The Future Of Chemical Growth

by David Jenyns on November 24, 2008

The chemical industry does have potential for growth because it encompasses so many different sectors. An irradiated polyethylene plastic, for example, is five times stronger than the ordinary polyethylene plastic.

An up-and-coming plastic is the rugged, lightweight polypropylene, which is expected to create another new generation of plastic applications.

Plastics have successfully invaded areas ranging from household detergent containers to missile nose cones. Recently The Wall Street Journal had an interesting story under the heading of “Plastics vs. Plastics.” Many of the newer plastics offer more versatility or greater economy than the old materials.

Together with synthetic fibers, plastics account principally for the strongest individual segments of the chemical industry, with their rate of growth substantially ahead of the industry as a whole. “Today,” according to the Journal, “there are more than 30 families of plastics on the market and within these families there are thousands of variations. Some plastics are flexible, some brittle, some hard as steel; almost any desired characteristic.”

In the decade ending in 1960, plastics production rose 170 percent and for synthetic fibers growth in output has increased by 300 percent.

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