Asia-Pacific dominated the global microcellular polyurethane foam market in 2015 and accounted for a largest share, followed by Europe and North America. The market in this region is experiencing increased microcellular polyurethane foam consumption in automotive and building & construction industries. In terms of value, the microcellular polyurethane foam market in China is expected to witness a highest growth during the forecast period.
The global microcellular polyurethane foam market is expected to reach USD 6.95 billion by 2021 at a CAGR of 5.5% between 2016 and 2021.
Some of the major players involved in the manufacturing of microcellular polyurethane foam are BASF SE (Germany), The Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), Huntsman Corporation (U.S.), Evonik Industries (Germany), Era Polymers (Australia), and others.
On the basis of type, the market is segmented into high density foam and low density foam. Flexible foams and rigid foams, which are commercially used in a wide range of applications, are available in both the forms, that is, in high density as well as low density. Generally, foams of microcellular nature are usually of high density.
Foam densities often range from approximately two pounds per cubic foot to 50 pounds per cubic foot. Unlike thermoplastic foams (PVC, SAN), the unit cost of polyurethane foam increases in a more linear fashion with density. For instance, a 20 pound per cubic foot polyurethane foam will be approximately twice the cost of a 10 pound foam.
On the basis of application, the market is classified into automotive, building & construction, electronics, medical, aerospace, and others. Among the various applications of microcellular polyurethane foam, the automotive segment accounted for the largest share in 2015. The durability and light weight properties, combined with their strength, make microcellular polyurethane foams ideal not only for cushioning purposes, but also within the bodies of cars, where their insulation properties provide protection against heat and noise of the engine. This in turn is driving the market of microcellular polyurethane foam. The others application segment includes gaskets & sealants, shoe soles, cushions, pillows, mattresses, sports, and so on. The growing demand of these products by the end use consumers has boosted the growth of this segment.
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