Caprolactam is an intermediate polymer that is used in the production of nylon 6 fibers and nylon 6 resins, accounting for 98% of the total caprolactam produced globally. Nylon 6 has properties such as chemical resistance, damage resistance from oils, and abrasion resistance. In addition, it has excellent strength and elasticity.
Technavio’s analysts forecast the global caprolactam market to grow at a CAGR of 6.93% during the period 2016-2020.
Covered in this report
The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global caprolactam market for 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated from the retail the sales of nylon 6 resins and nylon 6 fibers by considering 2015 as the base year.
The market is divided into the following segments based on geography:
Technavio Announces the Publication of its Research Report – Global Caprolactam Market 2016-2020
Technavio recognizes the following companies as the key players in the global caprolactam market: Honeywell, BASF, DSM, UBE Industries, and Capro.
Commenting on the report, an analyst from Technavio’s team said: “One of latest trends in the market is shift in focus toward bio-based nylon 6 polymers. The companies that are producing nylon 6 polymers will shift to the production of bio-based nylon 6 polymers in the coming years as this will reduce emissions by more than 80%. Moreover, the use of renewable resources will also reduce the cost of production of nylon 6 polymers. BASF, developed and successfully produced a castor oil-based polymer in the early 1960s. The company has been developing more bio-based products and increasing its product portfolio in this sector. Ultramid Balance, a nylon 6 polymer is composed of 60% sebacic acid, a castor oil derivative. This product outperforms its standard nylon 6 products, offering higher stability and resistance to chemicals. In addition, the production of bio-based nylon 6 will not be dependent on fluctuating crude oil prices, thereby maintaining the prices of nylon 6 in the coming years.”
According to the report, one of the primary drivers in the market is commercial importance of nylon. Since its first production in 1935, nylon resins and fibers have been extensively used in many applications. Non-conducting and heat resistant properties of nylon have increased its use in the electronics industry. Since nylon 6 has a low coefficient of friction, it is being used in sliding or rotating mechanisms. The surface abrasive wear-resistant properties of nylon allow for its use in the manufacture of industrial bearings. Nylon has high temperature resistance and can be dyed with the desired color for aesthetic appeal. Therefore, it is used in the manufacture of cooking utensils and appliances such as forks, tongs, brushes, slotted spoons, and spatulas. Further, nylon offers an excellent non-stick surface finish.
Further, the report states that one major challenge in the market is hygroscopic nature of caprolactam. Polymerized caprolactam absorbs water during its production process and water accounts for 2%-3% of its original weight. This reduces stiffness and abrasion resistance capacity of caprolactam. Although caprolactam can be processed at lower temperatures, it makes it difficult to use nylon 6 in applications involving higher temperatures. Nylon 6 is known for its high shrinkage in molded sections, which is due to its hygroscopic behavior. The dimensional instability associated with products are often attributed to the hygroscopic nature of caprolactam. This also makes it susceptible to the effects of oxidizing agents, acids, and bases.
Honeywell, BASF, DSM, UBE Industries, Capro.
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