition between individual transparent plastics. Important suppliers of clear plastics, their product lines, and other important factors that impact the market will also be covered.


The search is continuing for special markets by most plastics suppliers, somewhat irrespective of potential volume. Selection criteria focus on growing specialty markets with opportunities for respectable profits even though sales volumes may not be large by commodity resin standards.

Rigid transparent plastics have become a significant market and encompass many types of polymers. In addition to acrylics and polycarbonates, many styrene-based materials, along with commodity and specialty polymers are available in clear grades. Opportunities in several application areas are in need of reappraisal in regard to transparent or clear plastics, especially in electronic, medical, and automotive sectors in economically dire times. Of special interest within the electronic sector is use of transparent plastics as substrates for CDs, DVDs, and more recent variants.


The term "transparent" or "clear" is obviously a subjective one. Most definitions relate clarity of plastics to percent of light transmission as defined by ASTM test D-1003. Light transmission percentages above 85% usually are accepted as transparent, although many suppliers claim "clear grades" with percentages of 80% or lower such that the distinction between "transparent" and "translucent" is often hazy. Other related important ASTM tests include the D-523 and the D-542.

Clear plastics are commercially available in many forms, for example, injection molded, extruded, blow molded, thermoformed, and so forth. Many extruded products are also converted to clear films. The many uses of these films (commodity, specialty, coextruded, plastic food, medical packaging, etc.) could be the subject of a separate report. Thus, the "packaging" markets such as healthcare and food are not "covered" in this report.

Blow-molded clear plastics are hollow and most are converted to bottles or containers, while thermoformed plastics are similar to injection molded except that they are usually thinner and require less expensive equipment and capital outlay.

Thus, this report will cover rigid, clear, non-packaging plastic products, which include injection molded, non-film extrusion, and thermoforming (including cast sheet). As noted, the major plastic products excluded from this report will be flexible and hollow thin materials (including films).

Those clear resins covered in this report specifically include: acrylics, polycarbonates, polystyrenes, styrene block copolymers (SBCs), styrene acrylonitrile (SAN), ABS, polysulfones, thermoplastic polyesters (almost exclusively, PET), polypropylene, acrylic-styrene copolymers (SMMA), PVC, nylon, cellulosic resins, cyclic olefin copolymers (COCs), and allyl diglycol carbonate (ADC).

Major applications for these rigid transparent plastics, in addition to medical, electronic, and automotive markets, include: building/construction (glazing, lighting lenses, signs/displays), housewares, appliances, toys, optical lenses, and aircraft transparencies.



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