The global stone plastic composite flooring market is expected to witness significant growth on account of its eco-friendly, recyclable, and waterproofing properties. Stone Plastic Composite materials (SPC) or Stone Polymer Composite materials comprise around 60% of limestone, and polyvinyl chloride, which gives the product rigidness and strength. SPCs are majorly used in commercial and residential floorings. Factors such as the growing building & construction sector and substantial demand for the product are expected to trigger the overall market growth over the projected period.
Superior stability, fire-resistance, stain-resistance, anti-slippage, zero volatile organic compounds, and zero formaldehyde emissions offered by the product are predicted to have a positive impact on the demand. SPC comprises four layers, namely the UV coating layer, wear layer, vinyl top layer, and SPC core layer. While the UV coating layer offers wear and stain resistance; the wear layer offers scratch resistance. The vinyl top layer is waterproof and comprises the pattern, texture, and color of the flooring. SPC core layer is made by combining limestone powder and stabilizers that provide stable core and waterproofing properties.
In December 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with California Air Resources Board (CARB) published a report on formaldehyde emissions from wood products that are either produced domestically or imported into the U.S. Later in August 2019, the EPA made amendments to the existing rules to further reduce formaldehyde emissions. These growing government regulations and norms are expected to fuel the SPC flooring market growth over the coming eight years.
Flourishing building & construction sector and high disposable incomes are likely to drive the SPC market growth globally. SPC (4.5 mm thickness) in domestic use has a lifespan of around 7 years, while SPC (7.5mm thickness) in commercial use has a lifespan of around 15 years. This makes SPC preferable over traditional flooring materials such as hardwood.
The ease of DIY (do-it-yourself) installations over costly professional installations are expected to trigger the demand for SPC materials, thus increasing their growth potential. Hardwood installation costs for 1,000 sq.ft are approximately around USD 6,000 as of 2018, while DIY SPC installation costs for 1,000 sq.ft stand at USD 4,000. Low installation costs along with aesthetic appeal are predicted to further fuel the SPC market growth globally over the forecast period.
SPCs are used to replace exterior wood decking such as molding, fencing, and door jambs, where durability is important. In exterior applications, such as windows and doors, SPCs are used to resist rotting and weathering owing to their superior temperature stability. Besides, they are used in renovation applications to help strengthen beams, walls, and slabs. These diverse applications of SPC materials in the building & construction sector are expected to increase the demand for the product in the coming years.
SPC is affordable and offers stability and rigidness. Stone plastic composite materials used for flooring are affordable, rigid and offer stability to both residential and commercial purposes. However, it is perceived to be very hard underfoot as it is made from stone. This may cause a higher rate of injury and more noise while walking when compared to wood plastic composite (WPC) floorings. Therefore, SPC is likely to be more appropriate for commercial uses such as in-office spaces and restaurants rather for usage in residences. The aforementioned factor is expected to hamper product growth in the residential sector over the upcoming years.
The waterproofing properties offered by both WPC and SPC remain their core advantages. WPC, made out of wood, is smoother underfoot, however, it has less rigidness and strength compared to SPC. SPC is stiffer, sturdier, and less resilient, which is expected to substantially boost its growth in the coming years.
The Asia Pacific is expected to account for a high market share followed by North America and Europe in the years to come. Growing building & construction sectors in emerging economies, such as China and India and the growing inclination of consumers to spend on luxury products, are likely to drive market growth across the region. North America is anticipated to grab a sizable share of the SPC market owing to higher technology adoption and penetration.
Armstrong Flooring Inc, CFL flooring Denco group Ltd, Zhejiang Oufei New Material Co., Ltd, Xinghua Zhengfu Plastic Industry Co., Ltd, Chenxing, Changzhou Lingdian wood Co., Ltd, Tops Flooring, Shanghai 3C Industrial Co Ltd, Jining Luxing Plates Co., Ltd, Foshan NewBetter Building Materials Co., Ltd, Yestrong Incorporation Limited, Muchsee Wood Flooring Pvt Ltd, and Jiansu Zhengyoung Flooring Decorative Material Co., Ltd. are some of the key players in the market.
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The mining industry accounts for a vital share of the global economy and is responsible for supplying key raw materials for several applications and end-use industries, thus being a key sector of focus amidst the ongoing pandemic outbreak. Mining industries in China are expected to return to normal operations by Q3 of 2020 as enterprises indicated towards the returning of their workers soon. Moreover, Iron ore producers are known to be the least impacted. Major players such as BHP and Vale reported experiencing no major influence on their operations due to the COVID-19 virus. The iron ore prices reached above USD 90 per ton amidst the pandemic situation which may negatively impact the end-use industries. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.