Superabsorbent polymers are the polymers which can retain water and aqueous solution of almost 800 times of its own weight. These polymers are granule which look similar to table salt yet possess high absorbing capacity. Superabsorbent Polymers are produced from acrylic acid through various polymerization techniques. The disposable hygiene products and medical industry are the major industries driving the growth of superabsorbent polymers in the industry. Superabsorbent polymers are widely used in the manufacture of baby diapers, feminine hygiene products and adult incontinence products among others. Growing population has led to increasing in birth rates which has therefore contributed to rise in usage of baby diapers. This has led to high demand for baby diapers in the industry. Therefore, baby diapers are expected to boost industry demand for superabsorbent polymers on a large scale on a regional level.
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Growing hygiene awareness among the population in the developing and developed economies is driving the growth of global superabsorbent polymers industry. High demand from the disposable hygiene product sector is another factor contributing to the growth of global superabsorbent polymers industry. The high water absorption and retention capacity of superabsorbent polymers has led to high demand from the diaper industry. Superabsorbent polymers are added as a absorbent layer at the core of the diaper which helps absorb liquid which then converts into gel. This prevents the baby from rashes which is the major concern of people. These factors have collectively led to increasing demand for baby diaper in the industry which in turn has led to high demand for superabsorbent polymers from the disposable hygiene products industry.
General application segment accounted for larger share of global superabsorbent polymers industry in 2015. General applications consist of end-use applications such as baby diapers, feminine hygiene products and adult incontinence products. Among the mentioned, baby diapers segment accounted for larger share of more than 70% of the global superabsorbent polymers industry in 2015 and is anticipated to retain its industry position in the near future. Other Feminine hygiene products segment is expected to follow growth pattern of baby diapers sector due to increasing hygiene awareness among the population. Adult Incontinence products is projected to experience steady demand in developing countries but expected to gain high demand from the developed countries during the forecast period from 2016 to 2022.
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Medical sector has also contributed on a large scale to the growth of superabsorbent polymers industry. Superabsorbent polymers are used in the manufacture of wound care products. Hence, superabsorbent polymers are used in manufacturing both traditional and advanced wound care products. With the advent of technology and research & development, superabsorbent polymers have been used in manufacturing advanced wound care products as it absorbs liquids and exudates leaving the wound dry and aids quick healing. Hence, advanced wound care accounted for larger share than traditional wound care sector and is anticipated to experience high demand in the near future. Other applications such as agriculture and water treatment industry are also projected to spur demand for superabsorbent polymers during the forecast period from 2016 to 2022.
Key players dominate the global superabsorbent polymers industry making the entry of new players difficult. These companies have already established its position in the industry because of high demand for superabsorbent polymers from various industries worldwide. Hence, small and new players have to struggle to establish itself in this competitive industry. Companies engaged in agricultural activities have high growth opportunities in superabsorbent polymers industry.