Worldwide Polystyrene Foam Industry to 2030 - Demand for Foam-Based Materials from Non-Residential Building Sectors Presents Opportunities -

The "Polystyrene foam Market by Product, and End-use Industry: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021-2030" report has been added to's offering.

Polystyrene foam is a semi-finished product made from styrene and is used in a variety of insulations, shipment protections, and floatation applications. Polystyrene foams are of two types - expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam and extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam. EPS is a rigid, closed cell, thermoplastic foam material produced from solid beads of polystyrene by gas expansion. The gas expands when heat in the form of steam is applied, thus forming closed cells of EPS.

Extruded polystyrene (XPS) thermal insulation board is a rigid foam board having closed cell structure and is produced in a fully automated continuous extrusion process. Its unique properties of high compressive strength, higher R value and low water absorption makes it an ideal insulating material for roofs, walls, and floors.

EPS has a more cellular structure and fragments into individual beads when broken. XPS has a more closed-cell structure, and when examined closely, it is possible to differentiate EPS from XPS. EPS foam thermal insulation sheets have a spectrum of applications in the building sector.

Applications include use in ceilings and walls of buildings and pipes to isolate the heat. In buildings, thermal insulation is essential to save energy costs on HVAC systems. When a building is properly insulated thermally, there is less or no transfer of heat energy into the building, thus keeping the building at the occupant's preferred temperature. Thus, polystyrene foam insulation is employed by building constructors to regulate a building's internal temperature. EPS foam is also used in thermal insulation for refrigeration cabinets. Apart from insulation boards and panels, polystyrene foam molded parts are used in food and non-food packaging and in other storage applications.

Present demand for insulation panels and boards, increase in building construction, more importance to thermal insulation, and demand for packaging products are some of the major drivers of the polystyrene foam market. The demand for building materials increases with the rise in urbanization and industrialization.

Countries in Asia and Africa such as China, India, and South Africa present a significant growth opportunity for building insulation materials. Governments in developing countries focus on improving housing quality and must adhere to building energy codes. Stringent energy codes mandate the use of proper thermal insulation, thus creating a massive demand for insulation boards and panels made form EPS and XPS foams.

The demand for non-food packaging such as electronics and electrical appliances has also increased in the recent years, owing to the rise in penetration of e-retailers such as Amazon and Flipkart. On the other hand, the global food & beverage market is experiencing rapid growth and is backed by solid consumer demand for processed food. Changes in lifestyle has increased the demand for food packaging in the food processing and food service sectors. All such factors have increased the demand for polystyrene foam in the packaging sector.

Being a product of petrochemical, the prices of polystyrene and its related products are controlled by petrochemical demand and supply. Thus, fluctuations caused in demand due to plant shutdowns will tend to increase the price of polystyrene foam. This is projected to hamper the market demand as users tend to opt for more stable materials such as polymers. In addition, polystyrene is difficult to break down after disposal, thus creating an environmental concern. These factors limit the growth of the global polystyrene foam market.

Polystyrene foam products can be shaped into any desired shapes and sizes and has a variety of applications other than packaging and building insulation that could offer lucrative opportunities for market growth. For instance, in marine and fishing applications, EPS foam has become one of the main materials for building floats and buoys. Similar spike in demand for EPS is expected from aquaculture and agriculture.

Key benefits for stakeholders

  • Porter's five forces analysis helps to analyze the potential of buyers & suppliers and the competitive scenario of the industry for strategy building.
  • It outlines the current trends and future estimations of the market from 2020 to 2030 to understand the prevailing opportunities and potential investment pockets.
  • The major countries in the region have been mapped according to their individual revenue contribution to the regional market.
  • The key drivers, restraints, and opportunities and their detailed impact analysis are explained in the study.
  • The profiles of key players and their key strategic developments are enlisted in the report.

Market Dynamics


  • Increase in urbanization and industrialization driving the building & construction sector
  • Stringent energy efficiency and fire safety policies that drive insulation sales:
  • Rise in demand for Polystyrene foam in the packaging sector


  • Volatility in raw material prices


  • Demand for foam-based materials from non-residential building sector

Companies Mentioned

  • Alpek
  • ChovA
  • Drew Foam
  • DuPont
  • Kingspan Group
  • Knauf Insulation
  • Sunpor Kunststoff GmbH
  • Synthos S.A.
  • Xella International

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