Elastomer, any rubbery material composed of long chainlike molecules, or polymers, that are capable of recovering their original shape after being stretched. Elastomers can be categorized into two major types; Thermoset elastomers and Thermoplastic elastomers.
Thermoset elastomers: Thermoset elastomers are vulcanized (cured) to produce a degree of crosslinking between the polymer chains. The cross-linking is irreversible, unlike with thermoplastic elastomers which will soften and flow above a given temperature. Some examples of these elastomers are bromobutyl, chlorinated polyethylene, chlorobutyl, fluorocarbon, hydrogenated nitrile, isoprene, styrene butadiene, tetrafluoroethylene propylene, etc.
Thermoplastic elastomers: Thermoplastic elastomers have many of the physical properties of vulcanized rubbers but can be processed like thermoplastics. They are used in applications as diverse as adhesives, footwear, medical devices, automobile parts, and asphalt modification. Some examples of these elastomers are thermoplastic urethane elastomers, polyester amide elastomers, copolyether ester elastomers, styrenic block copolymers, etc.
Elastomers are gaining high demand in automotive, pharmaceuticals, electrical & electronics, building & construction, and other developing sectors. Elastomers in vehicle manufacturing industries act as a replacement for PVC and other materials to increase fuel efficiency and performance.
The global elastomers market was valued at USD88 billion in 2020 and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% from 2021 to 2027 due to rising demand in the automotive industry for high-performance and lightweight materials in vehicle production. More than 40% of all elastomers are used in the automotive and transportation industry. APAC is the leading market with ~50% market share. Countries like China and India are considered automotive manufacturing hubs. Hence, the demands of elastomers from these countries are the major driving factor behind the growth of the global elastomers industry.
The process of elastomers manufacturing holds the key in determining the cost driver of the same. Though the fixed cost of machinery and equipment are the most important aspects of the elastomers manufacturing cost structure, the molding process including injection moulding and transfer moulding accounted for more than one-third of the overall cost of operations. Moreover, post moulding operation costs like trimming costs, post-curing costs, product testing costs, and etching costs hold major cost shares in elastomers manufacturing operation.
The global elastomers market is negatively impacted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Major elastomers consumers like India and China were forced to put a temporary halt on the construction and automotive manufacturing activities. The automotive production in these regions has decreased by more than 14% in 2020 compared to 2019. This has led to a decline in the demand for the elastomers used in manufacturing automotive and construction materials such as tires, gaskets, plastics, tubes, adhesives, coatings, belts, and hoses.
LG Chem. Ltd., Arkema, Inc., PolyOne Corporation, Covestro AG, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, The Dow Chemical Company, and Huntsman International LLC., are some of the key elastomers suppliers. The global elastomers industry features a highly fragmented landscape with industry leaders contributing less than 20% of the market share. Leading suppliers are strengthening their presence through multiple mergers and acquisitions. Grand View Research will help our client identify the best-suited suppliers by mapping their core capabilities and operational efficiency.
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