Blowing agents are light weight, heat insulation, and electrical induction chemical substance which is used to generate the gas that is used in expanding of plastics, rubber and ceramics to create foam. The global blowing agent are expected to witness substantial growth owing to increasing demand from end-use industries such as construction, packaging, and automotive. The product is primarily used in the aforementioned end-use industries as adhesives, exhibiting superior properties including improved acoustics, heat & electric insulation, elasticity, and lightweight.
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Rising infrastructure development in Asia Pacific is expected to increase market penetration
Blowing agents are widely used across a number of application in the construction industry including acoustics, heat & electric insulation and shock absorber. Furthermore, rising infrastructure development in Asia Pacific coupled with supportive government initiatives in emerging economies such as India is fueling growth of the market. For instance, in 2016, the Indian government announced plans to invest US$ 376.53 billion to improve the infrastructure, roads, transport facility and shipping over of the following three years Encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region is likely to propel construction industry in the region, which in turn is expected to increase demand for blowing agents over the near future.
Robust automobile industry growth is expected to aid market growth over the forecast period
Rising demand for the product in automobile industry owing to its use in weight reduction property as well as acoustic application is a major factor fueling market growth. The global automobile industry produced over 90 million cars and commercial vehicles in 2015, which is expected to increase significantly over the following five years owing to strong indicators in Asia Pacific. These trends coupled with rising efforts to improve fuel efficiency by reducing the overall weight of automobiles is expected to have a positive impact on growth.
Stringent regulations promoting the use of eco-friendly blowing agents
The market is segmented on the basis of product type into hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), and hydrocarbons. Hydrofluorocarbons accounted for the largest share in the market, owing to its low ozone depletion potential. Furthermore, stringent regulations barring the use of HCFC, in 2003 EPA issued baseline for production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b. Moreover the UK government made it mandatory to recover and recycle the HCFC used in the refrigeration unit. Owing to its contribution towards ozone depletion coupled with a potential phase out in the near future is expected to have a positive impact on eco-friendly blowing agents over the forecast period. However, phasing out of HCFC results in high technology shifting costs, which is expected to restrain market growth to a certain extent.
Due to low operating cost and global warming potential, the hydrocarbons segment is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period. Thus increasing its use in various end-use industries. However, abrupt changes in climate, global warming, ozone depletion are the primary environmental issue, so the global agreement such as Montreal and Kyoto protocol which limits severely in the use of blowing agents.
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Polyurethane foams dominated the market owing to its superior insulating and shock absorbent properties
The market is segmented on the basis of foam type into polyurethane, polystyrene, phenolic, and polyolefin. Polyurethane segment dominated the market, owing to its wide application scope in an array of industries such as automotive industry in manufacturing of seats, insulation, gaskets, seal and bushing. Moreover it is used in flooring in the construction industry and also to seal boat hulls from water in the marine industry. This is mainly attributed to its superior insulating and shock absorbent properties.
Rapid growth of economy and population in the Asia Pacific region, urbanization and industrialization increases. The polyurethane foam is expected to witness substantial demand in this region due to owing rise in the application scope in automobile and construction industries. Furthermore, core application industries growing at a substantial pace particularly in India, Indonesia, and Vietnam is expected to drive growth over the forecast period. In addition, increasing foreign direct investment in the region primarily due to high market potential as well as low labor and land cost is likely to propel blowing agents market growth over the next few years.
The blowing agents market is expected to exhibit below average growth in North America and Europe, owing to mature end-use industries in these regions. Furthermore, stringent regulations by EPA in 2003 and UK in the use of HCFC to limit, recover and reuse of HCFC. Governing the use of blowing agents is expected further hamper growth over the following few years. However, gradual recovery of the construction industry—one of the key end-use industries for blowing agents—in both the regions is expected to have a positive impact on market growth.
Honeywell, Solvay, Arkema are key industry players in the blowing agents market. Continuous research and development, technological advancement and marketing strategies helps in attaining the highest market share in the global blowing agent market. Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent is the latest product developed by Honeywell which is least harmful to the environment and has the potential to replace HC, HFC and HCFC. Blowing agents industry is a consolidated market place with a large number of small manufacturers present in the industry. This trend is primarily witnessed in Asia Pacific, which is one of the major producers of blowing agents. Furthermore, the industry comprises leading players with global presence including DuPont, Arkema S.A., Honeywell International Inc., Solvay S.A., Foam Supplies, Inc., AkzoNobel NV, Haltermann GmbH, Linde AG, Americhem and HARP International Ltd.
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