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The global elastomeric foam market size was USD 2,648.6 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 4,462.1 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period.
Elastomeric foam is used as pipe insulation, available in a wide range of thickness and shapes, and can be easily handled to fit tightly around all kinds of equipment, from large commercial chillers to residential piping. Increasing demand for HVAC systems from industrial and residential applications attributed to the continuously changing weather conditions, pollution, contaminants, and humidity shall boost the market size. Also, closed-cell foam is best suitable for refrigeration applications. Due to easy installation and fire resistance properties, it is widely used in the heating & plumbing industry. In addition to this, they are used in the construction industry due to the lightweight nature, thus reducing the overall building weight.
COVID-19: Supply of Polypropylene & NBR is Low due to Complete Shutdown of Industrial Processes
COVID-19 has affected the global elastomeric market undesirably. Strict lockdowns were implemented as a precautionary measure which resulted in a temporary break in all commercial and industrial proceedings including manufacturing of polymers, elastomers, and elastomeric products. China is a prominent market for foam and these norms have significantly affected the Chinese market. Extended lockdown in China has resulted in a stall in the production of propylene which is an important elastomer used for manufacturing foam.
Several companies with manufacturing bases situated in China were temporarily shut down due to the critical situations that arose due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For instance, Zhejiang Weitai Rubber Company has delayed its restart of the Styrene-butadiene Rubber (SBR) plant at Zhejiang until February 2021. Moreover, the demand for raw materials such as SBR, polypropylene, NBR, acrylonitrile, and others was significantly lowered amidst the lockdown due to the complete shutdown of the industrial and commercial processes that use these elastomers as raw materials.
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Development of Eco-Friendly Products is a Prominent Trend
The increasing consumer awareness about the disposability and emissions of gases during the elastomers manufacturing process has significantly increased the demand for eco-friendly and sustainable insulation. Also, the use of CFCs, HFCs, and other toxic gases have been eliminated from the manufacturing process. The newly developed eco-friendly elastomeric foams are highly resilient, up to 40% lighter in weight than rubber sponge, do not absorb water, and can easily be fabricated. Accounting for these superior properties and their eco-friendly nature, consumer preferences are shifting towards product adoption.
For instance, in June 2017, BASF launched the next generation of eco-friendly spray foam insulation products under the brand name Elastospray. It provides maximum insulation and the best possible environmental compatibility. HFCs are often used as blowing agents to manufacture foams and have high GWP. Elastospray does not involve the use of fluorinated gases and therefore is environmentally compatible. Also, in March 2020, BASF extended its product range of expanded polypropylene foam Neopolen with improved surface properties. This product is manufactured in an eco-friendly way and without CFCs and also can be reused. Similarly, Armacell developed a new eco-friendly insulation pipe supporting ArmaFix Ecolight, using closed-cell elastomeric PET core in July 2018.
Increasing Demand for HVAC Systems from End-Use Sectors Will Aid Growth
HVAC systems are used to maintain the interior environment of infrastructures, vehicles, residential and commercial buildings. They involve maintaining the temperature, airflow, air quality, and ventilation of the area by heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Increasing demand from various application areas such as hospitals, residential facilities, apartments, and others where a safe and healthy environment is regulated according to the weather conditions, namely, humidity, temperature, and outdoor air availability, is anticipated to fuel the elastomeric foam market growth.
Stringent rules imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the safety and health of workers shall augment the demand for HVAC systems further driving this market. HVAC systems are often used to maintain a certain environment essential for the manufacturing or storing of products. For instance, OSHA has set certain guidelines for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Additionally, HVAC systems are available in many designs and types which help in enhancing the aesthetic value of the residential or commercial area. Increasing demand from the automotive sector for the HVAC systems to maintain indoor comfort, heat, and airflow in vehicles is significantly contributing to global demand.
Disposability & Lack of Awareness among Consumers May Hinder Growth
Foams are made of various elastomers such as chloroprene, butadiene, isoprene, acrylonitrile, Buna N, butyl rubbers, and others. Disposability is one of the factors that is limiting the market growth. A few elastomers produce toxic and harmful fumes, burn with a sooty flame, and produce an intolerable smell when burnt. Moreover, the use of conventional products such as cotton, natural latex, coir, and organic wool instead of elastomeric foam due to lack of exposure to technological advancements in material science is expected to lower the demand in the Middle East and Latin America.
Thermal Insulation Segment Dominated the Market in 2019
The elastomeric foam market by function is segmented into thermal insulation and acoustic insulation. Thermal insulation can be achieved by using specially engineered materials and processes like glass wools, cellulose, and others. In industries like textiles, construction, general manufacturing, automotive, and mechanical systems thermal insulation is one of the major factors that influence the manufacturing process.
Various foam manufacturing processes need different energy levels and temperatures to be carried out which are often controlled by thermal insulation. Additionally, the use of HVAC for maintaining appropriate ventilation, airflow, and heat in commercial, residential, industrial, and storage buildings will have a positive impact on the market. Thermal insulation prevents the building from overheating during hot climatic conditions as it slows down the heat transfer rate between any two temperature varied spaces.
EPDM Lead Owing to its Conformability, Lower Permeability, and Insulation Properties
On the basis of type, the market is segmented into NBR, EPDM, and others. EPDM accounted for a major share in 2019 and is likely to dominate the market during the forecast period. It is a polymer that exhibits exceptional properties such as conformability, lower permeability, and insulation. Expanded EPDM foams are used for sealing, gasketing, and insulating. It is often used for thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, and cushioning in various application areas such as vehicles, and residential buildings. EPDM is flexible, durable, has lower maintenance, and is a cost-effective solution for insulation. This is expected to drive the demand for EPDM foam. Increasing demand from the industrial and automotive sectors for durable, strong, and flexible material for insulation will lead to wide product adoption. For instance, in September 2018, Armacell presented high-performance foam solutions of range Ensolite, made from extruded EPDM rubber.
