MOSCOW (MRC) -- The new Analysis of the Global Elastomers Market from Frost & Sullivan finds that the total market was worth USD 21.52 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow to USD 34.73 billion in 2021, as per GV.
Compared to synthetic elastomers (SE), the thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) segment is expected to grow faster. According to the report, the TPE segment is currently the driver for technological advancements. Its primary focus is on improving processing attributes and enhancing design flexibility, while the product’s inherent advantage of high recyclable content makes it the material of choice for sustainable solutions. As TPE enables a wide range of applications, it is rapidly attracting business from a diverse range of end-user markets, especially the fast-growing consumer electronics market, says Frost & Sullivan.
Despite the vibrancy of the market, it is facing competition from alternative materials such as PVC and speciality plastics. The market can take heart from OEMs’ evident desire to replace these materials in several applications. This has opened up the market to elastomers vendors that are able to substitute PVC and metals with competing plastic compounds as well as reinforced and composite materials.
The global market for elastomers is expected to thrive even with the saturation of the manufacturing bases in North America and Western Europe, as the burgeoning of end industries in Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World has restored balance to the market. Still, factors such as the declining demand of solid wire and cable in external insulation and the high cost of switching to TPE can dampen the growth of the elastomers market.
Another serious concern for the market is a possible raw material shortage. However, participants can stave off this challenge through vertical integration. Consolidations with regional participants with specialised product capabilities will also allow larger companies to boost their market share and regional visibility. Partnership agreements involving compound/component manufacturers and OEMs will become more prevalent for specific application segments, says Frost & Sullivan.
We remind that, as MRC wrote before, in June 2015, Huntsman Corporation completed the acquisition of Tecnoelastomeri, a manufacturer and marketer of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) based hot-cast elastomer systems and processing machines, based in Modena, Italy. Hot-cast polyurethanes are used in many downstream applications, including bumper pads, coated conveyor belts, gears, rollers and wheels. These applications are used in the automotive, rail, oil and gas, mining and steel industries among others. Huntsman has supplied MDI for these applications for many years.