Microcellular polyurethane foam is a flexible, closed-cell and open-cell polyurethane foam material. This foam is an advanced material, which is highly durable and light in weight. Microcellular polyurethane foam is inexpensive and it depicts exceptional resistance to compression. It possesses excellent cushioning, sealing, and vibration control due to low compression property. Gases and vapors can pass through this material, owing to its open-cell structure. Microcellular polyurethane foam can also be formulated to form an essential skin, as it is mechanically mixed, and hence, the cell size is more uniform. This material is utilized in numerous industries such as automotive, aerospace, and construction, owing to its light weight. The automotive application segment accounts for a leading share of the global microcellular polyurethane foam market, owing to its use in cushions as well as car bodies, wherein its insulation properties provide protection against heat and noise of the engine. Usage of microcellular polyurethane foam helps in reducing the structural weight of products manufactured in various industries.
Densities of microcellular polyurethane foam typically range from two pounds per cubic foot to 50 pounds per cubic foot. The unit cost of microcellular polyurethane foam increases in a more linear manner with density. Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America are leading markets for the microcellular polyurethane foam. Asia Pacific is the speedily expanding market. Countries such as China, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand witness high demand for the material. The U.S, the U.K., Germany, Italy, France, and Canada have also been the leading markets for microcellular polyurethane foam.
The global microcellular polyurethane foam market can be segmented on the basis of types, applications, and geographies. On the basis of types, the market has been segmented into high-density microcellular polyurethane foam and low-density microcellular polyurethane foam. The high-density microcellular polyurethane foam segment holds a major share in the global market. This growth is driven by widespread utilization of high-density microcellular polyurethane foam in upholstery, automotive seating, and bedding. On the other hand, the advantage of low-density microcellular polyurethane foam is that it is an effective sound barrier, and is also ideal for the manufacture of bespoke insulated panels. According to applications, the global microcellular polyurethane foam market has been classified into automotive, building & construction, electronics, medical, aerospace, and others.
On the basis of geographies, the global microcellular polyurethane foam market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. The demand for lightweight materials in countries such as the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. is expected to drive the global microcellular polyurethane foam market. Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, the UAE, and Qatar are expected to drive the microcellular polyurethane foam markets in Middle East & Africa and Latin America. The increasing number of automotive manufacturers is expected to drive the automotive segment, as microcellular polyurethane foam is used extensively in automobiles to increase comfort, safety, quality, and visual appeal of vehicles.
The global microcellular polyurethane foam market has several players operating at regional and global levels. Key players include BASF SE, ERA Polymers, Evonik Industries, Griswold International LLC, Huntsman Corporation, Inoac Corporation, Mearthane Products Corporation, Rogers Corporation, Rubberlite Inc., Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, and The DOW Chemical Company.