Global colored polyurethane (PU) foams market size was estimated at 4,437.7 kilo tons in 2014. Automobile manufacturers are finding alternatives to metal in vehicles in order to reduce overall vehicle weight and therefore enhance fuel efficiency. This has resulted into high opportunities for plastics such as polyurethane (PU), polyamide (PA) and polypropylene (PP).
The product is majorly used for seating purposes. Other important application in automotive industry are door skins, spare wheel trays, boot lining trays, headliners, dashboard trims, carpet backing and center consoles. They are useful as an insulating substance to control vibrations, noise and harshness features.
Increase in construction activities is also expected to drive global industry growth over the forecast period. Numerous design features are offered by the product for homes and buildings. In addition, its insulating function for walls emerges makes colored PU foams as an ideal solution for construction projects.
U.S. colored polyurethane (PU) foams market revenue by product, 2012-2022 (USD Million)
Other advantages for homes and building include exceptional durability and excellent fatigue resistance. Environment friendly nature is expected to further enhance overall demand in the future owing to its ability to reduce carbon emission levels.
Highly volatile toluene diisocyanate and methylene diphenyldiisocyanate prices which are petrochemical derivatives are expected to restrain global industry growth over the forecast period.
Recently, manufacturers have come up with bio-based raw materials for product manufacturing in order to avoid hindrance from petrochemical industry such as lack of supply and higher prices.
On the basis of product, the market is segmented into flexible and rigid PU foams. Flexible are majorly used in cushioning. The product category has dominated the global industry with an overall volume share of approximately 58% in 2014.
Rigid products are widely used in insulating applications. Automotive industry is one of the major application segments for rigid. Owing to high growth in automotive, the product category is expected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period.
Furniture and interior dominated the application segment as they are widely used in beddings, mattresses, carpets and couches manufacturing. Construction segment is another important application segment covering around 24% volume share globally.
In construction industry, colored PU foams are widely used for architectural and insulation designs. With the increase in construction activities in Asia Pacific region, the segment is expected to cover major volume share over the forecast period.
Electronic appliances segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 5.7% from 2015 to 2022 owing to developing demand for high strength and efficient appliances coupled with attractive appearance.
North America was the leading regional market owing to huge demand in electronic appliances and automotive industry. The region was followed by Europe. Asia Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period.
Developments in end use industries such as automotive, electronic appliances, packaging and construction has decreased in operating costs resulting into PU foams capacity additions in major countries such as India, China and Japan. Therefore, all these factors are resulted into the highest regional growth over the forecast period.
Rest of World (RoW) comprises of Central & South America and Middle East & Africa These regions are expected witness significant growth owing to automobile industry developments coupled with increase in construction projects in developing regions such as Middle East and Africa.
Global colored PU foams market is highly fragmented as small and medium sized industry participants accounts for around more than 70% of global market share in 2014. Key companies include Huntsman Corporation, BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation.
Other companies are Rogers Corporation, Carpenter Company, Recticel S.A., Bayer MaterialScience AG, Stepan Company and INOAC Corporation. BASF has its presence across the value chain by integrating its operations.
The company not only produces colored PU foams but it also involved into its raw material production and marketing & selling activities. The company is also expected to expand polyurethane production capacity over the forecast period in order to maximize its overall profits.
There is a huge presence of companies in Asia Pacific and entry of new entrants is expected to increase in the region over the forecast period owing to developing automotive, packaging and electronic appliances industries.
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