Type NBR rubber, also called Buna N and nitrile rubber is used to make foams. It is highly resilient, superior strength, oil, grease, and acid-resistant which makes it appropriate for insulation applications. NBR foam is generally used for manufacturing gaskets, seals, foam tapes, sheets, heat insulation, voice dampening, and soundproof application. Nitrile foam can easily be fabricated which can be used for construction, building, automotive, and other industrial applications. Due to the lower thermal conductivity, nitrile foams are used for manufacturing foam tubes which are used in the industry such as HVAC systems industrial pipelines, and other energy-saving applications.
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HVAC Segment to hold a Dominant Market Share
On the basis of application, the market is segmented into Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), automotive & transportation, electrical & electronics, and others. The HVAC segment dominated the market in 2019 and is likely to continue its dominance up to 2027. HVAC systems are used in industrial and residential areas to maintain the ventilation, airflow, and heating. It is used to maintain the comfort of indoor and vehicular interiors.
It is used in automotive sectors for internal cooling, cushioning, sealing, and gasketing in vehicles. Internal temperature and airflow of vehicles are managed by cooling systems which are often used as thermal insulators. The temperature generated by engines of vehicles can heat the interior of the car, thus causing discomfort. It is used to avoid the heating up of the interiors of vehicles and maintain the temperature within.
Additionally, they are used in gaskets, liners, seals, mats, and anti-rattle applications in the automotive sector. Armacell is a manufacturer of elastomeric foam which provides a widespread product portfolio for automotive and transportation applications. For instance, Ensolite, Monarc, and Oletex are the brands of Armacell which are used for automotive applications like gaskets, seals, and shock absorption applications. Whereas, the company’s Component Foam division products are used by the mass transit and for transportation applications for trailers or trucks, subways, and trains.
Elastomeric foam has excellent mechanical energy absorption properties, shock protective, and can withstand extreme environmental conditions. Attributed to these properties, they are used as insulative pads between the stacked circuit boards. Additionally, they can also be employed in various machines and devices for cushioning and acoustic insulation, thus driving its demand in electrical & electronics applications.
Asia Pacific Elastomeric Foam Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)
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Asia Pacific is anticipated to account for the largest elastomeric foam market share in the global market. High demand from the industrial sector for HVAC systems to maintain temperature and ventilation will boost the demand for the elastomeric foam. Thermal insulation is one of the most widely adopted techniques and is used in several industries which help to maintain the proper environment that is necessary for the manufacturing processes. For instance, in chemical storing and manufacturing industries, proper ventilation, temperature adjustment, and air cleaning to maintain a healthy and safe environment for workers is required. The increasing demand from such manufacturing industries and storage units shall boost the demand for HVAC systems in this region.
The ease of availability of raw materials in countries such as China, India, and other Southeast Asian countries are expected to have a positive impact on market growth. Lower labor cost in several countries across the Asia Pacific is one of the primary factors that will encourage the manufacturers to establish newer production facilities and business units.
North America accounted for a significant share in the global market in 2019. It will derive growth from the construction industry. The high demand for HVAC systems from commercial & residential buildings and infrastructure activities shall augment the regional construction market. The rising consumer expenditure on infrastructure activities with increasing per-capita disposable income is substantially increasing the market growth for HVAC systems Stringent rules imposed by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding product usage shall boost production in the region.
Europe accounts for a considerable share of the global market owing to the high product adoption in the automotive sector. Elastomeric foams are used in vehicles for thermal insulation and vehicular atmosphere comfort. Europe is one of the leading automotive manufacturing regions which substantially is driving the market. Moreover, the increasing demand from the packaging sector for thermally insulating material attributed to strong water vapor permeability, resistance to moisture absorption, flexibility, and durability will aid market growth.
Manufacturers are Forming Alliances and Strategies to Strengthen their Market Position
Major players operating in the industry are Armacell International SA, Zotefoams PLC, Kaimann Insulation, Aeroflex USA, Inc., Rubberlite. Inc., and others. Companies are focused on developing next-generation products with enhanced performance and quality for applications in various end-use sectors. For instance, Rubberlite introduced PU foams developed using the Covestro Elastomers which can be employed in various application areas such as footwear, medical, automotive, and industrial sectors.
Moreover, companies are employing different strategies to develop products, increase production, and strengthen the foothold in regional markets. For example, in May 2018, Armacell acquired a China-based elastomeric foam manufacturing company Guangdong De Xu Insulation Materials Co. Ltd. under the brand name Sinoflex. This helped in reinforcing the capability of covering the local market as well as adding on to the production potential in Asia Pacific.
An Infographic Representation of Elastomeric Foam Market
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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the advanced market over recent years.
Value (USD Million)
Function, Type, Application, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2,648.6 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 4,462.1 million by 2027.
In 2019, the market value stood at USD 2,648.6 million.
Registering a CAGR of 6.8%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
The HVAC is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
The growing demand for energy savings in the HVAC systems infrastructure is a key factor driving the market growth.
Armacell International SA, Zotefoams PLC, Kaimann Insulation, and Rubberlite, Inc. are some of the leading players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the global market in terms of share in 2019.
The rising demand from HVAC, automotive, and electrical & electronics industries is expected to drive the adoption of this product.
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