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The global thermoplastic polyurethane market size was USD 2.42 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 2.53 billion in 2023 to USD 4.59 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 8.9% during the forecast period.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is formed by processing thermoplastic elastomer using methods, such as injection, compression, and extrusion molding. It is suitable for soft engineering thermoplastic and hard rubber products due to its flexibility. The growing polyurethane advancement by several manufacturers will escalate product adoption. Growing demand for biodegradable and flexible plastics from the consumer goods and footwear industries is expected to drive growth of the market. Additionally, the growing product preference from automotive industry due to its biocompatibility and hydrolytic stability will create growth opportunities for the market.
Disruption in Production and Consumption during COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Market Decline
Thermoplastic polyurethane production was significantly influenced by government restrictions imposed during the pandemic. The product manufacturing & processing was halted due to the shortage of labor, insufficiency of raw materials, and machinery closures. A huge impact was seen from the demand side with the supply chain disturbances and the assembly plant closures from various end-use industries.
The footwear and clothing industries faced a severe decline globally during the pandemic. As per Confcommercio, a merchants' group, the clothes and footwear sales fell to zero for companies in Italy due to the limited access to the e-commerce network in March 2020. Moreover, the sales of clothes and footwear reduced by 67.4% across all channels in March 2020. However, the respective country governments made supportive policies to re-organize their economy. The product demand was thus stabilized by the end of 2022.
Rising Biodegradable Plastics Demand due to Growing Environment Pollution Will Augment Market Growth
The increasing expansion of bio-based plastics will drive thermoplastics polyurethane consumption. Traditional petroleum-based plastics release harmful chemicals in the soil on dumping, reaching the groundwater sources. This leads to severe health impacts on animals and humans. Hence, governments have imposed many regulations to produce and utilize environmental-friendly plastics. Thermoplastic polyurethane is biodegradable and provides grease resistance, abrasion resistance, and strong mechanical properties. Furthermore, the U.S. National Library of Medicine has recognized TPUs as environmentally friendly because this type of polymers are produced using polyester diols as soft segments and degradable chain extenders. Thus, the abovementioned factors are expected to create growth opportunities for the market.
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Preference for Lightweight and High-Performance Materials from Sports Industry to Drive Market Growth
Thermoplastic polyurethane is a versatile, lightweight, tough material with excellent abrasion and slip resistance. These properties have made this polyurethane an ideal material for several footwear producers and have increased adoption in their products. Further, the sports and leisure industries have embraced TPU due to its high-performance properties. This polymer is used in sports equipment to produce lightweight, robust, and flexible components. It is important in improving athletes' performance and safety and is preferred from high-performance sports shoes to lightweight protective gear. As sports and leisure industries attempt to improve the performance and efficiency of their goods, the demand for TPU has increased. The increasing health consciousness will raise the demand for running shoes globally. Moreover, the rising disposable income will drive product demand from the sports industry for footwear applications.
High Manufacturing Costs to Hinder Market Growth
TPU has a comparatively high cost of production than traditional materials. The product's higher price restricts its adoption, mainly in less demanding end-uses. This high price is associated with a great variation and customization of the product. Further, the polymer production processes including injection molding, extrusion, and compression molding need large machinery and skilled workforce. This increases the total product manufacturing cost. Moreover, the availability of substitutes such as rubbers, silicone, and polypropylene may exert downward pressure on prices, affecting profit margins for manufacturing companies. This is expected to hamper the market expansion during the forecast period.
Polyester Segment Held Largest Market Share Owing to its Superior Properties
Based on type, the market is segmented into polyester, polyether, polycaprolactone, and others.
