Polyurethane is a plastic material that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. It can be either rigid or flexible, and it is the material of choice for a wide range of end-user applications including refrigerator, freezer insulation, building insulation, etc. Polyurethane (PU) foams are prepared by the polymerization of an isocyanate reacting with a polyol and the mixture is formed using one or more blowing agents. One of the most essential qualities of PU foam is thermal conductivity. Polyurethane systems are among the most effective insulating materials available in the market. This insulating property is due to its structure of small cells, together with the composition of the gas occluded inside these cells.
The global polyurethane foam insulation materials market is expected to surpass US$ 44,875.7 million by the end of 2028 and exhibit a CAGR of 6.80% during the forecast period (2021 to 2028).
Polyurethane foam insulation materials are commonly used in the automotive industry. Polyurethane (PU) is a type of polymer that is widely utilized in the automotive sector. Automobiles use polyurethane foam insulating materials to reduce weight and improve fuel economy. These lightweight foams combined with other advances in material sciences have enabled automakers to achieve higher safety regulations while keeping their vehicles light-weighted, resulting in improved performance, gas mileage, and fuel efficiency. The majority of polyurethanes are thermoset polymers that do not melt when heated. Polyurethane is commonly used in the automotive industry to make high-resilience foam seating, rigid foam insulation panels, B-pillars, headliners, suspension insulators, bumpers, and other interior parts of a vehicle. Tires, transmission, and suspension are the primary sources of in-car noise. Polyurethane is often used for absorbing noise and vibration by injecting polyurethane foam into body cavities due to its ability to insulate and raise internal vibrations.
Among regions, Asia Pacific held a dominant position in the global polyurethane foam insulation materials market in 2020, accounting for 42.23% market share in terms of revenue, followed by North America, and Europe. Polyurethane foam insulation materials are widely used in construction industries such as residential and non-residential buildings. Spray foam is a strong and long-lasting material that improves a building's structure, and in turn, increases its resistance to wind uplift, helping protect it from severe weather. The construction industry has seen significant development in the Asia Pacific due to increased disposable income and urbanization. According to the International Trade Administration, China's construction industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 5% between 2019 and 2023.
Figure 1. Global Polyurethane Foam Insulation Materials Market Revenue Share (%), By Region, 2020
Polyurethane foam is made up of two chemicals: isocyanate and polyol, as well as other additives and catalysts. When isocyanates and polyols are mixed to form polyurethane, heat, and vapor are produced. They irritate and aggravate the skin. Up until the polyurethane has cured, vapors and aerosols emitted during and after chemical mixing can cause asthma, lung damage, and other breathing and respiratory disorders, as well as skin and eye irritation and cancer. Polyurethane cures in around 23 to 72 hours. Also, the high costs of major raw materials used in the production of polyurethane foams, such as toluene diisocyanate, methyl di-p-phenylene, and polymeric isocyanate, result in increased polyurethane foam production costs. These factors pose a challenge in regulating production costs for polyurethane foam manufacturers.
|Base Year:||2021||Market Size in 2021:||US$ 28,314.75 Mn|
|Historical Data for:||2017, 2018 and 2019||Forecast Period:||2021 to 2028|
|Forecast Period 2021 to 2028 CAGR:||6.80%||2028 Value Projection:||US$ 44,875.73 Mn|
Bayer Ag, Armacell GmbH, Compagnie De Saint-Gobain S A, Ekisui Chemical Co. Ltd., Huntsman Corporation, Nitto Denko Corporation, Inoac Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, Tosoh Corporation, Trelleborg Ab, Sekisui Chemical, and Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd.
|Restraints & Challenges:||
Polyols are primarily utilized in the production of polyurethane foams. Concerns about the usage of fossil fuels and the environmental impact of plastics have prompted the polyurethane foam industry to strive for more environmental friendly business practices. Bio-derived materials such as soy-based polyols provide considerable sustainability and cost-effectiveness advantages over conventional polyols. They also reduce the use of petroleum-based raw materials. These factors provide polyurethane manufacturers with an opportunity to minimize their dependence on petroleum-based raw materials for the production of polyurethane foams while simultaneously lowering their manufacturing costs.
