The impact of COVID-19 pandemic can be felt across the chemical industry. The growing inability in the production and manufacturing processes, in the light of the self-quarantined workforce has caused a major disruption in the supply chain across the sector. Restrictions encouraged by this pandemic are obstructing the production of essentials such as life-saving drugs.
The nature of operation in chemical plants that cannot be easily stopped and started, makes the operational restrictions in these plants a serious concern for the industry leaders. Restricted and delayed shipments from China have created a price hike in the raw materials, affecting the core of the chemicals industry. The slacking demand from different impacted industries such as automotive is negatively influencing the growth of the chemical industry.
In light of the current crisis, the market leaders are focused to become self-reliant which is expected to benefit the economic growth of different economies in the longer term. Companies are triggering events to restructure and recover from the losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The chemical industry is focused to keep the business operations running along with ensuring the labor safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To recover the losses created by the decline in demand for various products, the companies are capitalizing on the escalating demand for products such as disinfectants and personal protective equipment. Many leading players in the chemical industry have expanded their business to enter into the production of safety products. Companies are resorting to advanced technologies in production to reduce the dependence on work-force.
They are increasingly adopting advanced digital capabilities to integrate supply chain and logistics to ensure the effective delivery of products. The industry heads are seeking the real-time situation of their supply chains to identify potential weaknesses, especially in terms of geography, and strengthen it. The financial disclosures are being extended beyond the usual financial statements to deal with the risks that have aroused amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Electroactive Polymers Market – Overview
The growth of electroactive polymers market stems from numerous indirect use of electroactive polymers for engineering and mechanical products. Increasing use of electroactive polymers for corrosion-preventing coatings to be used on ferrous and non-ferrous alloys, actuators, metamorphic biomaterials, and protective fabrics points at lucrative prospects for growth of electroactive polymers market in the years ahead.
Some other engineering applications of electroactive polymers are for energy storage devices due to their attributes of flexibility, high capacity, and design versatility.
The upcoming report on electroactive polymers market provides a brilliant analysis of key market indicators including growth curve of the said market for the forecast period between 2016 and 2024. The report evaluates various facets that defines current competitive dynamics, and also investigates how these aspects are poised to make an impact on the competitive hierarchy over the forecast period.
Electroactive Polymers Market – Notable Developments and Competitive Landscape
3M, one of the world’s leading industrial –chemical conglomerate that deals in electroactive polymers, with five lines of business is facing lawsuit. The class action is on behalf of all individuals and entities other than Defendants who bought or acquired publicly traded 3M securities from February 9, 2017 to May 28, 2019.
Earlier, business analyst of a leading financial services company declared the 3M business model to be defeated. Due to this, 3M stock price dropped to 18% below recent level only to be rated as underweight.
Further, according to the analyst, 3M’s woes are beyond simple cyclical fluctuations related to slowing automotive and electronic end users. Instead the problems are structural and puts forth the question if billions spent by the company on recent restructuring will produce material benefits in the forthcoming years.
However, realignment announced by the company a couple of months ago will boost impression among consumers for its multiple line of businesses. The new structure will comprise four business segments: Transportation & Electronics, Consumer, Healthcare, and Safety & Industrial.
Top companies operating in the global electroactive polymers market include 3M, Konarka Technologies Inc., Panasonic Corporation, Artificial Muscle Inc., and Earnex Corporation.
Electroactive Polymers Market – Key Trends
In some developed countries worldwide, expanding significance of artificial muscles for solving complex medical conditions has indirectly spawned demand for electroactive polymers. For example, in 2012, researchers at North Carolina University developed an affordable Braille computer display using electroactive actuators. This helped blind people scan web pages.
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Further, adoption of innovative medical devices has led to spurt in demand for electroactive polymers in some parts of the world. For example, in 2014, government of South Korea announced plans for modernization of the healthcare sector. The involved increasing human and capital investments in R&D for the introduction of new medical devices. This, indirectly, prompted expansion of electroactive polymers market.
Among all, conductive polymers held leading share of the electroactive polymers market in the past. Conductive polymers include electromagnetic interference compounds, carbon nanotubes, antistatic additives, and metal fibers. Conducive polymers find use as antistatic materials with applications in transparent displays, commercial sensors, and organic solar cells.
In the future, however, demand for inherently dissipative polymers in the electroactive polymers market is predicted to rise significantly over the forecast period.
Electroactive Polymers Market – Regional Outlook
North America held the leading share of electroactive polymers in the recent past vis-à-vis volume. Vast demand for electroactive polymers for the manufacture of advanced implant devices for medical conditions is a key factor behind the growth of electroactive polymers market in the region. Rising practices of minimally invasive surgeries in the U.S. is another key factor behind growth of electroactive polymers market in North America.
Europe is another key market for electroactive polymers. Countries such as Germany and France that are long-established automobiles centers indirectly fuel electroactive polymers. This is because electroactive polymers are used in a large number of engineering and mechanical products that are used in automobiles.
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