Polybutylene terephthalate Prices, markets & analysis
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Polybutylene Terephthalate Overview Transcript
Polyacetal or POM and polybutylene terephthalate also known as PBT are covered under the engineering plastics umbrella.
POM is a crystalline plastic often used for technical applications due to its strength, ductility and good machineability. Its properties make it suitable for click connections, for example, with bicycle light holders. The material is known for its stiffness, strength and hardness up to 120 degrees Celsius, and is as elastic as many metals. It is wear-resistant and has a very low friction coefficient.
PBT is a semi-crystalline white or off-white polyester similar in composition and properties to polyethylene terephthalate, though it has slightly lower strength and stiffness. PBT is softer, but it has higher impact strength and very similar chemical resistance. It is usually preferred for industrial-scale moulding because it has quicker crystallisation. It is widely used in electronic, electrical communication fibre optic and automotive industry.
The cost of feedstock methanol influences the POM price. The PBT price is highly influenced by the raw material costs of dimethyl terephthalate and butane diol.
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Polybutylene terephthalate: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
Asia’s polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) spot prices are expected to remain stable-to-soft in the fourth quarter, because of persistently bearish demand and an existing oversupply in key market China. Long public holidays in key markets such as China and India in October are expected to weigh on buying interest, as weak domestic market conditions and a gloomy macroeconomic outlook have dampened buyers’ confidence in building up inventories.
Price declines for upstream purified terephthalic acid (PTA) have also led to expectations of lower spot prices for PBT. However, the firming upstream butanediol (BDO) prices in China’s domestic market, which are a result of the turnarounds at local BDO facilities, are likely to prevent significant price decreases. Some PBT makers have said they plan to maintain prices as further reductions would squeeze margins or even cause losses.
The monitored operating rates at regional PBT facilities, coupled with an average rate of 40-60% at China-based PBT units, throughout the third quarter are likely to stabilise supply and prevent fluctuations in prices.
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Polybutylene terephthalate or PBT is a semi-crystalline, white or off-white polyester similar in both composition and properties to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It has slightly lower strength and stiffness than PET. PBT is softer, but it has higher impact strength and very similar chemical resistance. It is usually preferred for industrial scale moulding due to quicker crystallising. It is widely used in electronic, electrical, communications, fibre optics and automotive industries.
About Polybutylene terephthalate
Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) is included in the engineering plastics umbrella.
PBT is a thermoplastic polyester resin that has good impact strength, heat resistance and flow properties. It has many automotive applications such as mirror housings, fans, fuse boxes, cowl vents, and motor and ignition system components.
It also has uses in electrical and electronic products such as connectors, chip sockets, terminal boards, switches and circuit breakers.