Polymer Foam Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Polymer Foam Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Polyurethane, Polystyrene, Polyolefin, Melamine, Phenolic, PVC), By Application, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2019 - 2025

  • Published Date: Mar, 2019
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2018
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-932-6
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2017
  • Number of Pages: 140

Industry Insights

The global polymer foam market size was valued at USD 109.71 billion in 2018 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 4.0% from 2019 to 2025. Growing applications in various industries, such as packaging, furniture and bedding, and automotive industries, are expected to drive the product demand.

Polymer foams are extremely lightweight and versatile, highly durable, mildew resistant, and dermatologically-friendly. These properties make them safe and recommendable for numerous consumer applications. Polyurethane based foams are widely used in building and construction, automotive, and marine industries. Polyurethane (PU) foams are durable, lightweight, versatile, and resistant to corrosion and vibration, recyclable, and offer high level of freedom in geometric design. PU are increasingly used in various passenger car seat cushions, gasket seals, arm rests, head rests, cushioned instrument panels, airbags, and other components to create lightweight, fuel-efficient, and durable structures. Owing to the above factors and their broad application scope, polyurethane foams are expected to witness significant demand in the Asia Pacific automotive industry.

U.S. polymer foam market

Environmental benefits of the PU foam include high recyclability, clean incineration for pollutant filtration, reduced wastage, and greater sustainability. However, several governments and federal agencies are increasingly raising concerns regarding detrimental health effects of isocyanates utilized in polyurethane production.

Significant technological advancements, such as introduction of bio-based polyols and non-toxic isocyanates, are also likely to promote PU foams demand in several applications. Existing and new market entrants are thus compelled to innovate or improve their current production processes to gain higher margins in this extremely competitive industry. Major multinationals such as Bayer and the Dow Chemical Company have developed innovative manufacturing processes and raw materials to reduce dependence on conventional fossil-fuel based resources and to improve production yield.

Emerging markets across Asia Pacific are gearing up their production facilities to meet ever-growing demands from burgeoning population. Countries, such as China and India, with high GDP growth rates are expected to witness rapid expansion in automotive, construction, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing sectors. These factors are likely to foster demand in several related applications.

Government support in the form of tax incentives and subsidy schemes to encourage the manufacturing sector in these countries is also likely to promote demand for bio-based PU to replace environmentally harmful crude oil based solvents. Initiatives such as “Make in India” by the Indian government seek to facilitate investments and encourage domestic production. This is expected to generate high returns for companies investing in high potential products, such as polyurethane, polystyrene, and PVC foams, especially with the introduction of their bio-based counterparts.

Type Insights

Polyurethane foam dominated the market in 2018 and is expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. The product is used in various applications, including furniture, cushions, and carpets. It has a wide customer base owing to its superior capabilities, such as lightweight, low heat and sound transfer, high-energy dissipation, and insulation. Increasing demand for residential and commercial space in Southeast Asian countries, such as Singapore, Korea, and Indonesia, is further expected to fuel product demand in construction applications.

Expanded polystyrene foam is one of the lightest materials and on account of its high strength to weight ratio, it is used in packaging applications as it results in low fuel consumption and transport cost savings. It can also be used in rail applications, such as construction of train station platform extensions, and rail embankment. The rail infrastructure construction projects in Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa is expected to drive the demand for polystyrene foam over the forecast period.

Application Insights

Building and construction was the largest segment owing to rising applications of polymer foam for insulation purposes, flooring, pipe, molding, and in wire and cables. Furniture and bedding will remain the second largest segment owing to increasing applications, such as carpet padding, fibers, chair cushions, mattress padding, and furniture.

Global polymer foam market

Automotive is estimated to be one of the fastest-growing segments over the forecast period on account of increasing use in various automotive components, such as seats, dashboards, power trains, and suspension bushings. Recovery of the U.S. automobile sector, coupled with increasing automotive production in emerging economies of India and China, is expected to have a positive impact on the overall market growth. Packaging is expected to follow the automotive segment and is likely to witness significant growth owing to surging demand for polystyrene foams from the packaging sector.

Regional Insights

The U.S. polymer foam market was driven by rising demand for polyurethane and polystyrene foams in building and construction and marine applications and PVC foam in wind energy applications. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the new residential housing completions increased from approximately 900 thousand units in 2014 to 1,200 thousand units in 2018. This steady rise in residential units had driven the demand from building and construction application.

Asia Pacific was the largest regional market and accounted for 39.54% share of the global revenue in 2018. Positive outlook for the manufacturing industry in light of increasing focus on research and development, coupled with favorable government initiatives to attract investments, is expected to result in regional market expansion.

Growing industrialization, production of automobile interiors or parts, and packaging industries in emerging economies, such as India and China, are expected to boost demand over the forecast period. Rising foreign direct investment is expected to contribute to investments in these sectors.

Polymer Foam Market Share Insights

The market is fragmented in nature with various regional players, such as CIRES SpA, Sealed Air, Vulcan Corporation, and Premier Foam, and well-established global manufacturers, including DowDuPont Inc.; BASF SE; and Armacell International S.A. Majority of the manufacturers are based in North America and Europe and therefore these regions witness high competition. The market players offer a wide variety of polymer foams based on polyurethane, polyethylene, polyether, and expanded polystyrene and serve a broad range of markets, such as construction, wind energy, automotive, mass transportation, marine, and packaging.

Recticel, Armacell International S.A., JSP Corporation, Zotefoams, and FoamPartner are among the leading manufacturers. Companies such as Armacell, Recticel, Zotefoams, BASF, DowDuPont, and Trelleborg have well-established presence in North America and Europe with respect to the consumers in marine, rail, renewable energy, and construction markets. While manufacturers such as Sekisui, and JSP Corporation predominantly have presence in Asia and cater to the consumers in Asia Pacific.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2017

Forecast period

2019 - 2025

Market representation

Volume in Kilotons, Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2019 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, volume forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

Country Scope

U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Italy, U.K., Spain, Russia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, and Brazil

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global polymer foam market report on the basis of type, application, and region:

  • Type Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Polyurethane

    • Polystyrene

    • PVC

    • Phenolic

    • Polyolefin

    • Melamine

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Packaging

    • Building & Constructions

    • Furniture & Bedding

    • Automotive

    • Rail

    • Wind

    • Marine

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • U.K.

      • Spain

      • Russia

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

      • Singapore

      • Indonesia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

Key questions answered by the report
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