High-Performance Films: Global Markets

Published - Jan 2015| Analyst - Jason Chen| Code - PLS076A
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Report Highlights

The global market for high-performance (HP) plastic films was worth $9.7 billion in 2014. The market is expected to reach nearly $14.0 billion in 2019, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% between 2014 and 2019.

Report Includes

  • An overview of the global markets for high-performance films.
  • Analyses of global market trends with data from 2013 and 2014, and projections of CAGRs through 2019.
  • Identification of trends affecting high-performance polymer films and their major end-use application markets.
  • A breakdown of end markets for high-performance films by material types, with sections devoted to each class of high-performance film.
  • Comprehensive profiles of leading companies in the industry.


High-performance films can be defined in any of several ways: volume, price, performance, end-use markets, resin types, or a combination of two or more of these characteristics.

For this study, high-performance films are defined as thin-gauge, mostly extruded or solution-cast polymer sheets that generally meet at least one of the following criteria: pricing above commodity film levels, continuous-use temperature above commodity plastics, and end-uses requiring technical capability and thickness at or below 30 mils. These are films that are used primarily for their performance characteristics, not their price with emphasis on the markets and products with the greatest potential for growth.

Therefore, the distinguishing characteristics of high-performance films are as follows:

  • Relatively expensive.
  • Thin gauge (compared to sheet).
  • Special performance characteristics.
  • Significant applications other than packaging.

High-performance films are generally fabricated (or converted) in relatively small volumes (at least compared to commodity films). Much of their value is created after the film is extruded.

The focal point is on high-performance resins and their chemistries, including the following:

  • Polyesters, primarily PET. We use PET interchangeably with “polyester” throughout this report.
  • Polyolefin-based specialty film resins.
  • Polyamides (Nylons).
  • Polycarbonates (PCs).
  • Bioplastics, a newer group of plastics.
  • Fluoropolymers.
  • Acrylic films based on PMMA chemistry.
  • Polyimides (PIs).
  • Cyclic olefin copolymers (COCs).
  • Polyethylene naphthalate (PEN).
  • Liquid crystal polymers (LCPs).
  • Polysulfones.
  • Polyetherimides.

Basic polyolefins, such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), are not included in our scope since they are true commodities used in commodity films applications such as grocery and garbage bags. Also excluded are other commodity resins like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene. Specialty polyolefin-based films are included, particularly when multilayer construction is involved. These specialty films are ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), ionomers, polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC), polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) and polymethyl pentene (PMP).

Fluoropolymer films are an important of this report. They include the following:

  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
  • Polyvinyl fluoride (PVF).
  • Fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP).
  • Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE).
  • Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVdF).
  • Perfluoroalkoxy (PFA).
  • Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE).
  • Ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE).

The geographic scope of this report is the global market, including the U.S., Europe, China, Asia and others.

Market estimates are by resin volumes in millions of pounds rounded to the nearest million. We round to millions since, with so many similar products and applications, market estimates are not precise beyond millions of pounds, if that. Many applications markets for particular films are less than a million pounds, and we round estimated volumes greater than a half-million up to 1 million. Also, compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) for table entries with small volumes may not match the 2014 and 2019 volumes because of rounding.

Analyst Credentials

Jason Chen has been an analyst and consultant for the polymer, composite, fiber, textile and energy industries for 15 years. He works as a researcher, writer and/or editor for the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), China Textile Academy (CTA), China Chemical Fiber Association (CCFA), International Fiber Journal, Filtration News, Platts Emission Daily, Vision Systems Design, Pesticide and Toxic Chemical News and MobileTex. Currently he is the chief scientist of a company endeavoring to reduce China's air and water pollution. He has a degree in Civil Engineering, Chemicals and Advanced Materials from Shantou University.

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