The content of this report will be updated with the latest scenarios based on the global COVID-19 Pandemic
The global polymer foam market size is expected to reach USD 153.8 billion by 2027, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., expanding at a CAGR of 3.8% over the forecast period. Rising demand from automotive and building and construction industries is likely to drive the market. Polymer foams are widely utilized in combination with other materials in various composite constructions, high-resilience foam seating, rigid insulation panels, automotive components, carpet underlays, upholstery stuffing, and packaging, among other applications.
Rigid types are primarily used as an insulation material in construction and refrigeration applications. They are energy-efficient and help in cutting energy costs. Flexible types are mainly used as a cushioning material in transportation, furniture, bedding, carpet underlay, and packaging, among others.
Rising focus on development of biodegradable foams owing to stringent environmental regulations across the globe has opened new market opportunities for manufacturers. Manufacturing cost of these biodegradable types is still higher than petroleum-based chemicals. Therefore, it will take a couple of years for manufacturers to completely adopt this variant.
On the basis of type, polystyrene foam was the largest segment in 2019 and accounted for 31.8% of the global revenue. Expanded polystyrene-based products have excellent shock absorbing properties and are preferred in storing, packaging, and transporting of electrical equipment, cooked food, and perishable goods. They are also preferred in various marine floatation applications, including construction of floating docks, surfboards, and boat stands.
Polyolefin foams, including polypropylene and polyethylene, are expected to witness significant expansion in the forthcoming years. Traditionally, low melt strength of these products, particularly polypropylene, limited the growth of this segment in the global polymer foam market. Several technologies including post-reactor radiation and compounding modifiers method have been introduced by various polyolefin manufacturers, such as Borealis and LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V. The aim is to improve the strength of polyolefins to meet the requirements of wind energy applications, including spar webs and shell panels, and marine applications like vibration control and cushion seats.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period owing to the burgeoning growth in construction, automotive, and wind energy industries in China and India. Growth of the automotive and building and construction industries in Europe is expected to drive the demand for polymer foam over the forecast period.
Further key findings from the report suggest:
- On the basis of type, polyolefin is estimated to emerge as one of the fastest-growing segments over the forecast period as product penetration has increased over the past few years in the flooring and automotive industries. Companies such as Sekisui Alveo AG, Armacell International S.A., and Borealis AG produce polyolefin foams in rolls and sheets that are environmentally friendly, versatile, and lightweight
- Building and construction was the largest application segment in 2019 and accounted for 37.9% of the overall volume
- Asia Pacific is estimated to witness the highest growth over the forecast period on account of surging demand from the manufacturing sector in countries like India, China, and Indonesia
- Key players operating in the market for polymer foam include BASF SE, Woodbridge Foam Corporation, Borealis AG, Sealed Air Corporation, Zotefoams PL, Armacell International S.A., and Recticel Group.