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Plastics and rubber with excellent global growth perspectives

Plastics and rubber with excellent global growth perspectives
Since 1952, the K trade fair in Düsseldorf has been presenting tangible evidence of the plastics and rubber industry's global success. In its seventh decade, the trade fair again shows many examples of the global plastics industry's impressive growth rates. In tri-annual intervals, this event provides an overview of leading-edge technological developments. No other event shows polymer engineering, materials, machine, processing and mould engineering in such breadth and depth or a similar abundance of plastic and rubber applications than the Düsseldorf flagship fair. And the twentieth edition of the K trade fair in 2016 is no different: a benchmark and orientation point for anybody interested in a comprehensive overview of the plastics and plastics processing industry.

The enormous growth rates reported for the consumption of plastics and rubber as production materials are testament to this industry's global success. Between 1950 and 2015, these rates have risen by an average of 8.5% per annum. While today's growth rates are not quite as substantial as those recorded between 1950 and 1970, they have still been rising by between 4 and 5% since the beginning of the new millennium. They do, however, vary significantly from region to region, and change with the product and application.

Global acceptance of polymer materials

The rising global population and the overall improvement in living standards are the main factors that drive global growth. The effects of increasing prosperity can be seen in many markets for plastics application, spearheaded by packaging for food and convenience goods, but also in the variety of storage and shipping containers. Infrastructure and construction also require the use of plastics in water, electricity and gas supply systems, as well as in insulation, window profiles and many more. Another aspect is increasing mobility - in cars, lorries and airplanes. Medical engineering is one area of application where polymer materials have become indispensable: without safe, disposable and hygienic plastics products, technical devices and systems, diagnostics, laboratory equipment and the safe application of medical drugs would not be able to comply with current quality standards. This also applies to our modern and widely appreciated sports and leisure products. In their markets, these applications, equipped with or entirely made of plastics or rubber, contribute to the global acceptance and proliferation of polymer materials.