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Innovations in Refrigeration Sector to Fuel Growth in Foam Blowing Agents Market

Foam blowing agents are additives that are used in the expansion of the polymer matrix and its solidification during the manufacturing of polymer foams. With the widespread usage of foam blowing agents in the consumer electronics industry, it is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing industries in the word. In 2018, the electrical and electronics sector dominated the global foam blowing agents market by holding a market share of ~33%. This is likely to grow during the forecast period due to the rising demand for foam blowing agents in various applications such as refrigerators, ACs, ovens, and freezers, thereby fuelling the growth of the foam blowing agents market.

Fluorinated foam blowing agents such as HCFC and HFC are raising environmental concerns due to their high global warming potential. This has made them less appealing to stakeholders who are looking for energy-efficient and environment-friendly alternatives. At a time when there is a dire need for strong leadership on climate change, U.S. retailer Aldi has committed itself to the upscaling and utilization of energy-saving and pollution-free non-HFC technologies that will lead the way for retail cooling systems and refrigerators that do not emitting harmful greenhouse gases. Towards this, Aldi has embraced a system of using transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems, and is committed to opening several more at all its retail outlets in the U.S. Such a step is a stand-out initiative towards reducing greenhouse gases and moving towards environmental sustainability. Such prolific steps will spur the demand for ozone-friendly and greener foam blowing agents to be used in the refrigeration industry.

foam blowing agents market infographic

The demand for innovations in thermal insulation will continue to drive the foam blowing agents market. Huntsman Polyurethane is a global leader, supplying insulation solutions to almost 90 countries around the world. Its unique insulation technology has been used to create a prototype of a mobile and refrigerated food storage container, called a 'produce pod', which is being used to feed people from the economically-backward strata in Montgomery, Texas. This innovation was spearheaded as a result of a collaboration with four different companies - Kruger, Dyplast Products, Cardinal Manufacturing, and Southeast Coolers. The unique polyurethane insulation helps preserve perishable food items, and also allows mobility by enabling a constant temperature-controlled environment. These key innovations are a driving factor for the growth of the refrigeration sector, and consequently the foam blowing agents market.

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Alternative Blowing Agents - Significant Trend Driving the Foam Blowing Agents Market

This latest TMR report forecasts the foam blowing agents market to grow at a CAGR of ~6% over the period of 2019-2027, reaching a valuation of ~US$ 2.4 Bn by the end of 2027. A key trend driving the foam blowing agents market is the use of alternative foam blowing agents. With foam blowing agents such as Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and Hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs) being discontinued due to their harmful effects on the environment, the demand for alternative foam blowing agents will substantially increase.

Polyurethane foam dominate the global foam blowing agents market by holding a market share of ~60%, and this share will continue to rise during the forecast period. The increase in its market share can be attributed to its superior properties, which will drive the growth of the foam blowing agents market. Spray polyurethane foams using low-emission foam blowing agents have the ability to substantially reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that harm the environment. In 2019, Demilic Inc.’s new Heatlok HFO spray foam has been named as the best green building product at the International Builder’s Show. It uses a hydrofluoroolefin compound that has a substantially lower global warming potential, making it the ideal compound to be used in the foam blowing agents market. This has also boosted the demand for foam blowing agents as insulating agents in the construction sector, and will positively impact the foam blowing agents market.

Polyurethane foam has both, the important parameters of rigidity and flexibility, which makes it an excellent insulating material for buildings. Its rigidity allows it to be used for complex applications in the building and construction sector, and will likely spur the demand for foam blowing agents. Polyurethane foam will continue to grow by market share over the forecast period, due to its temperature-resistance and advanced durability. Its need is expected to increase, owing to the high demand for energy-efficient infrastructure.

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Healthcare Sector Showcases Hidden Opportunity for Growth of the Foam Blowing Agents Market

A huge momentum is expected in the foam blowing agents market due to their myriad applications in the booming medical sector. Consumer health consciousness, medical innovations, and rising product demand of medical devices will propel the growth of the foam blowing agents market.

In July 2019, the FDA granted approval to an expandable foam that is used to heal abdominal trauma in military personnel. Dubbed F.O.A.M (Fast Onset Abdominal Management), this specialized foaming agent is injected into the body and delivers the requisite pressure to stop abdominal bleeding. This abdominal trauma foam received FDA approval due to its propensity to revive military soldiers who have suffered from serious abdominal trauma. This breakthrough innovation has also spearheaded a quick regulatory compliance to help treat life-threatening abdominal conditions.

