Demand for pigment dispersion is driven by several factors such as increased use of colored packaging materials for food packaging, consumer preference for thermal barrier coatings in residential construction, and rising use of automotive coatings to meet requirements of a continuously expanding automotive sector.
Colors play an important role in influencing the choice of a consumer while purchasing a food product. Brightly packaged food products are more likely to attract the attention of consumers in comparison to food products that come in plain packaging. Colors are also used by food processing manufacturers to differentiate their brands from competitors. They can also play an important role in effectively communicating the benefits offered by a product to consumers. These factors are expected to fuel demand in the expanding fast-food and packaged food industries in U.S.
Organic pigments are fast emerging as an alternative to some of the more toxic inorganic ones, especially those containing mercury, cadmium, lead, and hexavalent chromium metals. However, organic variants are expensive and not all exhibit properties superior to those exhibited by inorganic pigments. Manufacturers are investing in research and development activities to replace metals in the formulation to produce environment-friendly yellow and red synthetic pigments. This is sure to benefit the market.
The U.S. pigment dispersion market is segmented on the basis of type into organic and inorganic, with the latter further fragmented into calcium carbonate, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, carbon and vegetable black, ultramarine blue, and chrome green.
Minerals such as kaolin clay, titanium dioxide, talc, and calcium carbonate can be used as fillers in the paper industry. Calcium carbonate is present in two forms: ground calcium carbonate (GCC) and precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC). PCC, which is manufactured synthetically, has better gloss and opacity compared to GCC. PCC has been replacing titanium dioxide as a filler in the U.S. paper industry as it is cheaper.
Carbon black is the most preferred inorganic black pigment. Other black pigments include iron oxide black and acetylene black. The ultramarine blue pigment is used to impart blue color and offers chemical and weathering resistance for plastic and paper materials. In terms of revenue, the ultramarine blue pigment segment is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% over the forecast period.
Pigments are used in various plastics, paper, and paperboard materials as well as inks based on their application in food packaging. Varied colors play a major role in making the packaged product attractive. Pigments that impart an attractive color and suit a wide array of materials have been witnessing greater demand and growth. Pigment dispersion in inks is slated to witness the highest growth in terms of both revenue and volume.Various plastics such as polyurethane, polypropylene, and polystyrene are used for packaging of foods such as tortilla and breakfast cereals, which require longer shelf life. Plastics require pigments that can offer higher heat resistance, greater opacity, and improved dispersibility properties.
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