Polyurethane elastomers are polymers with great resistance. They are manufactured using the strength of plastic and elasticity of rubber. It can withstand chemical reactions or weathering under normal conditions. Methyl Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI) and Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) are major materials used for producing polyurethane (PU) elastomers.
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Polyurethane elastomers is emerging as a viable substitute for metals, boosting market demand in the process. But the concurrent use of TDI and MDI can dampen growth prospects of the market. Bioalternatives to produce these materials are one way to sustain market development.
The market is segmented by types, end-users, and regions. Types include thermoplastic, castable, linear, polyurethane foam, sprayable polyurethane, millable, cellular, poromeric, and spandex fiber polyurethane elastomers. Castable elastomers can be stretched infinitely and recover its original shape when released. They combine the best elements of plastic & rubber. They have a high market share in the United States.
End-users include industrial, footwear, medical, hose & tubing, wire & cables, building & construction, and automotive. Footwear has nearly 75% market shares, followed by automotive and furniture. Automotive will exhibit a CAGR above 5% from 2015 to 2020 (forecast period). Building & construction had a large market share in North America, while furniture led the market in Europe. Construction in Middle East, China, and India can provide market opportunities.
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Regions comprise of North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Rest of the World (RoW). Asia Pacific will display the highest growth in the PU elastomers market. This can be attributed to China, who leads in terms of production and consumption. North America and Europe follow Asia Pacific in terms of production. The North American market obtains its demand from automotive & electronics industries. Germany and Russia show promising growth rates in Europe, with Italy following.
Prominent manufacturers in the polyurethane elastomers market are Dow Chemical Company, Gallagher Corp., LyondellBasell Industries N.V., and BASF SE. PU materials made at cheaper rates could lead to price cutting in the market. Players must invest in R&D to come up with bioalternative materials.
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