The expanded polyethylene (EPE) foam market outlook is set to remain positive from 2022 to 2028, fostered by the versatility of product applications. As this material is highly flexible, it can be tweaked to meet the specific needs of an end-user. The product use is growing across multiple applications ranging from food & beverage packaging to sports accessories & costume insulation. On account of the thermoplastic resin’s lightweight, low toxicity, and highly flexible characteristics, it is being used by several industries for cushioning effect and shock absorbency. The high thermal resistance of the material ensures that it can be heated and melted several times to reshape into new objects.
Based on product, the market share is divided into sheet, coil, and other segments. The expanded polyethylene (EPE) foam market share from the sheet segment is slated to expand at a stable pace, triggered by the increasing investments across the construction sector. Commercial projects as well as smart city initiatives across several major metropolitan cities are encouraging product adoption. EPE sheet market share is growing on account of the rising deployment across window insulation, AC ducting, industrial chillers & refrigerators, and cold-water pipes, and elevated drinking water pipe insulation, amongst others.
By application, the industry share is segmented into construction, packaging, automotive, insulation, and others. The automotive applications are expected to register a rising curve through the assessment timeframe, supported by the move toward low- and zero-emission technologies in the sector. With the acceleration of electric vehicle (EV) production across the globe, the EV revolution might emerge as a key driver of the expanded polyethylene (EPE) foam industry through 2028. Automakers are using these solutions in roof tops, bonnets, engines, floor mats, AC insulation, seat linings, driver cabin insulation, and upholstery applications.
Following the shifts in consumer preferences, the packaging industry has been recording high demand for eco-friendly solutions. Since foamed polyethylene can be recycled, it is gaining widespread approval amongst end-user industries, fueling EPE foam market share. The low environmental footprint of the product can be ascribed to its chemical structure, which allows reuse.
These packaging solutions are used for packing and transporting goods such as consumer electronics including washing machines, televisions, laptops, desktops, refrigerators, and other electronic products. Due to their higher affordability and durability when compared with other alternatives, EPE packaging market is growing from applications such as buffers, support pads, encapsulation blocks, corner pads, ribs, and adhesive back sheets.
Owing to the worldwide imposition of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, the market saw a steep decline in revenue. Manufacturers have been dealing with losses due to production halts and supply chain disruptions during 2020. They are likely to prioritize backlog order completion for making a strong comeback. The resilience showed by the construction sector is expected to translate to higher product consumption from 2022 onward. With the construction activities across the residential and commercial sector gaining momentum, the use of these plastics for water proofing, foundation wraps, structural glazing, and false ceilings is projected to rise through the next few years.