Performance Elastomers Market size is forecast to reach $22.3 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 7.4% during 2021-2026 forecast period. Increasing demand for performance elastomers such as nitrile-based elastomers, silicone elastomers, fluoroelastomers, and more are ideal for designing lightweight products, soft actuating materials, mechanical coupling products, and curved materials. Hence due to this, there is rise in performance elastomers market growth. Performance elastomers are being used in products such as action cameras, drones, and video surveillance to increase their high load-bearing and high resilience characteristics stability. The demand for performance elastomers is continuously increasing from the automotive and transportation sector for the production of drive belts, tires, chassis, fuel cell gaskets, airbags, and fuel seals. Thus, the increasing demand for performance elastomers from various end-use industries is driving the performance elastomers industry during the forecast period.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a rapid and devastating effect on the global automotive industry. Chinese parts shipments were disrupted, large-scale manufacturing disruptions occurred throughout Europe, and assembly plants in the United States were closed. This has put a lot of pressure on the industry. Furthermore, car production was interrupted, resulting in a substantial decline in the overall automotive market. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, demand for new commercial vehicles in the EU remained weak in June 2020 (-20.3 percent), though the rate of decline slowed from April and May. Last month, three of the region’s four main markets saw double-digit percentage declines: Germany (-30.5 percent), Spain (-24.2 percent), and Italy (-24.2 percent) (-12.8 percent). With the decrease in automotive production, the demand for performance elastomers such as nitrile-based elastomers, silicone elastomers, fluoroelastomers, and more significantly fell, which had a major impact on the performance elastomers market.
Performance Elastomers Market Segment Analysis – By Type
The Silicone elastomers held the largest share in the performance elastomers market in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% during 2021-2026. The growing demand for Silicone elastomers can be attributed to its outstanding resistance to weathering and ozone, good compression set, high physiological inertness, resistance to bacteria, and fungi, and high-temperature stability when compared with other performance elastomers such as nitrile-based elastomers and fluoroelastomers. Silicone elastomers exist in various forms, such as closed-cell sponges, solids, thermally conductive, and open-cell foams which increase its demand in the packaging, biomedical, industrial machinery, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals industry. These factors have led to the rapid growth of silicone elastomers in the market during the forecast period.
Performance Elastomers Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The automotive and transportation sector held the largest share in the performance elastomers market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 8.10%, owing to improved heat and chemical resistance, low intermolecular strength, and low modulus elasticity of high-performance elastomers in the applications of automotive and engine construction. Automobile manufacturers use performance elastomers in a variety of items, including instrument panels, tire covers, airbags, pillar trims, door liners, seatbacks, and protective belt parts. Also, the demand for automotive products in various regions is gradually increasing because of infrastructural development and urbanization growth. Due to recent restrictions imposed on automotive manufacturers, which made airbags mandatory for all cars worldwide, there is a growing demand for performance elastomers for the production of interior units of an automobile such as airbags. Thus, this factor is solemnly driving the performance elastomers market in the automotive and transportation sector.
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Performance Elastomers Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia-Pacific region held the largest share in the performance elastomers market in 2020 up to 30%, owing to the rising demand for performance elastomers from the automotive and transportation industries. In 2015, the Australian federal government Implemented stringent regulations to adopt vehicle emission standards in the region. The emission regulation for light-duty cars such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) and Greenhouse Gas Emission standards set fuel consumption standards for vehicles. Regulations regarding emission levels led the manufacturers to design vehicles to be compact, lightweight, and more efficient. Manufacturing such vehicles require various components to be in close proximity with each other, resulting in increased heat levels. Thus, to operate under such rough conditions there is a demand for performance elastomers in the automotive and transportation sector in the region, which will likely propel the performance elastomer market in the Asia-Pacific region.
Performance Elastomers Market Drivers
Increasing Demand from End-Use Industries
Rapid industrialization in various regions is increasing the demand for performance elastomers in the market. They are extensively being used as modifiers for plastic and adhesive raw materials in the gas & oil sectors for exploration and production. Performance elastomers such as neoprene and silicone are being widely used in electronic and food & beverage sectors as they offer good dielectric properties, excellent abrasion, impact, water, flame resistance, and Outstanding UV, ozone, and weather resistance properties. All these varied properties are leading to a rise in demand for performance elastomers from various end-use industries. Healthcare industries are also anticipated to grow the performance elastomers market due to the increasing utilization of performance elastomers in orthotic and prosthetic applications.
Superior Properties than Standard Elastomers
The standard elastomers are being replaced by performance elastomers because of their unique set of properties such as durability, flexibility, heat resistance, chemical resistance, aging resistance, huge variety of oil & gas resistance, outstanding performance, and long life cycle. Performance elastomers such as silicone elastomers are boosting heat resistance over 300°C by using polysiloxane additive. These superior properties of performance elastomers over standard elastomers are anticipated to drive the global performance elastomers market during the forecast period.
Performance Elastomers Market Challenges
High Production Cost
Expensive components are needed during the manufacture of silicone such as copper metal and hydrogen fluoride. Performance elastomers such as silicone elastomers cost more due to the high energy costs associated with their manufacturing process i.e. transformation of sand to high purity silica, then further refinement of silica to polymerize it. The prices of elastomers may also vary widely due to differences in compounding, filings, raw material, and processing costs. High production costs may act as a restraint to market growth.
Performance Elastomers Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the performance elastomers market. Major players in the performance elastomers market are E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Arlanxeo, Zeon Chemicals L.P., Solvay S.A., Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Dow Corning Corporation, Wacker Chemie AG, JSR Corporation, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Showa Denko K.K., Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., and Daikin Industries Ltd.
In March 2019, JSR Corporation launched new styrene-butadiene copolymer rubber (SBR) for automotive tires. The new SBR features significantly improved durability, wear resistance, and mechanical strength.
Asia-Pacific dominates the performance elastomers market, owing to the rising demand for lightweight and lifelong materials in the automotive, electronics, and healthcare sectors in the region. Increased urbanization and industrialization are also the key factors driving the performance elastomers market in the region.
Technologies, such as the new aggressive fuel additives, the introduction of fuel injection systems, and higher engine compartment temperature and more have resulted in upgrading to the performance elastomers market.
Increasing demand for performance elastomers for the production of O-rings, gaskets, performance seals, turbocharger hoses, oil-filter gaskets, air filters, fan couplings, radiator hoses, spark plug boots, and connector seals, enhance the overall market growth of performance elastomers during the forecast period.
High manufacturing cost of performance elastomers such as nitrile-based elastomers, silicone elastomers, fluoroelastomers, and more because of the complex production process involved in different end-use industries is hampering the performance elastomers market growth.
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