REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
This is the only comprehensive global report that looks at all cellulosic-plastic combinations as well as plastics that are direct competitors in the drive to replace lumber in building and construction markets. These segments include wood-plastic composites, plastic lumber, cellulosic plastics, and natural fiber composites.
The report is timely because of environmental pressures to reduce use of timber and eliminate use of toxic chemicals that preserve timber. It’s also timely because of a separate environmental initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased use of renewable resources as replacements for plastics based on petrochemicals. This is a particularly important factor in the automotive market in Europe, Japan and the United States. A third reason for doing the study is the enormous impact that infrastructure improvements in China will have on demand for innovative materials, such as wood-plastic composites.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers the history, current status and forecast scenario for four major products: wood-plastic composites (WPCs), plastic lumber, cellulosic plastics and natural fiber composites. Their four major applications are: building products, automotive, infrastructure and other consumer/industrial products. The building products segment is further analyzed by its major components, as related to these products, namely decking; fencing/windows and doors; and other.
In addition, the study further segments these markets by key resins such as polyethylene, PVC and polypropylene within each application and whether these resins are being used as plastic lumber or WPCs.
Other critical issues included in detail are technologies, production (e.g., compounding, injection molding, extrusion), use of additives (colorants, lubricants, coupling agents, and UV stabilizers), requisite properties required for each application, costs and pricing, marketing, competitive company strategies, distribution, product standards and testing, and the claims and counter-claims of companies producing these products.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Extensive searches were made of the literature including most of the leading trade publications as well as technical and government documents including trade associations. Additional information was gleaned from interviews with many of the leading participants in these three market areas.
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