Global Polyurethane Foam Blowing Agents Market - Top 3 Drivers by Technavio

Technavio market research analysts forecast the global polyurethane foam blowing agents market to grow at a CAGR of close to 6% during the forecast period, according to their latest report.

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(Graphic: Business Wire)

(Graphic: Business Wire)

The market study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global polyurethane foam blowing agents market for 2017-2021. Foam blowing agents play a crucial role by providing a cellular structure to the foamed products. Along with blowing agents, additives, such as nucleating agents and stabilizers, are used for manufacturing of foams. The commonly used manufacturing processes for manufacturing polyurethane foams are extrusion foaming, slab-stock by pouring, and different forms of molding.

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Technavio analysts highlight the following three market drivers that are contributing to the growth of the polyurethane foam blowing agents:

  • Growing demand from emerging economies
  • Superior properties of PU for insulation
  • Demand for PU foam blowing agents in automotive and construction industry

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Growing demand from emerging economies

The PU foam blowing agents market is witnessing high growth in the emerging economies of the world such as Brazil, China, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, and India. Many OEMs in the insulation and automotive sectors are relocating their manufacturing operations to these countries due to the availability of land, cheap labor, low transportation costs, and less stringent government norms.

In 2015, China was the largest consumer of polyurethane foam. The PU foam market in India is growing fast due to the increasing use of PU foams for insulation in refrigerators and the construction industry.

According to Hitesh Bhatia, a lead analyst at Technavio for plastics, polymers, and elastomers research, “PU foams offer moisture resistance and provide long-term high-performance insulation. Growth in the transportation and building and construction sectors in the emerging economies will drive growth in the global PU foam blowing agents market during the forecast period.”

Superior properties of PU for insulation

PU foams can be molded into strong elastomers or rigid plastics and are available in a broad range of hardness. These foams offer the hardness of metals coupled with the flexibility of rubber. These can be used as substitutes for conventional plastic materials and metals. PU foams can reduce the overall OEM’s product cost. The use of this ultra-tough material helps reduce downtime, production time, and cost of parts. Of all the key varieties of insulation materials, PU rigid foam offers best insulation and durability.

Polyurethane engineered foams are used in a wide range of industries such as transportation, aerospace and defense, industrial, and construction. They are used as substitutes for traditional plastic components and metals due to their unique physical characteristics. Since PU foams are unmatchable for insulation applications, the PU foams segment will retain its leading market position in the global foams market.

Demand for PU foam blowing agents in automotive and construction industry

The global automotive industry is expected to grow at 3.5% during the forecast period and is driving the demand for foam blowing agents. PU foam blowing agents are widely used in the manufacture of foams used for automotive parts such as side skirts, wiper cowls, roll pans, and bumpers. The increasing demand for automotive will lead to the growth of the global PU foam blowing agents market during the forecast period.

“The construction sector, which is witnessing a massive development, will be a key contributor to the global PU foam blowing agents market. The rising demand for housing, hospitality, flooring material, and effective noise, vibration and harshness solutions is expected to drive the demand for PU foam blowing agents during the forecast period,” adds Hitesh.

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