Another innovation has been the use of foaming agents as excipients in the formulation of antiseptic liquid soaps. SEPPIC supplies and distributes specialty chemical products for health and well-being. The foams used in its topical drug formulations ensure good penetration, aid in uniform distribution, and improve the texture of the product. The foaming agents also help retain antiseptic properties. Such healthcare disruptors that drive innovation are likely to bolster the demand for foam blowing agents.

foam blowing agents market segmentation

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Health Concerns and Environmental Challenges to Restrict Market Growth

Spray polyurethane foam comes with a series of health challenges, especially for those suffering from lung disorders, asthma, and skin conditions. Many manufacturers are strongly recommending that people who work in close proximity to such agents undergo strict medical checkups. Individuals with a history of these medical conditions might be restricted from working under such conditions, which, in turn, may hinder the growth of the foam blowing agents market.

The environmental impact of the use of HFCs as foam blowing agents cannot be overlooked. With a high Global Warming Potential (GWP) score, regulations are slowly coming into place to phase out the use of HFCs and other less environment-friendly foam blowing agents.

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer came into force on Jan 1, 2019, after being ratified by 60 countries. The Kigali Amendment requires that, developed and developing countries freeze the production and usage of HFCs in the foam blowing agents market, in the subsequent years. Developed countries, in particular, have to start with this freeze as early as the present year 2019. Stringent regulations surrounding their usage could deter and restrict the growth of the foam blowing agents market.

Analyzing the Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape of the foam blowing agents market shows that the market is moderately consolidated with a moderate number of market players. Leading market players such as Honeywell International Inc, DuPont, Arkema S.A, and Linde Group, together, account for ~60% of the market share. Both, Arkema SA and Honeywell International Inc use the powerful combination of expansion strategies, mergers & acquisitions, and science & technology innovations to propel ahead in the foam blowing agents market and stay at the top of the game.

For instance, in September 2018, Canada’s largest passive house retrofit project used Honeywell’s proprietary Solstice LBA to transform into a high quality commercial space. Solstice LBA is a low global warming potential new blowing agent, which was introduced by Honeywell in 2015 as an insulant and refrigerant. Honeywell won the American Chemical Council’s 'Polyurethane Innovation Award' for its non-ozone depleting features. In 2019, Arkema SA acquired Armaz, a chemical company, to consolidate its position as a top player in the foam blowing agents market. In March 2019, Arkema also successfully collaborated with Hexcel, to focus on R&D initiatives, by opening a new research & development center in Les Avineres, France. Arkema has also patented the use of Forane 1233zd as a blowing agent in the manufacture of polyurethane foam. Forane is high-performing and more environmental-friendly agent, and its usage will spur the growth of the foam blowing agents market, thus solidifying Arkema’s top position in the competitive landscape.

Emerging players such as Solvay and Linde Group, together, hold a market share of ~10% in the foam blowing agents market. Linde Group has a strong regional presence in Germany and some other parts of the world. Solvay Group, a multi-specialty chemical company, has put avid focus on the development of renewable chemistry and applications that promote sustainability. Cross-industry collaboration has been the pitch of Solvay. In 2018, Michelin reached out to Solvay for an energy-efficient methodology in all industrial processes for a greener business and sustainable outcome. This has allowed Solvay to bolster a strong position for itself as an emerging player in the foam blowing agents market. Linde Group also manufactures blowing agents such as pentane and pentane blends, as a cost-effective solution in terms of zero ozone depletion and low global warming potential.

Analysts’ Viewpoint

A comprehensive view of the foam blowing agents market has led our analysts to conclude that, the market is growing at a moderately-fast rate, with Asia Pacific being the leading market for foam blowing agents. The rising usage of foam blowing agents in diverse fields such as electronics, electrical, building & construction, furniture & bedding, and automotive is spurring their demand. The impact of the foam blowing agents market will remain high in developing economies in the Asia pacific region, where urbanization and demand for consumer goods such as refrigerators is high, and large-scale infrastructural projects are being undertaken. The demand for foam blowing agents is also felt in applications that require a high degree of environmental protection from ozone depleting agents and substances that have a high global warming potential.

