Polyurethane (PU) foams have low density and varied applications. They include polymers made up of molecular chains bound together by urethane links. In 2014, the colored polyurethane (PU) foams market volumes exceeded 4.5 million tons. They should increase to around 6.6 million tons by 2022. Market revenues are estimated to reach USD 20 billion in 2022.
This growth would be brought about by demand for colored PU foams from the automotives industry. Colored PU foams are highly popular among automobile manufacturers as they reduce vehicular weight, rendering the vehicles fuel efficient. These foams are also incorporated with door skins, headliners, carpet backing, dashboard trims, etc. They offer insulation from noise, vibrations, and harshness during vehicular movement.
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The construction industry is another important consumer of the colored polyurethane (PU) foams market. Its expansion, especially in Asia Pacific, also fuels the global market. The eco-friendly property of colored PU foams furthers the market too. However, volatile prices of petrochemical derivatives like methylene diphenyldiisocyanate and toluene diisocyanate could lower the profitability of these foams and restrict their growth. Vendors are developing bio raw materials to tackle these problems.
Products, applications, and regions are the three categories into which the market is segregated. Products are split into rigid and flexible. Flexible, with 59% of the total volumes, was the dominant segment in 2014. Rigid foams will grow at a CAGR of 4.9% from 2015 to 2022. They would be driven by the automotives industry.
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Applications of the colored polyurethane (PU) foams market include furniture & interiors, electronic appliances, footwear, construction, automotives, packaging, and others. In 2014, furniture & interiors and construction accounted for 25% and 24% of the overall volumes respectively. Electronic appliances should experience the highest growth (5.7% CAGR) over the next seven years. Preference for efficient & sturdy appliances would contribute the same.
Regional segmentation comprises North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Rest of the World (RoW). North America contributed more than 35% of the total volumes in 2014. The robust regional automotives and electronic appliances industries spur North America. Europe stood second in 2014. Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow at the highest rate (CAGR of 5.1%) from 2015 to 2022. RoW will register strong expansion owing to its automobile and construction industries.
The global colored polyurethane (PU) foams market is hugely fragmented, with small, medium, and large players vying for customers. Leading participants encompass BASF SE, Huntsman Corporation, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, and The Dow Chemical Company.
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