With PVC leading the way and Asia's market share growing, plastic pipes are forecast to top global revenues of $80 billion in 2019. By that year, Asian-Pacific countries are forecast to increase their market share of global demand to more than 60%, with 55% of pipes to be made from vinyl, according to a new report from market research institute Ceresana (Konstanz, Germany).
Low weight, resistance to corrosion, and simple handling give plastic pipes inherent advantages over alternative materials like aluminum, concrete, cast iron, copper, and steel.
Ceresana CEO Oliver Kutsch noted that while pipes based on polypropylene and polyethylene are still in the process of challenging the dominance of PVC pipes in potable water supply, they are "already playing a notable part in both gas supply and in industrial applications."
Kutsch said utilization of other plastics, such as polybutylene, polyamide and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene are also likely to become more widespread, due to use in specialty applications such as ceiling cooling, compressed air systems, heating installations and construction of automobiles and naval vessels.
After PVC, the second most important material will polyethylene, particularly HDPE. HDPE pipes have forecast market shares varied greatly from between 28% and 45% in 2011, depending on region.