The plastics industry manufactures polymer materials which are substances which have a molecular structure built up chiefly or completely from a large number of similar units bonded together, which are known as plastics. Polymers range from familiar synthetic plastics such as polystyrene which the plastics industry manufactures to the natural bio-polymers such as DNA and proteins that are fundamental to biological structure and function. The plastics industry is an ever-growing industry, important to a range of industries, including packaging, building and construction, electronics, aerospace, and transportation. As a result, the total global plastic production was around 322 million metric tonnes in 2015.
What other industries is the plastic industry associated with?
The plastics industry is actually a part of the chemical industry, and sometimes also a part of the petrochemical industry as mineral oil is the major constituent in plastics. Besides plastics production, plastics engineering is an important part of the industrial sector. The latter field is dominated by engineering plastic as raw material because of its better mechanical and thermal properties than the more widely used commodity plastics.
How does masterbatches fit into the plastic industry?
Masterbatches are raw plastic compounds that include a high concentration of either a colouring pigment, or an additive or additives. These are known as colour masterbatches and additive masterbatches respectively. Masterbatches are designed to be used in appropriate quantities with the basic resin mix so that the correct end concentration can be achieved. Colour masterbatches are the most widely used method of colouring plastics of all types, as they provide a clean and convenient method of obtaining accurate colour shades. Similarly, additive masterbatches are used to impart different properties to all types of plastics.
As a result of the extensive use of masterbatches in plastics, its growth is directly proportional to the growth of the plastics industry, and the masterbatch industry in itself is a 10 billion Dollar industry globally. In India too, the industry is worth around 1 Billion USD or 6, 481 Crore INR, with many big masterbatch producers like REPIN masterbatches who are international players in the masterbatch market.