Industrial Applications of Superabsorbent Polymers (Slush Powder)

Assessing the growth of global superabsorbent polymers market involves analysis of multiple industrial applications of such materials. The first commercial production of super absorbent polymers can be dated back to 1970s when Japanese industrial scientists revolutionized the use of absorbent material in various consumer goods such as diapers. By 2020, more than US$ 9 billion revenues are projected to be amassed globally from the sales of super absorbent polymers. Some of the prominent industrial applications of super absorbent polymers or slush powder include:

  • Production of artificial snow, which is primarily used to depict winters in motion picture, music videos, other videography-based content, as well as by performing artists in theatre skits, is made from slush powder mixed with artificial colours & softeners.
  • Potting soils used for garden maintenance are derived from superabsorbent polymers that enhanced their capacity of holding water for plants.
  • The usage of super absorbent polymers is gaining traction in waste stabilization processes, which are a significant aspect in global environmental remediation.
  • Solidifying medical wastes, which can turn hazardous over time, is carried out by laying out superabsorbent polymers which soak up fluids to leave behind a residual solid leftover.
  • Medical applications of super absorbent polymer materials is on a considerable rise, particularly due to their use in absorbing pus discharge while dressing wounds.
  • Superabsorbent polymers are also used in production of hot & cold therapy packets, motionless water beds, and surgical pads.
  • A prominent application of super absorbent polymers, which continues to rake in surplus revenues in the global market, is production of diapers, sanitary napkins and menstrual pads. Paediatric as well as adult diapers will continue to have super absorbent polymers as their core absorbent material.
  • Common applications of super absorbent polymers in consumer goods include, production of candles, composites, and laminates, frog tape, grow-in-water toys, magical effects products and fragrance carriers.
  • Agricultural industries are also actively promoting the use of super absorbent polymers in controlling the release of herbicides and pesticides, and using them to create edifices for flood control. Such polymers can be innovatively used for down-freeing water source to feeder insects.
  • Likewise, municipalities are also benefiting from the use of superabsorbent polymers in water filtration & purification systems.
  • Water retention properties of super absorbent polymers are additionally used in plant-watering measures and spill control.
  • Fuel monitoring systems, installed in aviation & automotive vehicles are said to include super absorbent polymers as a crucial material.
  • One of the most crucial application of super absorbent polymers remains to be its use in commercial-scale production of fire retardant gels.

Global Super Absorbent Polymers Market: Overview

In 2014, the global super absorbent polymers (SAP) market was valued at US$ 7.1 billion through revenues garnered from sales of more than 2,000 thousand tons of units. According to a research report compiled by Future Market Insights, the global SAP market is projected to sell approximately 2,892.4 thousand tons in volume by the end of 2020. The report also indicates that disposable diapers will account for nearly three-fourth of the global SAP revenues through 2020. Meanwhile, growing demand for feminine hygiene products and other adult incontinence products will collectively account for more than 20% of the global super absorbent polymer revenues over the forecast period. Paper packaging is anticipated to a key industrial application that will incur promising growth in the global market by the end of 2020.

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