Pigments are organic or inorganic compounds, which can impart a wide range of colors to various substrates. Pigments can offer versatile range of colors in paints and coatings, plastics, inks, etc., while improving aesthetic properties. These help to enhance various properties such as opacity, hiding power, light and weather fastness, heat stability, and tinting strength. Pigments are mostly insoluble in common solvents and remains physically and chemically unaffected after application on different substrates. These absorb light of selective wavelengths to produce vibrant colors via reflection or transmission.
Synthetic pigments can be broadly classified into three groups: inorganic, organic, and specialty. Inorganic pigments such as titanium dioxide, iron oxide, carbon black, cadmium, and chromium can be extracted from mineral and petrochemical sources. Most commonly used organic pigments include azo compounds, quinacridone, and phthalocyanine. Organic pigments offer excellent fastness and durability along with imparting bright colors such as blue, green, yellow, red, and orange. Organic pigments can be extracted from organic compounds such as succinic acid, aniline, and phthalonitrile. Specialty pigments such as metallic, high performance organic, fluorescent, phosphorescent, and luminescent offer vibrant color intensity, glossy effects, and durability.
Growth in the paints & coatings industry is driving demand for pigments. The architectural paints & coatings market has grown considerably owing to rising infrastructural development and construction activities in emerging economies. Furthermore, growth in the automotive and consumer goods sectors has boosted the market for decorative paints & coatings. Moreover, rising disposable income and economic progress in developing countries have led to increased production and consumption of plastics due to mounting demand in numerous end-user industries. This, in turn, is projected to fuel demand for pigments in the plastics industry during the forecast period. However, unregulated usage of few organic and inorganic pigments can induce serious environmental and health risks. Therefore, enactment of stringent rules regarding usage of pigments is anticipated to hinder market growth during the forecast period. Advent of nanotechnology is projected to create lucrative opportunities in the pigments market in the next few years.
Paints & coatings was the largest end-user segment of the pigments market in 2014. Rapid urbanization and economic progress in developing countries have propelled the construction industry in the recent past. On the other hand, the automotive industry has witnessed promising trends in emerging economies in the past few years. Consequently, growth in the decorative and architectural paints and coatings industries has fueled demand for pigments in the past couple of years. Plastics end-user segment of the pigments is estimated to grow at a significant rate in the next few years owing to increased consumption in various applications such as packaging, health care, building & construction, and automotive. Consequently, steady growth in the plastics industry is likely to propel demand for pigments in the next couple of years. Specialty pigments is anticipated to exhibit the fastest growth rate during the forecast period owing to rising demand for high performance pigments with excellent aesthetic features in various end-user industries.
In terms of volume, Asia Pacific dominated the global pigments market in 2014. The pigments market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to exhibit the fastest growth rate during the forecast period. Increasing population and rising per capita income in developing countries in Asia Pacific have generated significant demand for paints and coatings in the building & construction and automotive industries. On the other hand, Asia Pacific is expected to be the major producer of plastics during the forecast period. This, in turn, is projected to generate significant demand for pigments in the paints & coatings and plastics industries in Asia Pacific. Europe accounted for the second-largest share of the global pigments market in 2014. Middle East & Africa and Latin America are estimated to be the emerging market for pigments, exhibiting promising growth rate during the forecast period.
Key manufacturers of pigments include The Chemours Company, Huntsman Corporation, BASF SE, Lanxess AG, Clariant AG, Altana AG, and DIC Corporation.
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