According to the latest report published by Credence Research, Inc. “Global Polyurethane Foams Market – Growth, Future Prospects and Competitive Analysis, 2018-2026,” the global Polyurethane Foams market was valued at US$ 55.85 Bn in 2017, expected to grow at the CAGR of 5.2% from 2018 to 2026.
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Due to its diverse applicability, polyurethane foams are subject to high demand from various end-use industries such as bedding & furniture, building & construction, electronics, automotive & transport, footwear, packaging and others (textiles, refrigeration, etc.). Factors such as increasing demand from end-use industries due to increased energy efficiency and reduced production weight, coupled with rising middle classes in emerging markets that support the growth of polyurethane foam worldwide. Polyurethane foams are lightweight and cheaper than traditional materials in many end-use industries. In addition, polyurethane foam is chemically stable, versatile and serves as an ideal insulating material in the building and construction sector. Polyurethane foam types include flexible PU foam, rigid PU foam, and spray PU foam significantly penetrate their end-use industries as each form has different characteristics as per manufacturing and is designed to meet their application requirements for end-use products.
Flexible PU Foam accounted for the largest share in 2017, led by rigid PU foam and PU foam spray. Properties such as resilience, light weight and sound / energy absorption make flexible polyurethane foams a key material in the bedding & furniture and automotive & transport industries. While rigid PU foam exhibits the fastest growth during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026, the thermal insulation properties of rigid PU foam is becoming a key material in the construction and end-use industry. In addition, governments in both developed and developing economies are formulating more policies to promote energy efficiency and conservation in order to achieve climate and energy objectives, which, in turn, will drive a rigid market for PU foam in the coming years.
Building & Construction had the largest market share of Polyurethane Foams by the end-use industry in 2017. In the building and construction industry, polyurethane foams have a fruitful use for insulated panels, wall and roof insulation, and for door and window fillers. The flexibility, energy efficiency, thermal / mechanical performance and environmental savings characteristics of polyurethane foams make it the perfect material for this industry. Investment in infrastructure development and housing projects, particularly in developed economies, is expected to boost demand for polyurethane foams in the construction and construction industry. Automotive & Transportation was the second largest end-use industry with a market share of more than 20% in 2017. Polyurethane Foams market has a positive outlook in the automotive and transport end-use industry as it moves towards greater fuel efficiency and increasing demand from HVAC, headrests, seats, arm rests and other indoor systems.
Based on geography, Asia-Pacific is the leading geography in terms of value and volume during 2017-2018. China and India are among the major markets for Asia-Pacific due to an increasing population of disposable income, rapid economic growth and booming manufacturing, automotive and electronics end-use industries. North America is closely monitoring the Asia-Pacific market in terms of value and volume intake. North America PU Foams market is driven mainly by increasing demand for flexible polyurethane foam automotive seats and customer needs. In addition, the turnaround in furniture, interiors and construction in the North American region also leads to the overall growth of the demand for polyurethane foams.
Key manufacturers of polyurethane foams operating in the market include BASF SE, Covestro, The Dow Chemical Company, Huntsman Corporation, Armacell, Chemtura Corporation, and Dowdupont among others.