Companies with sustainability initiatives, investment capabilities, and merger & acquisition strategies will gather momentum and profitability in the foam blowing agents market. Leading players who are leveraging technology will continue to grow exponentially and have a vast market revenue share. However, tight regulations and stringent usage policies could restrain the growth of the foam blowing agents market in the near future.

Foam Blowing Agents Market: Description

  • Foam blowing agents are used as additives in a formulation mixture that is used for the production of polymer foams. The thermal conductivity of foam blowing agents is a critical parameter that determines the characteristics of polymer foams. Lower the thermal conductivity of a foam blowing agent, better the performance of the polymer foam.
  • Hydrocarbons (HCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), methylal and methyl formate, and liquid carbon dioxide are some of the common foam blowing agents that are used for the manufacture of polymer foams. Foam blowing agents are highly used for the manufacture of polyurethane foams.
  • Foam blowing agents are of two types: physical and chemical. Chemical foam blowing agents undergo chemical reactions to produce byproducts such as water, whereas, physical foam blowing agents remain inert on the polymer matrix.
  • Key applications of foam blowing agents include the manufacture of polyurethane foams, polystyrene foams, and phenolic foams. These foams are widely used for insulation applications in a wide range of end-use industries such as electrical & electronics, building & construction, furniture & bedding, automotive, and footwear.

Key Growth Drivers of the Global Foam Blowing Agents Market

  • The surge in the demand for foam blowing agents for use in consumer appliances is a key factor fueling the global blowing agents market. Among the various types of consumer appliances, such as refrigerators, air-conditioners, water heaters, and other domestic appliances, foam blowing agents are highly consumed in refrigerators. Refrigeration is employed in industries such as food & beverages, medical & pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics, and mechanical.
  • Increase in the labor force in the refrigeration sector, both, in developed and developing countries, is anticipated to augment the sector, thereby fueling the demand for insulation foams and foam blowing agents.
  • The growing consumption of refrigerants for scientific experiments is another factor fueling the demand for foam blowing agents.
  • Applications in the building & construction industry, such as HVAC ducts, process piping, industrial equipment, tanks, and vessels, require proper insulation. This, in turn, is anticipated to augment the demand for foam blowing agents in the near future.
  • Developing countries in the Asia Pacific region are witnessing the migration of people from rural areas toward urban areas. This is likely to stimulate building activities in urban areas in the near future. Since urban areas are generally more insulation intensive than rural areas, the demand for insulating materials, and thereby, for foam blowing agents, is likely to rise in the next few years. Foamed plastic insulation is used more frequently in construction applications, due to its high insulation value.

Key Growth Challenges for the Global Foam Blowing Agents Market

  • The use of fluorinated foam blowing agents such as HCFC and HCF may pose environmental issues, owing to their high global warming potential (GWP) and high ozone depletion potential (ODP). As per the Montreal Protocol and Kigali Amendment, both, developed and developing countries are mandated to limit the consumption of halogenated foam blowing agents such as HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) and HCFC (hydrofluorochlorocarbon) to a certain level.
  • Next-generation foam blowing agents, though do not cause harm to the ozone layer, face formulation challenges. In a highly soluble form, an alternative foam blowing agent such as HFO (hydrofluoroolefin) can act as a plasticizer. High selectivity for surfactants and poor compatibility are some other challenges that producers face during the manufacture of next-generation foam blowing agents or alternative foam blowing agents.

Lucrative Opportunities in the Global Foam Blowing Agents Market

  • Foam blowing agents are employed in the production of polymer foams that are used for medical applications such as wound dressings, sealing of medical devices, medical device cushioning, prosthetic padding, custom orthotics, and body and underfoot pressure relief. Thus, the medical sector is likely to create attractive opportunities for the foam blowing agents market in the next few years.
  • Increase in the consumption of polyurethane foams in upholstery offers attractive growth opportunities to the global foam blowing agents market. Polymer foams are extensively used in furniture, bedding, and carpet underlays. Polymer foam producers work very closely with home-furnishing manufacturers to design improved products and test their performance in various applications as well as environments.

