Polybutene-1 Market Size, Industry Share | Forecast 2026

Polybutene-1 Market Size, Industry Share | Forecast 2026

An intrinsic sub-vertical of bulk and specialty chemicals industry, polybutene-1 market is set to accrue phenomenal gains across the globe in the upcoming years. This can be attributed to positive intervention of various industry conglomerates who have laid significant measures to augment the sales and spectrum of these materials. One such company, LyondellBassel Industries, in 2018, announced acquisition of Ohio headquartered A. Schulman Inc, with an aim of expanding its reach into new sectors and geographies.

The deal which was valued at USD 2.25 billion was anticipated to double LyondellBassel’s existing product line of polypropylene compounding assets, polybutene-1 resins, and Catalloy thermoplastic resins.

In yet other instance, the company has also established a breakthrough, unveiling its first PB-1 resin for healthcare applications like medical tubing and IV bags, termed as Purell KT MR 07.

These initiatives have enabled the company to stand ahead of its market rivals in the polybutene-1 business space.

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Polybutene-1 was introduced to the European market in mid-1960s and has been claimed to possess several key benefits like light weight structure, robust strength, and high resilience. These characteristics, in line with low stiffness and creep resistance allows it to be of extensive use in various applications including pressurized hit and cold water systems, hot melt adhesives, surface cooling and heating, and hot and cold-water pipes.

One of the notable trends that is propelling the adoption of PB-1 is the expanding urbanization in APAC region. Massive rise in urbanization has pushed construction activities in the region, enabling the product to be deployed in various piping and plumbing applications. Apart from serving potential areas in the Asia Pacific region, polybutene-1 market is also set to record massive gains across the North America, given the region’s thriving plastic piping industry.

Polybutene-1, also recognized as polybutylene piping was abundantly used in the production of water supply piping from 1978 to 1995. Considering the low cost of materials and ease of installation, PB-1 piping systems were touted to be the ‘pipe of future’ and were regarded are a substitute for traditional copper piping. Over the years, PB-1 piping systems were used for underground water mains and as interior cold and hot water distribution piping. More so, industry experts believed that these piping systems were installed in over more than 6million homes in the region.

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Caused the failure of ‘pipes of future’ in the country

The mid 1990s observed a U.S class action lawsuit alleging defects in PB-1 plumbing systems stating that they were made from PB joined to fittings made from acetal resin. Speculations have it that acetal is considered to be an unsuitable material for use in the transformation of hot water with high chlorine concentration, which emerged as a major breakdown in the PB piping systems.

Although PB-1 pipes are not subjected to ban in the States, commercialization and sales of these in North America have been restricted by the Polybutene Piping System Association members in view of the outcome of previous US litigation process.

In essence, with thermoplastic products being used as a replacement for traditional materials in majority of heating and plumbing pipe applications, PB-1 market is witnessing revolutionary changes in different economies of the world. Concurrently, Europe has been a fairly strong regional player, considering the use of PB-1 for piping systems. This growth will enable polybutene-1 market to soar to new heights in the years ahead.

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