Global polyacrylonitrile market demand is expected to witness a steady growth on account of its increasing usage as a fiber. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers are widely used in making tents, tennis rackets, and fishing rods. Polyacrylonitrile is an organic fiber resin with a linear formula (C3H3N)n. It possesses thermoplastic properties and does not melt under normal conditions. It is a very versatile monomer and has wide applications which include filtration membranes, reverse osmosis fibers, and textile fibers.
PAN is produced using radical polymerization of acrylonitrile. PAN was first commercially branded and produced on a large scale by DuPont named as Orlon. PAN application as a precursor for carbon fiber manufacturing is the major factor driving the overall market demand. More than half of PAN is used for as an intermediate for carbon fiber production. Carbon fibers are highly used in aerospace, civil engineering and competition sports.
Usage of polyacrylonitrile as a textile fiber is a major application driving the overall demand. This compound is used in the manufacturing of knitted clothing including socks and sweaters. Their low density, high strength, and thermal stability make them an important raw material for tent manufacturing and yacht sails. Further, its application in the manufacturing of sports equipment has been driving the market demand in recent years. These high strength fibers are used to make tennis & badminton rackets and other sports equipment.
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High tensile strength and superior mechanical properties have made PAN an important polymer in high-tech applications. Commercial and military aircraft make use of PAN in manufacturing composite structures. They are found in high-tech applications such as missiles, propellant rocket motors, and pressure vessels. Availability of alternative fibers is expected to hamper the growth of overall industry in near future.
Advancement of technology has resulted in the development of new polymer fibers which is expected to challenge the PAN industry. These fibers are relatively expensive when compared to their substitutes which include glass and plastic fibers. Strict government regulations related to safe manufacturing practices are expected to increase the overall manufacturing cost. Market segmentation is done on the basis of the application which includes commercial and high-tech uses. Commercial application account for maximum segment shares owing to its high usage in textiles. Segmentation demand for high-tech application is increasing in the military sector on account of rising military budget for sophisticated equipment.
Asia Pacific has been the leading market in recent years in terms of demand and is expected to continue its increasing application in textiles. China has shown substantial production and consumption of PAN for the manufacturing of socks and sweaters. Emerging economies such as India and China are expected to witness a significant growth on account of high investment in manufacturing. Further, regional demand is followed by North America mainly on account of high-tech applications. The U.S market has seen a significant usage in the military and commercial aircraft. Europe is expected to show a steady growth over the forecast period with increasing demand from sports equipment manufacturing. South America and Africa is expected to witness a stagnant growth owing to the slow growth of overall development of application industries.
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