Plastic foams Market: Introduction
Plastic foams, or polymer foam is a sponge-like material prepared by polymer matrix. It is generally a dispersion of a gas in the form of blowing agent in a polymer matrix. The foaming of plastic is carried out via physical, chemical and mechanical methods. Some of the common methods include thermal decomposition by chemical blowing agent, mechanical whipping of gas into liquid polymer, chemical blowing reaction, incorporating tiny beads into a polymer mass, and other methods.
Plastic foams offers extensive properties such as light weight material, superior thermal and acoustic insulation, good strength to weight ratio, energy absorbing ability, and good cushioning and comfort properties. Thus, plastic foams are found in wide range applications such as packaging, automotive, furniture, shoes, electronics, aerospace, construction, toys, and many more. The global consumption of plastic foams is experiencing a steep growth in the coming long-term period.
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Plastic foams Market: Market Dynamics
Rising development of lightweight commercial vehicles has led to an increase in the use of plastic foams to manufacture automobile parts. As plastic foams-made automobile parts contribute to reducing the overall weight of the vehicle, several OEMs in automotive sector are anticipated to follow this trend. This is attributed to increasing demand for high performance which can be achieved by reducing the overall weight of vehicles. Due to reduced weight, engine will consume a low amount of gasoline and will work in an efficient manner for the long run.
Also, lower emission of VOC (Volatile organic compound) is achieved that helps to reduce air pollution on a large scale. Plastic foams also find extensive usage in the footwear industry. Various top brands are focusing on developing lightweight sports shoes, increasing the demand for plastic foams. Moreover, rising trends in the usage of technologically advanced lightweight plastic foam in the medical sector have further increased the consumption of plastic foams. Plastic foams are used in multiple application in the medical sector, including gaskets and sealing in medical devices, patient cushioning and fluid management, surgery kits, and others.
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Plastic foams Market: Segmentation
The global Plastic foams market is segmented on the basis of type, density, material, end-use industry and region.
Based on the type, the global plastic foams market is segmented as:
Based on the density, the global plastic foams market is segmented as:
- High Density (0.5 g/cm3 – 1 g/cm3)
- Medium Density (0.1 g/cm3 – 0.5 g/cm3)
- Low Density (<0.1 g/cm3)
Based on the material, the global Plastic foams market is segmented as:
- Polyurethane Foam
- Polystyrene Foam
- Expandable Polystyrene Foam (EPS)
- Extruded Polystyrene Foam (XPS)
- PVC Foam
- Phenolic Foam
- Polyolefin Foam
- Polyethylene Foam (PE)
- Polypropylene Foam (PP)
- EVA Foam
Polyurethane foam accounts for the majority of the share of over 50% in the global plastic foams market, while polystyrene foam accounts for one fourth of the global plastic foams consumption.
Based on the end-use industry, the global plastic foams market is segmented as:
- Building & Construction
- Aviation & Aerospace
- Footwear, Sports & Recreational
- Others (Marine, Wind Energy, Etc.)
Based on region, the global Plastic foams market is segmented as:
- North America
- Latin America
- East Asia
- South Asia & Oceania
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Plastic foams Market: Regional Outlook
Among the regions mentioned above, East Asia is estimated to account for around 40% of global plastic foams consumption. The region is a manufacturer of plastic foams and is forecast to experience a number of capacity additions in the long-term. The region, on the back of China, India, Thailand, etc. is projected to witness lucrative growth in the automotive and building & construction sector during the forecast period. The consumption of plastic foams in China and Vietnam will grow sturdily in the forecast period, owing to the strong demand for footwear foams in the region.
North America experienced a decline in automotive production between 2016 and 2018 which had a slight impact on the region’s plastic foams demand. The plastic foams market in the region will witness low to stagnant growth in the short-term forecast. In Europe, the demand for plastic foams will be majorly driven by the packaging and automobile industry with majority of growth to be witnessed in the Eastern and Central region. Latin America will have a strong growth in the forecast period owing to rise in automobile industry in the region.
Plastic foams Market: Prominent players
Prominent players in the global Plastic foams market is BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Arkema, Armacell International S.A, Borealis AG, JSP, Kaneka Corporation, Recticel, Rogers Corporation, SABIC, Sekisui Alveo AG, Synthos S.A., Toray Industries, Inc., Total SA, and Zotefoams PLC, amongst others. The Plastic foams market is fragmented with the presence of diversified global and regional players with global vendors ruling the market.
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