Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) films are a variety of biodegradable films that are soluble in water but are highly resistant to most other solvents, greases and oils. The PVA films market dominantly caters to the packaging industry for packing detergents, dyes, disinfectants, agrochemicals, water treatment chemicals and in the production of laundry bags, and industrial polarizers that are used in liquid crystal display (LCD)panels, lenses, sunglasses, optical filters, etc.
Other than these major applications of PVA films, market penetration of these products in other industries is on high rise due to the biodegradable nature of these films. Government bodies are taking initiatives in supporting the increasing use of PVA films as a way to support the concept of green packaging.
What is PVA?
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is a synthetic polymer which is well known for its excellent film-forming, emulsifying and adhesive nature. It is also highly soluble in water, has high resistance to majority of other solvents, oils and greases. It acts as an excellent oxygen and aroma barrier, has high tensile strength and flexibility. As such, it is used as a raw material for many industrial processes and has many applications in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries as well.
Polyvinyl alcohol films market - Segmentation:
The PVA films market can be segmented on the basis of its major application areas and the geographic regions where these products are in high demand.
The major application areas of the PVA films market are water soluble packaging, agrochemical packaging, production of laundry bags, in embroidery, and for the production of industrial polarizers, which have subsequent applications in LCD panels, sunglasses and optical filters. Other smaller applications also exist in the areas of pet waste, fish bait bags and food packaging.
The ease of production of small dose packaging of products such as detergents, agrochemicals, dyes, water treatment chemicals, which should be avoided human contact due to health reasons, provides a general ease of their use and makes PVA films increasingly popular with the general end-user of these products.
Geographically active markets for the PVA films industry are the Asia Pacific, which is the world’s leading producer, and North America, which is world’s leading consumer of PVA films for water soluble applications.
The other application segment of PVA films, polarizer production, presents a geographic variation regarding the consumption of PVA films on the global landscape. Polarizers are an essential element of LCD panels. Most of the world’s polarizer manufacturing takes place in South Korea, Taiwan, China or Japan. Thus, these are the major regions where the global demand for PVA films is the highest, albeit for the production of polarizers only.
In 2011, Asia-Pacific had a global production share of nearly 60% and North America had nearly 34% consumption share of the total PVA films produced worldwide. From the standpoint of overall growth of the PVA films market, the region of Asia Pacific appears to be the strongest market; it is the world’s major producer and also has huge potential for increasing consumption capability of PVA films due to their obvious environment-related benefits and use in products like LCD panels.
The way ahead for the PVA films market
Water solubility is one of the major factors that has driven the PVA films market so far and is expected to keep driving it in the future years as well. Its ease-of-application in the packaging industry also makes it hugely desirous in the consumer market. Therefore, a huge influx of industries is being observed in the PVA films market over the past years, making the market highly competitive. The major businesses in the PVA films market include names such as Arrow Coated Products, Changzhou Water Soluble, Amc (UK), Monosol, Cortec Corporation, Aicello Chemical, Jiangmen Proudly Water-Soluble Plastic, Nippon Gohse and Kuraray, among others.
The global polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) films market had an estimated market value of USD 760 million in 2011. In the coming 4-5 years, this market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21.3% and achieve a market value worth USD 2,937.3 million by 2019.