Crossed-Linked Polyethylene (PEX / XLPE) Market is projected to be worth USD 10.27 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 7.81% during the forecast period (2021 - 2028), The market was valued at USD 5.73 billion in 2020.
Polyethylene is a low-cost commodity plastic that can be reused and remolded due to its thermoplastic nature. Cross-linking of polyethylene helps to produce a polymer that exhibits high molecular weight, which enhances the abrasion resistance, thermal resistance, impact strength, and environmental stress cracking resistance of polyethylene without affecting its tensile strength and density. Moreover, after cross-linking, the end product is transformed from thermoplastic to thermosetting plastic having high mechanical strength. XLPE finds applications in plumbing, tubing, and wires and cables.
The growth of the global cross-linked polyethylene market is primarily driven by its high demand in piping systems, water service lines, and heating & cooling systems. This polymer is rapidly replacing copper pipes and tubes owing to its high flexibility, low cost, high corrosion resistance, and ability to withstand a wide temperature range.
The widespread usage of XLPE in wires & cables is another important factor propelling the growth of the global cross-linked polyethylene market. Furthermore, the growing adoption of XLPE foam in the medical industry in packaging applications to protect surgical instruments, implants, and other surgical devices from damage is expected to create immense opportunities for the producers of XLPE.
However, a shift toward the use of polypropylene pipes over XLPE pipes is observed due to the chance of leakage and release of organic carbon and VOCs, which is likely to pose a major challenge to the market players. Likewise, fluctuating crude oil prices is also projected to be a challenge in the production of XLPE.
In the market, XLPE is popular by the trade names: Syncure (PolyOne Corporation), Polidan (Solvay), and Lupolen (LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V.).
Trade & Pricing Analysis
The overall HDPE imported increased by around 4% from 21 million tons in 2016 to 22 million tons in 2017, whereas total HDPE exported increased by 1.2% from 24.0 million tons in 2016 to 24.3 million tons in 2017. The key HDPE importing countries include China, the US, Germany, Belgium, and Mexico. The price for HDPE lies between range USD 1000/Ton and USD 1400/Ton.
- Increasing demand for XLPE in plumbing applications
- Widespread use in wires & cables
- Safety issues associated with XLPE wires and cables, and pipes and plumbing failure
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE): The HDPE was the dominant segment in 2018 owing to its increasing application in pipes and tubes. Its exceptional combination of physical properties makes HDPE a suitable material for use in several end-use industries. Also, it is easy to install and does not corrode and possess high flexural strength.
- Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE): LDPE is being primarily preferred in plastic packaging such as grocery bags and plastic wrap. It also finds application in wires and cables.
- Others: The others segment includes linear low-density polyethylene, ethyl vinyl acetate copolymer, and polyolefin elastomer.
- Peroxide Method: The peroxide segment held the largest market share in 2018 and is likely to register the highest CAGR during the assessment period owing to its ability to produce the highest and uniform degree of cross-linking. Furthermore, this method also offers resistance to stress cracking and aggressive chemicals.
- Silane Grafting Method: Cross linking of polyethylene using silane grafting method offers certain advantages such as well-established & economical process, low investment costs, and high throughput rates among others.
- Electron Beam Processing: The cross linking of polyethylene using electron beam processing method is subject to high processing costs.
- Chemical: The chemical segment accounted for the largest market share in 2018 as it results in production of XLPEs more efficiently as compared to physical process.
- Physical: The physical segment is projected to exhibit a healthy CAGR owing to its ability to produce XLPEs that are widely used in the medical industry in prosthetic implantation in body parts.
- Plumbing: The plumbing segment held the largest market share in 2018, owing to the increasing demand for XLPE in distributed water transmission systems and sewer systems.
- Wires & Cables: The wires and cables segment is estimated to register the highest CAGR owing to the expanding electronics and telecommunication industries.
- Medical: XLPE IS used in medical industry in applications such as medical implants and other surgical instruments.
- Chemical: XLPE is being widely preferred in chemical storage tanks owing to its ability to withstand acidic corrosion and heat.
- Automotive: XLPE is increasingly used as an insulation material for cable and wires used in automotive industry.
- Others: Others segment includes mining and watercraft products.
- Asia-Pacific: Asia-Pacific was the largest and fastest-growing market for XLPE in 2018 and is expected to register a substantial CAGR during the review period. This growth is attributed to the growing industrialization and expanding construction, electronics, and automotive industries. China is projected to be the leading country in the region as it is a major electronics hub, and the use of XLPE is high as compared to other high-voltage resistant materials. India, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, & New Zealand are also expected to contribute to the growth of the regional market. In addition, the increasing automobile production in the region is another important factor propelling the regional market growth.
- North America: The growth of the North American cross-linked polyethylene market is driven by growing use of XLPE in plumbing applications in residential buildings and industries. The US is expected to be the prominent market in the region.
- Europe: The European market growth is expected to be driven by increasing automobile production and rising demand for XLPE in medical packaging solutions and dental materials.
- Middle East & Africa: The Middle East & African market growth is likely to be driven by the growing construction and automotive industries.
- Latin America: The growth of the cross-linked polyethylene market in the region is primarily driven by the growing demand for XLPE in plumbing and water distribution systems.
- Borealis AG (Austria)
- Solvay (Belgium)
- LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V. (The Netherlands)
- PolyOne Corporation (US)
- Exxon Mobil Corporation (US)
- 3H VINACOM CO., LTD (Vietnam)
- Falcone Specialities AG (Switzerland)
- HDC HYUNDAI EP COMPANY (South Korea)
- SACO AEI Polymers (US)
- SANKHLA POLYMERS PVT LTD (India)
- SILON s.r.o. (Czech Republic)
- Charloma Inc (US)
2028: USD 10.27 Billion
Value (USD Billion)
Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends
Type, Technology, Process and Region
North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW)
Borealis AG (Austria), Solvay (Belgium), LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V. (The Netherlands), PolyOne Corporation (US), Exxon Mobil Corporation (US), 3H VINACOM CO., LTD (Vietnam), Falcone Specialities AG (Switzerland), HDC HYUNDAI EP COMPANY (South Korea), SACO AEI Polymers (US), SANKHLA POLYMERS PVT LTD (India), SILON s.r.o. (Czech Republic), Charloma Inc (US)
Key Market Opportunities
The widespread usage of XLPE in wires & cables is another important factor propelling the growth of the global cross-linked polyethylene market.
Key Market Drivers
Increasing demand for XLPE in plumbing applications. Widespread use in wires & cables
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :
The global XLPE market is expected to rise to USD 10.27 billion by 2028.
The market is expected to exhibit a strong 7.81% CAGR over the forecast period from 2021 to 2028.
Increasing use in the production of pipes, wires and cables, and solar panels is the major driver for the XLPE market.
Asia Pacific dominates the global XLPE market.
Leading players in the XLPE market include Borealis AG, Solvay, and Hanwha Chemical Corporation, among others.