Plastic Resin & Synthetic Fiber Manufacturing
Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:
Companies in this industry manufacture acrylics, amino resins, epoxy, and other thermosets, as well as thermoplastics such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polystyrene (PS). Major companies include Celanese, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Dow, DuPont, Hexion, and Huntsman (all based in the US), along with ALFA (Mexico), BASF (Germany), ChemChina, LG Chem (South Korea), LyondellBasell Industries (the Netherlands), Nan Ya Plastics (Taiwan), and Sumitomo Chemical (Japan).
Demand depends on the level of manufacture of plastic products, which is closely linked to US industrial production. Because resin manufacture is a high-volume process, the profitability of individual companies depends on operating efficiencies. Large companies have significant economies of scale in production and in the purchase of raw materials. Smaller companies can compete effectively by producing specialty resins and fibers. Many smaller companies buy commodity resins from large producers and rework them into specialty compounds. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 80% of industry revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
The two basic types of plastic resins are thermosets, which harden permanently after they are cured by heat, and thermoplastics, which may be hard or soft after being cured, but can be remelted or dissolved in a solvent. Thermosets include acrylics, amino resins, epoxy, unsaturated polyesters, polyurethanes and vinyl esters. Polyethylene (PE); polypropylene (PP); polyvinyl chloride (PVC); and polystyrene (PS) are thermoplastics. A third type of resin, elastomers, are thermoplastics that remain...
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