By Cameron Chai
GIA presents an all-inclusive global report on the polymeric foam market. Polymeric foams have excellent insulating properties, impact-resistant characteristics, buoyancy, and exceptional strength- weight ratios, and therefore have widespread applications.
According to a forecast, the global demand for polymeric foams in most of the developed countries will remain inactive due to the increase in feedstock prices and setback in demand. Due to reduction in automotive production, consumer spending and construction activity, the market experienced a major lag during 2008 and 2009.
The construction industry’s initiatives on sustainable and green construction products served as a major stimulus for the future markets of polymeric foams. Rigid foams segment will have rapid growth between rigid and flexible variants, through 2013. However, plastics are used as an alternative for traditional materials in developing regions, and inter-polymer competition will be more following the improvements in blending, compounding and alloying and the integration of polymers with new catalysts.
The recent market research report on Polymeric Foams states that Asia-Pacific is currently known to be the rapidly growing regional market. Latin American, East European, and Asian regions will compete in accordance with industrialized nations. This is followed by a series of foreign investments, cost reduction programs, and consolidation efforts by plastics industry.
The manufacture of polyurethane foam in either rigid or flexible form accommodates the largest segment in the global polymeric foams market, whereas Polyolefin Foams is a rapidly growing segment. The application of cross-linked polyethylene in sports and leisure goods increases the demand for polyolefin foams. Polyurethanes will be used as vital tool in future for the construction of efficient appliances and vehicles, and sustainable homes, following EU’s objective to minimize greenhouse gas emissions by 20-30% by 2020.