Polyurethane elastomers market size is anticipated to expand considerably over 2021-2027, given the increasing adoption of thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers in automotive parts including tires, due to their high tensile strength, lightweight, and durability. The availability of varied polyurethane elastomeric coating membranes with waterproofing, chemical and UV resistance, and other favorable attributes will also contribute to the rising market popularity in the coming years. Polyurethane (PU) refers to the biggest polymer product that belongs to a group of elastomers linked to a urethane material. PU elastomers are formed by combining elastic (polyol) and hard (isocyanate) parts and come with superior features such as adhesiveness, load resistance, transparency, and abrasion resistance.
Strong focus on reducing the use of fossil raw materials and building a circular economy is one of the prominent trends bolstering global polyurethane elastomers market outlook through 2021-2027. At UTECH Europe 2021 held in the Netherlands, Covestro introduced a range of sustainable polyurethane elastomer-based solutions including Desmodur PU system, designed to extend the life of the equipment at wind farms owing to its high mechanical strength, and mitigate usage of fossil-based raw materials. Such developments, alongside the accelerating auto manufacturing activities in the U.S., will foster industry demand, given the extensive usage of polyurethane-based elastomers in damping systems, top mounts, and other chassis auto parts.
Considering end user, the polyurethane elastomers market from the electronics segment is projected to depict a high growth rate through 2027, driven by the booming consumer tech sector worldwide. According to the CTA’s report, the unit shipments of smartwatches will surge by 8%, which could amplify industry expansion, given the use of thermoplastic polyurethanes in wearables and other consumer electronics. The mounting consumption of smartphones and other electronic gadgets due to the work-from-home trend induced by the coronavirus pandemic will further impel the segmental growth in the upcoming years.
Regionally, the MEA polyurethane elastomers market will amass hefty profits by 2027. This is is driven by various factors, such as the UAE’s drive towards achieving net-zero emissions in response to climate change, as PU products are considered energy-efficient insulators with a low carbon footprint. The high emphasis on supporting the aerospace industry’s recovery from the pandemic will also benefit polyurethane elastomer manufacturers in the region, given the use of this material in cockpits and other aircraft applications.
Key polyurethane elastomers market players include Trelleborg Engineered Products, Cellular Mouldings, Herikon, Argonics, Galagher Corp., LyondellBasell Industries, Sinopec (China Petrochemical Corporation), American Urethane, Chemtura (Lanxees), VCM Polyurethanes, Covestro, Huntsman International, DuPont, The Dow Chemical Company, and BASF, among others. Strategic product launches, mergers, acquisitions, and business expansions are some of the initiatives being undertaken by these firms to gain a competitive advantage over rivals across the global market.
For instance, in June 2021, Huntsman unveiled its durable and efficient IROGRAN A 85 P 4394 HR TPU grade, designed by its Specialty Elastomers experts for technical extrusion parts as well as blown film applications. In April 2021, Azelis Americas CASE, LLC announced the exclusive distribution of BASF’s Lupragen polyurethane catalyst portfolio to serve the CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) industry in North America.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has posed profound impacts on the construction industry worldwide, mainly due to the substantial project delays, labor shortage, supply chain disruptions, and financial strain. These factors have adversely affected the polyurethane elastomers industry outlook, as PU elastomer products are an essential component in the production of critical building and construction products. However, the mounting sales of sports apparel and footwear since the onset of the pandemic, driven by the strong focus on physical fitness, could generate growth opportunities for the overall market in the forthcoming years.