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Reinforced plastics demand to reach US $6.7 billion in 2009

Producer durable equipment and construction are expected to offer the best market opportunities for reinforced plastics in the US. The demand is expected to touch about US $6.7 billion in 2009, growing 3% annually, based on continued improvements and greater competitiveness with metal.

Unsaturated polyester, a thermoset resin, is estimated to remain dominant, while thermoplastics such as polypropylene is to grow due to its good mechanical properties, chemical inertness, stiffness, dimensional stability and high heat resistance together with resins such as styrenics and polycarbonate. Compared to overall industry levels, the thermoset resin segments are more highly concentrated. However, more rapid growth is expected for styrenics and polycarbonate.

Glass fibre, considering its performance and low cost, is also expected to remain a leading reinforcement material, while the fastest growing markets are expected to be in producer durable equipment and construction as a result of needs for more cost effective and higher performance materials with lower maintenance costs.

Rapid advances in reinforced thermoplastic will result from their greater design flexibilities, high performance attributes and easier processing.

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