Flexible Polymer Foam Market: Low Density Foam

  • Flexible polymer foams have low density and are permeable to air. These foams are soft and provide more comfort. Thus, they are widely used in furniture and beddings.
  • Flexible polymer foams possess low weight and high strength-to-weight properties. Moreover, flexible polymer foams offer superior thermal & acoustic insulation and energy absorptivity. Increase in the number of reconstruction of building activities is expected to fuel the flexible polymer foams market.
  • Flexible polymer foams are extensively used in home furnishings, such as furniture, bedding, and carpet underlay. These foams are durable and offer comfort when used as a cushioning material for upholstered furniture.

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Key Drivers of Global Flexible Polymer Foam Market

  • According to the Confederation of International Contractors’ Association, the global construction industry has a turnover of US$ 7 Trn. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration 2014, buildings accounted for approximately 35%-40% of the total energy consumed in developing nation. Rise in initiatives such as construction of sustainable buildings is likely to drive the demand for energy efficient construction materials across the globe. Various countries across the globe are striving to enhance residential and public infrastructures. This is expected to boost the demand for flexible polymer foams.
  • Properties of flexible polymer foams, such as lightweight, superior insulation and flexibility, and low heat or sound transfer called as optimal insulators are projected to increase its demand for building and construction activities. Increase in legislations and building standards to reduce heat loss is anticipated to propel the demand for polymeric foams during the forecast period.

Polyurethane Type Segment to Offer Attractive Opportunities

  • In terms of volume and value, polyurethane is projected to be a rapidly growing type segment of the global flexible polymer foam market during the forecast period
  • Polyurethane is a polymerized product of organic isocyanates and hydroxyl group of polyol or diol. Most of polyurethane is used in the production of flexible polymer foams. These are extensively used in diverse industries, such as building & construction, automotive, and packaging, owing to their various properties, including lightweight, durability, and versatility.
  • Flexible polyurethane foams are extensively used due to their low density, thermal conductivity, and good mechanical strength, which makes them a preferred choice. Additionally, the technology employed for the manufacturing of flexible polyurethane foams is well-established.  Thus, these foams are superior than others. 

Volatile Raw Material Prices Likely to Hamper Global Flexible Polymer Foam Market

  • Raw materials, such as polyurethane, polystyrene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride are used to manufacture flexible polymer foams. These petrochemical derivatives are subject to fluctuation in prices and supply of crude oil. Constant variation in prices of crude oil affects the manufacturing of flexible polymer foams, as changes in prices escalate the production cost of these foams. Furthermore, manufacturers do not increase the prices of their products to stay competitive in the market. This is expected to adversely affect the operating profit of manufacturers of flexible polymer foams.
  • Fluctuation in prices of crude oil significantly affects exploration activities. This, in turn, hampers the prices of flexible polymer foams. Natural gas or crude oil is largely used as feedstock for these foams. This renders the flexible polymer foam market susceptible to fluctuations in prices of oil & gas.

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Asia Pacific Expected to Hold Major Share of Global Flexible Polymer Foam Market

  • Asia Pacific dominated the global flexible polymer foams market in 2018. This market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to maintain its attractiveness during the forecast period, owing to the increase in population and rise in urbanization in developing countries of the region. This population rise is fueling the demand for housing facilities, especially in China and India, thus driving the demand for flexible polymer foams.
  • Rise in FDI investments in automotive and construction industries in developing economies of the Asia Pacific region is another factor fueling market growth in the region
  • The flexible polymer foams market in Europe is projected to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period, due to the increase in the governmental spending on infrastructure development and advancements in the production of automotive vehicles. These factors are projected to offer lucrative opportunities in the flexible polymer foams market.
  • Latin America and Middle East & Africa are less attractive regions for flexible polymer foams. Presence of small number of producers, dependency on imports, and high manufacturing costs are limiting the sale of flexible polymer foams in these regions.

Key Players in Global Flexible Polymer Foam Market:

Key players operating in the global flexible polymer foam market include:

  • 3M
  • SABIC
  • BASF SE
  • Covestro AG
  • Sealed Air Corporation
  • Recticel NV
  • Rogers Corporation
  • Zotefoams PLC
  • Toray Industries Inc.
  • Total S.A.
  • Kaneka Corporation
  • Others

Global Flexible Polymer Foam Market: Research Scope

Global Flexible Polymer Foam Market, by Type

  • Polypropylene
  • Polystyrene
  • Polyurethanes
  • Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Polycarbonate
  • Others

Global Flexible Polymer Foam Market, by End-use Industry

  • Cushioning
  • Building & Construction
  • Packaging
  • Automotive Safety
  • Footwear
  • Others

Global Flexible Polymer Foam Market, by Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

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