The laminar substrate is covered with metal oxides to produce pearlescent pigments. Both natural as well as synthetic techniques are employed to manufacture pearlescent pigments. Natural pearl pigments utilize natural mica as a substrate material. On the other hand, silica, alumina and synthetic mica are being employed by synthetic pearl pigments as a substrate material.
Although natural pearlescent pigments cover the largest share in the market as far as the consumption is concerned but the employment of synthetic pearlescent pigments is gaining much speed when compared with natural pearlescent pigments. Other than that, it is said that the manufacturing of synthetic pearlescent pigment modified for particular end user uses is a more practical process than manufacturing natural pearl pigments. These pigments are known to have distinctive optical features and characteristics. They are semi-transparent in nature.
Prominent factors that are playing a major role in raising the global pearlescent pigments market size include rising inclination for aesthetics finishes in passenger cars and development of the automobile and construction industry. Pearlescent pigments are extensively utilized in the automotive paints and coatings sector, which is in turn compelling their demand in the coming future. On the other hand, strict regulations laid down by the government are anticipated to have a detrimental effect on the overall growth of the pearlescent market size over the forecast period.
It has also been observed that many small and medium-scale enterprises have walked out from the pearlescent pigment market as they were facing the high costs that were required in making the regulatory compliances certain. Despite this, it is noted that the cost of pearlescent pigments is comparatively high in developed areas of North America and Western Europe when compared to Asia Pacific.
Asia Pacific has pearlescent pigments available at a much cheaper price, the reason being low cost of labor and widespread availability of raw materials like natural mica. Market size on the basis of structure type spans substrate-free, monolayer and multilayer pearl pigment. Among all the segments, the multilayer segment has taken over the biggest market share as per the value and it is likely to continue as the leading segment in the market in the near future. Market size on the basis of product type spans natural pearl pigment, synthetic pearl pigment and glass flake pearl pigment.
Among all, the segment of natural pearl pigment is likely to record for the largest market share in terms of value in the next couple of years. Market size on the basis of application spans automotive paints, paints & coatings, personal care, plastics, printing, and others. Others may include architecture, decorative paints, home appliances and textiles. Among all the applications, the segment of automotive paints application has contributed largely as per the value is concerned.
Market size on the basis of geographical region spans Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ), North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Middle East & Africa and Japan. As far as the geography is concerned, Western Europe and North America were considered to be the leading markets for pearlescent pigment. On the contrary, Asia Pacific Excluding Japan is estimated to be the most profitable and productive market in the coming future. Major companies operating in the Pearlescent Pigments Market include CQV, Altana, EMD, Basf, Sun Chem, Cristal, GEO Tech, Sudarshan, Kuncai, and RIKA.
Research Support Specialist, USA