Polyisobutylene is extensively used in the manufacture of adhesives, inner tubes of tires, sealants, caulks, agricultural chemicals, pulp and paper, sealants, and chewing gums. It is a copolymer of isoprene and isobutylene that possesses good flexibility, thermal stability, and impermeability to gases. Furthermore, it also offers high resistance to alkalis, acids, and salts for applications across several industries.
Medium molecular weight polyisobutylene’s average molecular weight ranges between 40,000 and 120,000 g/mol. The molecular combination and weight grade of polyisobutylene to be used to achieve the required properties of the final product varies as per the application. Most commonly, low weight molecular polyisobutylene finds use as a plasticizer and tackifier, while grades with medium to high molecular weight are used to customize properties such as flexibility, cohesive strength, gas barrier performance, and elongation.
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As the demand for adhesives and sealants and lubricants rises across industries, the demand for medium molecular weight polyisobutylene also increases. In its latest report, Transparency Market Research states that the global medium molecular weight polyisobutylene market will grow from US$420.5 mn in 2014 to US$610.1 mn in 2023. The market will, therefore, exhibit a positive CAGR of 4.30% during the forecast period from 2015 to 2023.
Diversity of Applications of Medium Molecular Weight Polyisobutylene Boosts Market
Medium molecular weight polyisobutylene has many uses. It is employed as a tack improver in adhesive formulations, as a viscosity modifier, in sealing compounds, and as the primary binder in caulking. Its use in lubricating oil additives and fuel significantly aids the expansion of the medium molecular weight polyisobutylene market worldwide. In the adhesives and sealants industry, medium molecular weight polyisobutylene is used where sealants are exposed to potential risk from sunlight. It is also employed in roofing membranes and insulating glass sealants in the construction industry. Additionally, it finds application in acoustic barriers and protective films used in the automotive industry. Medium molecular weight polyisobutylene is also an essential ingredient that goes in the production of chewing gums.
Growing Demand for Adhesives and Sealants Boosts Global Medium Molecular Weight Polyisobutylene Market
Globally, the demand for adhesives and sealants has significantly risen owing to its diverse industrial applications. This, in turn, has given an impetus to the demand for medium molecular weight polyisobutylene. Furthermore, its use in lubricant oils is also likely to augment the growth of the medium molecular weight polyisobutylene market worldwide. The market, according to the latest market surveys, gains substantially from the demand generated across the strong manufacturing sector in emerging Asia Pacific economies such as India and China. The demand for lubricants is noted to be high in this region, which boosts the demand for medium molecular weight polyisobutylene.
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While growth prospects of the medium molecular weight polyisobutylene market seem positive in the forthcoming years, stringent government regulations imposed on manufacture and usage of the same may pose a hindrance to the market. Nevertheless, the industry is likely to capitalize on the rising demand for chewing gums across the world in the near future. The rapid development of the automotive and construction industries across emerging economies will also aid the market in the coming years.
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