Small particles provide orientation and signal effect as well as camouflage and sun protection, if necessary – pigments are coloring substances that are essentially insoluble in water or other application media. They are mainly added to paints and coatings, plastics, and building materials (soluble dyes, on the other hand, are mostly used for dyeing liquids). Ceresana has now analyzed the entire market for pigments for the sixth time in a study announced on 28 July 2020.
The region Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share of global demand in 2019. The market researchers at Ceresana also expect the highest growth over the coming years for this region of the world and Africa. Global demand for pigments is forecast to increase to around 11.14 million tonnes by 2027.
Surface decoration and protection
The most important sales market for the pigment industry in 2019 was the application area paints and coatings with a demand of 4.65 million tonnes. The demand in the category plastics ranked second by a considerable margin, followed by the application areas construction materials, printing inks, and paper. Interior and facade paints for the construction industry account for around 2.4 million tonnes of pigments. The second-largest sub-market is industrial products. Coatings can perform a variety of functions – protection against environmental influences, decoration, and, for example, electrical insulation for electrical goods or an oxygen barrier for food packaging.
Pigments for plastics and printing inks
With around 1.3 million tonnes, rigid and flexible packaging accounts for the majority of pigment applications in the plastics sector. The second-largest area of use is in industrial applications, for example, in components for the automotive industry, electrical engineering and electronics, mechanical engineering, medical technology, and the agricultural industry. With regard to printing inks, the use of pigments in offset printing dominates the total market for printing inks with a 52% share. The second-largest application is the use of pigments in flexographic printing, which is used in particular for flexible packaging, cellulose and non-wovens, labels, corrugated cardboard, cardboard boxes, and films.
Titanium dioxide and iron oxide are the most important pigment types
Inorganic and organic pigments can be distinguished by their chemical composition – organic pigments are based on carbon, whereas inorganic pigments are usually metal salts. The white, inorganic compound titanium dioxide (TiO2) accounts for about 59% of the global demand for pigments. Titanium dioxide is mainly used for paints and coatings. The second-largest sales market is iron oxide pigments, the most widely used inorganic color pigment. Carbon black follows in third place – it is primarily used as a filler for rubber applications, especially in car tires; however, it can also be used as a pigment. The other inorganic pigments and all organic pigments, such as azo pigments or polycyclic pigments, only account for a small part of the global pigment market with a total volume of less than 1 million tonnes. However, their range of applications is very broad – they offer outstanding color strength, light and weather resistance, or other properties for special applications.
The study provides useful company profiles of the 103 most important pigment manufacturers. It is structured according to contact details, revenues, profit, product portfolio, production facilities, and profile summary. The most important manufacturers include, for example, Clariant International Ltd., DIC Corporation, Heubach GmbH, Lanxess AG, Merck KGaA, Pidilite Industries Limited, Rio Tinto Group, Umicore SA, and Venator Materials Plc.
Based in Koblenz, Germany, Ceresana is specialized in studying the chemicals, plastics, packaging, and industrial goods segments. www.ceresana.com/en/market-studies/chemicals/pigments/