Asia Pacific to Dominate the Global Foam Blowing Agents Market

  • Asia Pacific is a prominent consumer of foam blowing agents, both, in terms of value and volume. China is projected to be a major consumer of foam blowing agents in the near future, owing to the rising demand from the polyurethane foam manufacturing sector in the country.
  • Large population; rapid urbanization in key countries such as China, India, and Japan; and increased demand for consumer durables have led to a rise in the demand for insulation applications, and thereby, the demand for foam blowing agents in these regions.
  • Upcoming manufacturing facilities of polyurethane foams to be set up by major players, such as Covestro AG (Germany), BASF SE (Germany), Saint-Gobain (France), and Huntsman Corporation (U.S.), are likely to fuel the demand for foam blowing agents in Asia Pacific during the forecast period.

Leading Players in Market

Key players operating in the global foam blowing agents market are

  • Honeywell International Inc.
  • Arkema S.A
  • E.I DuPont de Nemours (DuPont)
  • Linde Group
  • The Chemours Company
  • Solvay S.A
  • Foam  Supplies, Inc.
  • HCS Group GmbH
  • Marubeni Corporation
  • Guangzhou Jiangyan Chemical Co., Ltd.

Foam Blowing Agents Market - Scope of the Report

[304 Pages Report] Transparency Market Research (TMR) recently published a market study on the global market for foam blowing agents. The study provides detailed assessment on the key market dynamics, including the drivers, trends, opportunities restraints, and detailed information about the structure of the foam blowing agents market. The market study presents exclusive information about how the foam blowing agents market will grow during the forecast period of 2019-2027.

Key indicators of market growth, which include Year-on-Year (Y-o-Y) growth of the market, value chain, supply chain analysis, and Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) are explained in TMR’s study in a comprehensive manner. This information can help readers understand the quantitative growth prospects of the foam blowing agents market during the forecast period.

The study is relevant for stakeholders in the foam blowing agents market, including foam blowing agent manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and investors, and can help them in developing appropriate strategies to grow in the market. Stakeholders in the foam blowing agents market, investors, industry experts, researchers, and journalists, as well as business researchers, can leverage the information and data presented in TMR’s study.

The study also includes statistics as well as facts related to the macro as well as microeconomic factors that are impacting developments in the market. It also offers actionable insights based on the future trends in the foam blowing agents market. Furthermore, small businesses and new entrants in the foam blowing agents market too can make use of the information presented in this study, based on which, they can make appropriate business decisions in order to gain momentum in the foam blowing agents market.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s Foam Blowing Agents Market Report

  • Which regions will continue to remain the most profitable regional markets for players in the foam blowing agents market?
  • Which factors will induce a change in the demand for foam blowing agents during the assessment period?
  • How will changing trends impact the foam blowing agents market?
  • How can market players capture the low-hanging opportunities in the foam blowing agents market in developed regions?
  • Which companies are leading the foam blowing agents market?
  • What are the winning strategies of stakeholders in the foam blowing agents market to upscale their position in this landscape?

Foam Blowing Agents Market: Research Methodology

In TMR’s study, a unique research methodology is utilized to conduct extensive research on the growth of the foam blowing agents market, and reach conclusions on the future growth parameters of the market. This research methodology is a combination of primary and secondary research, which helps analysts ensure accuracy and reliability of the conclusions.

Secondary resources referred to analysts during the production of the foam blowing agents market study include statistics from governmental organizations, trade journals, white papers, and internal and external proprietary databases. Analysts have interviewed senior managers, product portfolio managers, CEOs, VPs, marketing/product managers, and market intelligence managers, who contributed to the development of this report as a primary resource.

Comprehensive information acquired from primary resources and secondary resources acts as a validation from companies in the foam blowing agents market, and makes TMR’s projection on the growth prospects of the foam blowing agents market more accurate and reliable.

Key Segments of the Foam Blowing Agents Market

TMR’s study on the foam blowing agents market offers information divided into 4 important segments-product, application, end-use industry, and region. This report offers comprehensive data and information about the important market dynamics and growth parameters associated with these categories.

Product

HC

HFC & HCFC

Blends

HFO

Methylal and Methyl Formate

Others (Liquid CO2 and Water)

Application

Polyurethane Foams

Polystyrene Foams

Phenolic Foams

Others (PVC Foams, Polyisocyanurate Foams)

End-use Industry

Building and Construction

Electrical and Electronics

Furniture and Bedding

 Automotive

Footwear

Others (Textiles, Medical, etc.)

Region

North America

Europe

Asia Pacific

Middle East and Africa

Latin America

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Foam Blowing Agents Market

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