Published March 1998
Intermaterial competition and substitution have intensified as a result of the high degree of material differentiation and the increased overlap in the application ranges of materials currently available. Ever-increasing efforts by polymer producers to identify new market segments and to tailor their materials to match particular end uses closely have resulted in greatly interdependent consumption patterns for polymers.
This review presents a new SRIC approach to modeling intermaterial substitution—one that focuses on identifying the complex links among competitors' materials, their technologies, and their capabilities, and the needs of various stakeholders in the production chain: polymer producers, converters, and final consumers.
To demonstrate the application of the approach, we provide a case study in which we simulate intermaterial competition among paper, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and low-density polyethylene (LDPE)/linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) for the carry-out grocery bag end use.