The demand for PU- and thermoplastic PU-based 3D printing materials is expected to boom, finds Frost & Sullivan

Santa Clara, Calif. – September 11, 2020 – Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Energy Efficiency Driving Global Polyurethanes Market, 2020, finds that the adhesives and sealants and coatings segments are expected to be the top revenue growth segments, propelled by the rise in demand from the construction, transportation, and footwear industries. The global polyurethanes (PU) market is expected to reach $79.84 billion by 2026 from $53.31 billion in 2019, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9%. Revenues from the Asia-Pacific region will represent 52.3% of the global PU demand. However, the negative impact of COVID-19 is expected to trigger a recession period in 2020 and 2021 due to the adverse impact on end-use industries, only recovering after 2022.

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“Rigid and flexible PU foams have considerable advantages over competing foams owing to characteristics such as thermal and sound insulation, high durability, ultra-violet (UV) degradation resistance, low flammability, and chemical inertness,” said Aditya Krishnan, Chemicals, Materials & Foods Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Hence, the demand for PU and thermoplastic PU (TPU)-based 3D printing materials is expected to boom during the forecast period thanks to the rise in demand for mass customization. However, 3D printing will lower the barriers for the entry of new participants by reducing the capital required to set up large-scale manufacturing of mass customizable products, ranging from laptop cases to footwear.

Krishnan added: “The exponential growth in demand for PU systems in South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam,  is expected to force global PU raw material manufacturers to establish local manufacturing facilities. Additionally, raw material and PU formulators need to develop solutions for unmet needs in the market, such as isocyanate replacement and bio-based polyols.”

The increased demand for cost-efficient and energy-saving solutions present immense growth opportunities for market participants:

  • The soaring use of TPU in high-quality automotive interior parts such as gear knobs, instrument panels, dashboards, armrests, console parts, and door panel parts are expected to drive market growth.
  • Increasing investments in wind energy in Europe, China, and India are expected to drive the adoption of TPU tapes for windmill blade protection.
  • The rising penetration of TPU in agricultural applications is expected to be a major driver. Demand for TPU in transmission belts, conveyor belts, animal identification tags, and high-performance hoses and tubes is expected to drive expansion in APAC, the EU, and NA.
  • TPU-based systems such as elastomers, adhesives and sealants, and coatings are expected to replace PU elastomers in the EU due, to increasing demand for recyclable alternatives in the region. The EU has been at the forefront for the adoption of a circular economy and TPU is expected to play a major role in it.
  • The increasing popularity of sports arenas and fitness gyms globally is expected to drive the demand for PU based rubberized floors.

Energy Efficiency Driving Global Polyurethanes Market, 2020 is the latest addition to Frost & Sullivan’s Chemicals, Materials & Foods research, and analyses available through the Frost & Sullivan Leadership Council, which helps organizations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future.

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Energy Efficiency Driving Global Polyurethanes Market, 2020



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