The global thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films market size was estimated at 51.81 kilo tons in 2015. Increasing penetration of high-performance films in various automotive applications has driven the industry growth in recent years.
These films are the class of polyurethane plastics with various exceptional properties, such as high elasticity, transparency as well as resistance to grease, oil, and abrasion. They are rapidly becoming the material of choice for leisure sports products owing to their exceptional gas permeability. Also, they also offer excellent protection for leisure sports products in different weather conditions. Fashion and shoes sectors have also generated lucrative opportunities for the industry.
Energy, furniture, leisure and medical industries are some other major consumer. The rapid expansion of these industries has created numerous potential opportunities for manufacturers. For medical and other applications where materials are reused, polyether-based TPU film is the best choice, especially when hygiene is a concern. Medical is another major consumer of these products.
The regional market has been witnessing technology upgradation owing to rapidly increasing scope in several niche segments. Moreover, growing environmental concerns regarding the use of various plastics has also helped in technological advancements across the region. These factors have proven to be conducive for overall growth over past few years.
Estane, developed by Lubrizol, has been gaining popularity in across the region as an environmentally friendly alternative for sheets and fabric coatings offering. The company’s Moisture Vapor Transmission (MVT) technology combined with its protective barrier properties guards against water and wind, while allowing fabric breathability and soft touch comfort for outerwear.
The government support to increase FDI flow in China and India have been some of the major factors driving the regional sector across Asia Pacific. Various other initiatives such as “Smart Cities” and “Make in India” directed towards infrastructural development have boosted the demand for high-quality plastic products in construction activities. The aerospace sector is also witnessing considerable growth rate, while the automotive sector is contributing the most towards revenue generation.
Aerospace is expected to emerge as the fastest growing segment by 2020, growing at a rapid CAGR of 6.6%. TPU films are widely used for armrest surfaces, TV housings, seat cushions, masks, aircraft wire & cable jacketing, etc. Rapidly growing aviation sector across the emerging economies owing to technological advancement as well as increased spending capacity of consumers would contribute significantly to demand over the forecast period. They also hold the potential of replacing conventional plastics and metal components in aircraft sector.
Energy is another fast growing application segment. The segment has been positively influenced by the growing popularity of renewable energy generation. Rising number of solar power and wind power installations have led to increased demand for windmill blades and solar panels applications to provide an excellent surface protection.
Automotive was the dominant segment in 2015, contributing over 24% of market share by volume. TPU films are used in acoustic panels, airbags, anti-vibration panels, door panels, instrument panels, seats, etc. Rapid growth of the automotive industry across BRICS nations would remain a key driving factor. Also, increasing government support as well rising demand for lightweight and fuel-efficient passenger vehicles among consumers are some other factors driving the growth.
Earlier, most of the auto components were manufactured using steel as the major material; however, with the advancement of technologies, plastic became the preferred choice for manufacturing spare parts of automobiles. Later on, these materials were replaced by high performance materials like thermoplastic polyurethane which possesses properties of both polymers and rubber and weighs less than steel and even other plastic materials. Auto manufacturers preferred these polyurethanes since they substantially decreased the overall weight of automobiles to a great extent (almost by 40%).
TPU films in combination with textiles are used to manufacture various industrial fabrics, which is used in the construction industry. Growing GDP, urbanization, and rapid industrialization have resulted in increased spending on infrastructure by emerging economies such as China and India among others. Increasing construction spending across the region is another factor boosting demand.
These films can be used as a standalone or composite material to impart a wide array of value-added properties to various products. These highly flexible and tear resistant substrates are utilized in laminate composites, such as wound dressings. Besides this, they find applications in the construction of bullet resistant glass as well. Manufacturers are increasingly preferring these polymers since they deliver exceptional performance in various demanding physical and chemical conditions.
These dynamic substrates are capable of being customized for a variety of diverse sectors, including, membranes, bladders, water-resistant, breathable textiles, smart clothing as well as medical fabrics among others. The native performance characteristics of the product, such as abrasion resistance, antimicrobial nature, and chemical resistance, can also be enhanced using further chemical reactions.
Asia Pacific was the leading consumer and accounted for around 34% of the total market volume in 2015. Expansion of existing facilities by major industry participants along with various favorable government policies regarding textile trade activities across China is positively influencing the growth. Furthermore, growing infrastructure industries coupled with rising living standards among consumers have also spurred the demand in recent years.
North America is characterized by rapidly rising demand from automotive, construction and energy industries. The widening scope in leisure & sports applications would drive the growth in Europe. However, recent economic recession across the region has slowed down the growth of major end-use industries. This, in turn, would hinder the demand in upcoming years.
Asia Pacific dominates the market regarding production as well as consumption, on account of being a leading region for automobiles, sports goods and construction. China (including Taiwan) and India have overshadowed other Asian economies, accounting for over 60% of the total regional volume in 2013.
The global market is characterized by rising awareness regarding sustainable production as well as new product development. The industry has witnessed frequent mergers and acquisitions by companies in order to gain revenue share. Key participants include Bayer Material Science, Huntsman Corporation, 3M Company, MH&W International Corp., PAR Group, Avery Dennison, Permali Gloucester Ltd., BASF, Lubrizol, and Nippon Polyurethane among others.
The industry is highly fragmented and competitive in nature owing to the presence of several players. New entrants are involved in development of sustainable technologies to gain a competitive advantage over existing multinationals. Application development would be a key factor for manufacturers, while focusing on commercially feasible alternative technologies in near future.
Germany based Bayer Material Science emerged as the leading manufacturer and accounted for 13% of the total market in 2013. In November 2013, Bayer Material Science expanded its product development and expansion capacity in Germany with an investment of 45 million euro to adapt to the growing needs of various end-use industries.
Pricing is a key dynamic, with consumers being significantly price sensitive. Owing to higher raw material, utility and labor cost, the prices in North America and Europe are relatively higher compared to Asia Pacific prices, which are generally 25% to 35% cheaper. The prices are lower in China and India, with Japan being an expensive proposition from manufacturing perspective.
Companies such as PolyOne, Arkema, DuPont, and Merquinsa have ventured into the bio-based alternatives segment. Increasing R&D on sustainable thermoplastic polyurethanes would generate several opportunities for the participants over the forecast period. However, volatile prices of raw materials, such as propylene and aniline would negatively impact MDI and polyol supply. This factor would hamper profitability for participants over the forecast period.
This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis on latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2024. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global TPU films market report on the basis of application and region:
Application Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2020)
Leisure and sports
Building & Construction
Regional Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2020)
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