Figure 2. Global Polyurethane Foam Insulation Materials Market Revenue Share (%), By Type, 2020
Among type, Flexible foam segment accounted for the highest market share of 47.4% in the global polyurethane foam insulation materials market in 2020. Flexible foam is used in a wide range of consumer and commercial products, including carpet cushions, furniture, bedding, transportation, packaging, textiles, and fibres, due to its durability, energy absorption, and handling strength. These foams are exceptionally light and resilient, and they can be moulded into a variety of shapes. They are used in the automotive industry to cushion interiors of vehicles and in the residential construction projects to provide thermal insulation.
Global Polyurethane Foam Insulation Materials Market - Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic
The pandemic had a substantial impact on different aspects of the polyurethane foam value chain, which is evident in the projected period, especially in 2021. From March to June 2020, the global impact of COVID-19 lockdowns resulted in a significant decline in demand for a chemical called Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI), which is used in the production of polyurethane. The key customers in Asia Pacific either canceled or delayed their advance orders. The decline in demand for MDI in Europe was largely due to a drop in demand for polyurethane foams from the automotive sector. Government restrictions on travelling, lockdowns, and factory shutdowns have hampered the polyurethane foam insulation materials market as a result of COVID-19. As the building and construction industries were at a halt, this affected the polyurethane foam insulation materials market negatively.
Key players operating in the global polyurethane foam insulation materials market include Bayer Ag, Armacell GmbH, Compagnie De Saint-Gobain S A, Ekisui Chemical Co. Ltd., Huntsman Corporation, Nitto Denko Corporation, Inoac Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, Tosoh Corporation, Trelleborg Ab, Sekisui Chemical, and Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd.
The polyurethane can have a solid or open cellular structure. Foam is the term for a cellular structure that is open. These foams can be rigid or flexible. Diisocyanate and polyols are used to make polyurethane foam. Both of these items are extracted from crude oil by the manufacturers. Various sorts of additives are added depending on the use. The rigid forms of polyurethane foams are primarily used in buildings as thermal insulation. Flexible polyurethane foams are molded in the automotive industry. Polyurethane foams provide a number of environmental advantages, including high recyclability and low waste.
Growing end-use industries such as bedding & furniture, electronics, automotive, and building & construction in emerging nations such as India, Thailand, and others are among the primary growth drivers of the polyurethane foam insulation materials market. Other factors that are driving the growth of the polyurethane foam insulation materials market include the rising usage of polyurethane foams in building insulation for energy conservation, as well as the adaptability and unique physical features of polyurethane foams.
Semi-flexible polyurethane foam combines the benefits of rigid and flexible foams in a single product. It has great thermal, acoustic, moisture control, and fire resistance capabilities. However, as it is not as rigid as solid polyurethane sheets, it can be bent or molded more easily. Noise levels are also reduced by semi-flexible foam insulation which absorbs sound waves better than other types of insulation.
Key market players are focusing on product launches, product expansions, mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships in order to expand their business in the market. For instance, in March 2021, Technonicol Corporation, a leading manufacturer and supplier of roofing, waterproofing, thermal insulation and sound absorption materials announced the launch of a new product category in order to complement the range of premium-quality construction materials specifically in India, named Polyurethane Foams by Technonicol. The new category includes fire-resistant, professional sealing, and glueing foams. In addition, it includes high-performance spray foam insulation. Also, in August 2019, Chematur Technologies AB, a leading provider of raw materials for polyurethane foams, was acquired by Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd., a global leader in polyurethanes. The aim of this acquisition is to strengthen the company’s position in the polyurethane foam insulation materials market.
Key features of the study:
*” marked represents similar segmentation in other categories in the respective section.