Polymer bearings are used as an alternative for metal bearings. Generally, they are used in applications where metal bearings are prone to friction or wear and tear, or where they may have exposure to chemicals or moisture. Polymer bearings are manufactured from polymers such as PP, PE, PT or a combination of polymers. Polymer bearings have several advantages over metallic or other types of bearings, such as: resistance to acid, alkali, grease, wax and solvents, corrosion resistance, their nonconductive nature and self-lubrication, among others. Owing to these advantages, polymer bearings help reduce maintenance cost in machinery.
On account of stringent government regulations over energy consumption, emission of gases, waste disposal, etc. automotive companies focus on each possible solution to minimize weight of vehicles and their component parts. As polymer bearings are 70%-80% lighter than their metal counterparts, they are a viable substitute in the automotive Industry. It is commonly used in windshield wipers, hinges, shock absorbers, brakes, shafts, gearboxes, engine compartments, pedals, angle transmitters etc.
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Global Polymer Bearing Market Dynamics
The polymer bearing market is mainly driven by demand from automobile industries, especially in vehicle manufacturing in order to reduce weight, noise and to avoid corrosion. Polymer bearings are used in a wide range of applications, such as in chemical processing, textile processing, elevators and electronic products. Availability of polymer bearings in various types makes them suitable for an array of applications in various industries; which in turn is expected to increase demand for the polymer bearing market. Furthermore, polymer bearings are relatively more economical, making them a more favorable alternative to metal bearings. Growth of the polymer bearing market is restricted by fluctuation in prices of raw materials, which adversely affects the manufacturer’s profitability. Also, Polymer bearings are not suitable for use under high loads and at high temperatures, whereas these conditions are sustainable by metal bearings – hence restricting the use of polymer bearings in such applications. Additionally, there are several restrictions over the use of polymer bearings in food & beverage processing as there are chances of contamination. With technological advancement in the manufacturing processes and increasing awareness for its uses, demand for polymer bearings is expected to grow – thus helping it acquire a higher market share in the future.
Global Polymer Bearing Market Segmentation
On the basis of material type, the global polymer bearing market is segmented into:
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polyethylene (PE)
- Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW)
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
- Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)
- Acetyl Polyoxymethylene (POM)
- Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
- Phenol resins
- Poly Acetyl
On the basis of type of bearing, the global polymer bearing market is segmented into:
- Ball bearing
- Roller bearing
- Needle bearing
On the basis of end use, the global polymer bearing market is segmented into:
- Food & Beverage
Global Polymer Bearing Market: Regional Outlook
The polymer bearing market is mainly dominated by the Asia pacific region owing to the presence of major producer and consumer countries such as China and India. China, followed by India and Japan, hold the highest share of the polymer bearing market and are expected to remain major consumers over the forecast period. The Europe and North America region carries the second largest share of the polymer bearing market, owing to large demand stemming from the automotive industry and chemical industry, among others. Stringent regulations in North America have slightly affected the growth of the Polymer bearing market. Middle East and Africa are expected to register slow growth over the forecast period.
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Global Polymer Bearing Market Players
Some of the market participants in the global polymer bearing market, identified across the value chain, include igus, Plastics Capital plc, Kashima Bearings, Inc, Icon Polymer Ltd, GGB Bearing Technology, Altra Industrial Motion Corp., Nozzle Auto Association Pvt. Ltd., Waukesha Bearings Corporation, Epic Polymer Systems Corp. and Poly Fluoro, among others.