Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) are a class of copolymers (typically a mixture of rubber and plastic) that contain materials with both elastomeric and thermoplastic properties. There are six generic classes of commercial TPEs, out of which one is styrenic block copolymers (SBC), in which styrene ethylene butylene styrene (SEBS) is categorized. It accounts for a majority share of over 65% of the total SBCs. SEBS polymer is a type of TPE that includes styrene monomer.

Some examples of TPE materials formed by block copolymers groups are Kraton, Mediprene, THERMOLAST M, THERMOLAST K, Sofprene, Dryflex, Laprene, Pibiflex, and Hytrel. Of these examples, those produced from stryrenic block copolymers (SBCs) include Laprene, THERMOLAST M, THERMOLAST K, Dryflex, and Sofprene.

SEBS offers various exceptional properties such as heat- and cold-resistance, UV-resistance, processing stability, etc., which enable its increasing usage. The chemical resistance of SEBS is similar to that of natural rubber, which provides it with resistance to acids and bases. SEBS is primarily produced from polyolefin building blocks such as polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE). Due to this, SEBS does not require stabilizers and plasticizers for flexibility.

Utilization of SEBS in applications such as children’s toys, hygiene products, athletic equipment, and food storage is allowed only after approval from regulatory bodies such as the FDA.

Over the past couple of years, SEBS has been instrumental in replacing certain PVC applications in the medical and health care industry, which has resulted in increase in demand for the polymer. SEBS is consumed in a large number of applications such as home furnishings, car interiors, diving equipments, electrical appliances, footwear, toys, food- and medical-grade containers, and hand tools. Based on end-user industry, the SEBS market can be segmented into automotive, building & construction, electricals & electronics, footwear, medical & healthcare, packaging, sports & leisure, and others.

Asia Pacific is a major region of the market for SEBS on a global level. The region leads in terms of global production as well as consumption. Countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea are major producers of SEBS. They export a major part of the SEBS they produce to countries in the Rest of Asia Pacific (with China being a prominent consumer of SEBS, along with overall SBCs) and to other regions. Domestic consumption in Japan and South Korea has been steady over the past couple of years, with increase in exports. Western Europe held a significant share in terms of overall consumption of SEBS in Europe. Other than Western Europe, major developments in the SEBS market have been observed in Russia and Turkey. The U.S. held a significant share of the SEBS market in North America. It ranked second in terms of demand for styrenic polymers in the world, only following China. Demand for SEBS in the region is fulfilled through imports from countries such as South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. In Latin America, Mexico is the leading country of the SEBS market, due to the presence of manufacturing facilities for production of SBCs.

Key players operating in SEBS market include Kraton Corporation, LCY GROUP, LG Chem Ltd., INEOS STYROLUTION Group GmbH, and TSRC Corporation. Manufacturers in the SEBS market are focusing on product development activities to provide better flow, lower warpage, and greater adhesion of SEBS to other thermoplastics. Companies provide SEBS of different grades for various applications in a number of end-user industries. LG Chem. offers SEBS block copolymer under the trademarket Medalist. Kraton Polymers entered into a partnership with Taiwan based LCY Chemical Corp, in January 2014. This partnership is aimed at taking advantage of the strong demand for styrenic polymers in Asia. In October 2012, in TSRC (Nantong) Industrial Ltd. expanded its SEBS capacity from 20,000 tons to 35,000 tons per year. 

This study by TMR is all-encompassing framework of the dynamics of the market. It mainly comprises critical assessment of consumers' or customers' journeys, current and emerging avenues, and strategic framework to enable CXOs take effective decisions.

Our key underpinning is the 4-Quadrant Framework EIRS that offers detailed visualization of four elements:

  • Customer Experience Maps
  • Insights and Tools based on data-driven research
  • Actionable Results to meet all the business priorities
  • Strategic Frameworks to boost the growth journey

The study strives to evaluate the current and future growth prospects, untapped avenues, factors shaping their revenue potential, and demand and consumption patterns in the global market by breaking it into region-wise assessment.

The following regional segments are covered comprehensively:

  • North America
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • The Middle East and Africa

The EIRS quadrant framework in the report sums up our wide spectrum of data-driven research and advisory for CXOs to help them make better decisions for their businesses and stay as leaders.

Below is a snapshot of these quadrants.

1. Customer Experience Map

The study offers an in-depth assessment of various customers’ journeys pertinent to the market and its segments. It offers various customer impressions about the products and service use. The analysis takes a closer look at their pain points and fears across various customer touchpoints. The consultation and business intelligence solutions will help interested stakeholders, including CXOs, define customer experience maps tailored to their needs. This will help them aim at boosting customer engagement with their brands.

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The various insights in the study are based on elaborate cycles of primary and secondary research the analysts engage with during the course of research. The analysts and expert advisors at TMR adopt industry-wide, quantitative customer insights tools and market projection methodologies to arrive at results, which makes them reliable. The study not just offers estimations and projections, but also an uncluttered evaluation of these figures on the market dynamics. These insights merge data-driven research framework with qualitative consultations for business owners, CXOs, policy makers, and investors. The insights will also help their customers overcome their fears.

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The findings presented in this study by TMR are an indispensable guide for meeting all business priorities, including mission-critical ones. The results when implemented have shown tangible benefits to business stakeholders and industry entities to boost their performance. The results are tailored to fit the individual strategic framework. The study also illustrates some of the recent case studies on solving various problems by companies they faced in their consolidation journey.

4. Strategic Frameworks

The study equips businesses and anyone interested in the market to frame broad strategic frameworks. This has become more important than ever, given the current uncertainty due to COVID-19. The study deliberates on consultations to overcome various such past disruptions and foresees new ones to boost the preparedness. The frameworks help businesses plan their strategic alignments for recovery from such disruptive trends. Further, analysts at TMR helps you break down the complex scenario and bring resiliency in uncertain times.

The report sheds light on various aspects and answers pertinent questions on the market. Some of the important ones are:

1. What can be the best investment choices for venturing into new product and service lines?

2. What value propositions should businesses aim at while making new research and development funding?

3. Which regulations will be most helpful for stakeholders to boost their supply chain network?

4. Which regions might see the demand maturing in certain segments in near future?

5. What are the some of the best cost optimization strategies with vendors that some well-entrenched players have gained success with?

6. Which are the key perspectives that the C-suite are leveraging to move businesses to new growth trajectory?

7. Which government regulations might challenge the status of key regional markets?

8. How will the emerging political and economic scenario affect opportunities in key growth areas?

9. What are some of the value-grab opportunities in various segments?

10. What will be the barrier to entry for new players in the market?

Note: Although care has been taken to maintain the highest levels of accuracy in TMR’s reports, recent market/vendor-specific changes may take time to reflect in the analysis.

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