The global nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) market size stood at USD 1.94 billion in 2016. Automotive, oil & gas, and mechanical engineering sectors are a few of the major applications that significantly consume synthetic rubber goods such as cables, hoses, and extruded goods. This in turn is likely to drive the demand for NBR over the forecast period.
Nitrile rubber also known as acrylonitrile butadiene rubber is favorably used for making numerous industrial goods, owing to their relatively superior performance and structural attributes over other synthetic polymers. The product is characterized by high resilience towards oils, chemicals, fuels, and heat and its performance can be enhanced by increasing the acrylonitrile content.
U.S. nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) market volume by product, 2014 - 2025 (Kilo Tons)
In terms of volume, the total product demand in the U.S. reached 89.5 kilo tons in 2015. Increasing unconventional oil & gas exploration activities in the country is projected to boost the utilization of resilient rubber goods in the next couple of years. This in turn, is estimated to drive the industry growth over the forecast period.
NBR based seals & O-rings, hoses, and other oil & gas hardware goods are significantly consumed in oil & gas applications, owing to their high oil & fuel resistance. Key forward integrated industry players in the U.S. including AirBoss Rubber Compounding and Atlantic Gasket Corporation offer nitrile rubber for oil & gas and mechanical goods.
Research & development regarding processing of micronized powders is expected to play a significant role in supporting the industry growth in the U.S. For instance, in September 2014 JSR Corporation announced its plans of forming a technology licensing agreement with Lehigh Technologies based in Georgia, U.S. for production of micronized NBR powder.
Automotive, mechanical engineering, medical, and construction are the next major end-uses that are expected to offer significant leverage in the U.S. market over the years ahead, owing to significant consumption of NBR goods such as gaskets, hydraulic hoses, and cables.
The market has been classified based on key product types that include belts, cables, hoses, molded & extruded products, seals & O-rings, adhesives & sealants, rubber compounds, gloves, and foamed products. In terms of revenue, the seals & O-rings segment accounted for 18.6% share of the global industry in 2016.
Seals & O-rings are used in various pressure sensitive applications and are widely used in automobile engines as reciprocating and rotary seals for relative motion between inner and outer elements. O-rings are extensively used to reduce friction resulting in increased shelf life of the vehicle and lower the overall maintenance costs.
NBR is favorably used in the processing of seals & O-rings as it is characterized by good mechanical strength and improves the final product’s resistance to wear and extrusion. Additionally, this product is expected to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period.
Molded & extruded products segment constituted the second-largest revenue share followed by belts and rubber compounds in 2016. The product is used in the manufacturing of molded nitrile gaskets owing to their excellent tensile strength and resilience. These gaskets are widely consumed in high pressure systems, owing to their high chemical and temperature resistance.
Gloves is expected to be the fastest growing product category in the global market by the end of 2025. Nitrile rubber offers good puncture resistance, chemical inertness, high temperature range, long shelf life and high level of sensitivity. These properties make the product suitable for use in manufacturing of industrial & medical gloves.
Automotive, construction, mechanical engineering, oil & gas, medical, and metallurgy & mining are the key applications segmented in the research study. In terms of revenue, the automotive sector was the largest consuming application in the industry, which captured 38.3% of the total market in 2016.
Global nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) market volume by application, 2016 (%)
The mechanical engineering applications of the product include mainly valves and precision diaphragms and other machineries & equipment components to prevent loss of fluid or gas and other industrial applications. This application category accounted for the second-largest demand in 2016.
Oil & gas is expected to be one of the fastest growing end-uses of NBR over the next couple of years. The product is widely incorporated in sealing, molding components, rubber-to metal bonded components, tubing, and connector applications in the oil & gas sector, owing to its high resistance to oils, fuels, and solvents.
The construction sector incorporates the use of NBR in processing of building materials such as cables, hoses, and adhesives & sealants. Nitrile based construction adhesives are utilized in ceramic tiles, carpet laying, roofing & wall coverings and countertop lamination, as they offer good bond strength, temperature stability, weather resistance and chemical stability.
Medical and metallurgy & mining are the next important end-uses of the industry. Other end-uses include pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics packaging. Superior characteristics such as good sealing properties, low gas and water permeability, excellent oil resistance and a low level of migrating substances from polymers make them suitable for use in pharmaceutical and food processing industries.
Asia Pacific constituted the largest share of 55.5% of the total market volume in 2016. Rapid industrialization and bulk production of automotive components and molded & extruded polymer products in key countries including China, India, and ASEAN countries is estimated to propel the consumption of NBR in the next couple of years.
Moreover, rising government initiatives for the expansion of the automotive sector in key Asia Pacific countries are expected to augment the product demand. Increasing production of passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and motor cycles are anticipated to propel the consumption of nitrile rubber during the forecast period.
Central & South America and Middle East & Africa are expected to witness an emerging industry growth in the future. Significant development of the construction, mechanical engineering, metallurgy & mining, and automotive sectors has been significantly developed in the past few years in Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and the GCC countries.
North America and Europe are likely to illustrate a stabilized growth trend in the next couple of years. Increasing awareness towards the health & safety of workers coupled with stringent government regulations pertaining to occupational hazards are expected to boost the usage of NBR industrial gloves and is expected to support the steady growth in these regions.
Lanxess AG, Kumho Petrochemical Co., PetroChina, Synthos S.A., Zeon Chemicals, Sibur Holdings, Versalis and JSR Corporation, Omnova Solutions. Lanxess AG supplies an extensive NBR product portfolio under the brand names PERBUNAN, KRYNAC, and BAYMOD.
Synthos S.A., Sinopec Corporation, Versalis and PetroChina are some of the integrated manufacturers who are engaged in the business of manufacturing and distribution of raw materials as well as NBR products. Emergence of small scale players in Asia Pacific region are likely to have a major impact on the competitiveness of the industry.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2015
2017 - 2025
Volume in kilo tons, revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2017 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Germany, UK, CIS, China, India, Brazil
Volume and revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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Segments covered in the report
This report forecasts volume and revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends for each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global nitrile rubber (NBR) market on the basis of product, application and region:
Product Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Molded & Extruded Products
Seals & O-rings
Adhesives & Sealants
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Oil & Gas
Metallurgy & Mining
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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