Selbyville, Delaware Research and studies based around biobased & synthetic polyamides market have gained considerable momentum over the past few years due to robust proliferation of 3D printing. Polyamides (PA), or nylon, with their high tensile strength, durability, and flexibility, have been among the most reliable raw materials for industrial applications of additive manufacturing, such for functional and structural parts.
The technology is being rapidly adopted across myriad industries thanks to its exceptional precision and cost-effectiveness. Reports estimate that global biobased & synthetic polyamides market size will reach a valuation of more than US$42 billion by 2025, with rapid adoption of additive manufacturing mainly across automotive and aerospace applications.
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Positive application outlook in 3D printing
3D printing technology has made tremendous strides in recent years, with many key milestones shaping the industry. With myriad new developments and innovations, trends in additive manufacturing continue to grow and become more consolidated. The 3D printing landscape is likely to become even more diverse in the upcoming years with growing number of new entrants in the market. According to a 2018 survey, 70% of companies increased their 3D printing expenditure, compared to just 49% in 2017.
Nylon is among the most popular 3D printing materials used by professional additive manufacturing firms. It offers a range of different benefits such as affordable cost, superior strength and durability, and robust flexibility. In addition, it can be finished in various different ways such as spray-painted, smooth, or dyed.
Biobased & synthetic polyamides market manufacturers are focusing on launching next-generation products to address the needs of a booming 3D printing industry. For instance, in June 2020, chemical firm LEHVOSS launched an innovative high-temperature polyamide 3D printing material with fire-resistant characteristics. The materials have similar materials properties to polyamide 6 (PA 6) but offers high temperature resistance and low water absorption.
Many companies are also exploring opportunities to boost their production capacities in order to expand their presence. For instance, in October 2019, Arkema had invested more than US$20 million in a new polyamide 12 (PA 12) powder manufacturing facility. This helped the company increased its global capacity by over 50% and improve its play in the 3D printing space.
Over the next few years, high-volume 3D printing is expected to take a step closer to becoming a reality. It is currently viewed as a technology suited for low to mid-scale production.
Lucrative opportunities amid COVID-19
The global coronavirus pandemic has created a substantial shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment in recent months. A vast majority of manufacturers have adopted additive manufacturing in order to help meet the surging demand for this equipment.
In late March, General Motors began the production of protective face shields using additive manufacturing. Many of the parts were printed from polyamide, in addition to other polymers and materials. During the same month, a group of companies and institutions in Spain started manufacturing 3D printed splitters that would allow multiple patients affected by COVID-19 to access a single respirator.
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The design had been implemented for 3D printing using polyamide 12 (PA 12). Citing yet another instance, an Italian hospital started 3D printing medical valves for COVID-19 patients in March 2020. The hospital had used a custom polyamide-based material and polymer laser powder bed fusion technology to manufacture the equipment.
Major growth restraints and future prospects
The adoption of biobased & synthetic polyamides market is anticipated to be mainly affected by high manufacturing costs. However, the growing prominence of 3D printing in modern-day manufacturing will undeniably open up promising opportunities for PA manufacturers worldwide. The future of 3D printing in healthcare sector is bright, which is increasingly becoming an important pillar in the manufacturing space.
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