The polyester segment held the largest thermoplastic polyurethane market share in 2022. Polyester-based thermoplastic polyurethane is vastly adopted in applications requiring resistance to water, oils, and fuels. Additionally, the polyester type offers superior transparency, owing to which it is highly used in construction and engineering applications. The rising preference for polyether type from the automotive sector will surge the segment growth during the forecast timeline. Polycaprolactone is estimated to grow at the fastest rate due to its inherent toughness and abrasion resistance properties. Polycarpolactome is widely utilized in potential bone tissue engineering applications due to its antimicrobial and mechanical properties.
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Footwear Segment Held Highest Market Share due to Increasing Product Adoption
Based on application, the market is segmented into automotive, construction, engineering, footwear, hose & tubing, wire & cable, and others.
The footwear application held the largest market share in 2022. Growth in the demand for durable and comfortable shoes and rising consumer spending on footwear will boost product adoption in footwear applications.
The automotive segment is anticipated to grow at the fastest CAGR during the review period. The rising product preference from automotive parts & components, including rocker panels, body-side trim cladding, and ditch covers will drive the segment's growth.
In the construction industry, the rising demand for thermoplastic polyurethane as an insulator to improve buildings’ aesthetics and durability will boost market growth. The high tensile strength and shock absorption properties have increased the preference for polyester type in the engineering application. The rising demand for thermoplastic polyurethane tubes, hoses, and pipes from consumer goods is expected to fuel hose & tubing segment growth. The rapidly growing electronic industry is anticipated to drive product usage in wire & cable applications during the projected period.
Asia Pacific Thermoplastic Polyurethane Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 1.40 billion in 2022. The countries in the Asia Pacific, especially China and India, have witnessed significant industrialization and urbanization. High development and growth, industry consolidations, and population expansion have resulted in innovation, positioning Asia Pacific as a global industrial hub. Additionally, the need for high-performance materials has increased thermoplastic polyurethane demand from automotive, construction, and consumer goods industries. Furthermore, rising infrastructure developments and product demand as an insulator in the construction industry will drive China's thermoplastic polyurethane market growth.
The increasing focus on sustainable and eco-friendly materials has driven the demand for bio-based and recycled thermoplastic polyurethane formulations in North America, as they offer improved environmental performance. The increasing demand for polyester-based products from the electronics industry is anticipated to drive the market in the region.
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The rapidly growing automotive industry in countries, such as Germany, France, and the U.K. will propel market growth in Europe. The technological advancements by the manufacturing companies in the region to enhance the product properties, such as UV resistance, chemical resistance, and flame retardancy, will lead to a wide range of application opportunities.
The Middle East & Africa is witnessing substantial infrastructure development, which has positively impacted the demand for thermoplastic polyurethane in application like wire & cable coatings, roofing membranes, and architectural fabrics.
Latin America is expected to grow considerably due to increasing product demand from engineering applications. Moreover, the automotive and footwear industries are experiencing growth in the region. The polymer is widely used in these industries due to its durability, versatility, and lightweight properties, leading to an increased product demand in the region.
Capacity Expansion is the Key Strategic Initiative Implemented by Companies
BASF SE, Lubrizol Corporation, Covestro AG, and Huntsman Corporation are key producers operating in the market. These companies are involved in capacity improvement, product innovation, and collaborations in the market. These companies have a wide geographic presence and distribution network to serve their customers efficiently.
An Infographic Representation of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Market
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The market report provides a detailed market analysis and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, technologies, and leading application areas. Besides this, the research report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the abovementioned factors, the sample report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years.
CAGR of 8.9% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million Ton)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.42 billion in 2022, with a projected market size of USD 4.59 billion by 2030.
In 2022, the market value stood at USD 2.42 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 8.9%, the market will exhibit rapid growth in the forecast period (2023-2030).
The footwear segment led the market during the forecast period.
The increasing demand for the product from the footwear industry is set to be the key factor driving the market.
China held the highest market share in 2022.
BASF SE, Lubrizol Corporation, Covestro AG, and Huntsman Corporation are the leading players in the market.
The increasing demand for biodegradable plastics is anticipated to boost the consumption of the product.
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