Flexible Foam Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2017 - 2025
Flexible foam is obtained from a solid combination of gaseous phase such as blowing agent and solid phase present in form of fillers. This provides flexible foam with superior physical and mechanical properties such as improved sound and heat insulation, better ability to absorb energy. These properties in turn makes flexible foams more apt for use in packaging and cushioning applications than solid polymers. Flexible foams can be prepared in any shape and form such as blocks, boards, slabs, molded shapes. It is also possible to prepare flexible foams in composite forms such as wood, papers, fabric, and metal.
Flexible polymer foams are of two types, namely thermosets and thermoplastics. While it is possible to break down thermoplastic and recycle it, thermosets are harder to recycle, because this variety of foam is heavily linked to each other.
Flexible foams have excellent strength to weight ratio, they are lightweight, and have superior thermal and insulating capabilities. On account of such superior properties, the demand for flexible foam is persistently rising across industries such as construction, automotive, and insulation. Among these industries, the rising demand for improved safety in the automotive sector will bode well for the global flexible foam market. On the downside the market could be reeling under the soaring prices of various grades of polymers used in the production of flexible foams. Nonetheless, considering the rising per capita consumption and inclination toward a modern lifestyle will continue enabling growth in the global flexible foam market.
The global flexible foam market is booming as products made from flexible foams are indispensable in today’s world. Due to its excellent quality, versatility, and range of potential applications, this unique material is in high demand and is extensively used by the majority of industries globally.
Based on type, the global flexible foam market can be classified into polypropylene (PP) foam, polyurethane (PU) foam, polyethylene (PE) foam, and others. On the basis of application, it can be segmented into transportation, packaging, furniture and bedding, and others.
In the report, an in-depth analysis of market segments and competitive landscape has been presented. The report also provides market drivers and restraints of the global flexible foam market.
The use of flexible foam is increasing day by day. It is being widely used in automobiles, packaging, and furniture and bedding. In automotive applications, the weight of vehicles is reduced due to the usage of flexible foams. In the packaging industry, flexible foam not only reduces the weight of the packages, but also provides the necessary safety by offering cushioning and shock-absorption properties.
Polyurethane (PU) foam is a prominent product type in the global flexible foam market. Slabstock, molded, and integral skin are a few of the variants of flexible polyurethane that are commercially available in the market. Furniture and bedding, packaging, automotive, apparels, and footwear have also been presenting an increased demand for flexible polyurethane. What makes this foam suitable for a variety of applications is its flexibility, structure, and its property of being non-reactive to chemicals and high temperatures. These foams are environment friendly and as a result, products made from them can be reused and recycled.
In terms of application, the transportation sector accounts for a significant share in the flexible foam market. Transportation includes railways, automobile, and aerospace, with automobiles holding a key position in the transportation application segment. The main aim of automobile manufacturers is to reduce the weight of the vehicle. Numerous companies across the globe are focusing on finding new ways to make use of materials that can reduce vehicular weight, thereby increasing their efficiency. Flexible foam – when combined with metals – reduces vibration, increases shock absorption, minimizes dampening of the automobile, and helps to decrease the overall weight. Thus, more and more automobile companies are emphasizing on the usage of flexible foam in vehicles, thereby augmenting the growth of the market.
Geographically, the global flexible foam market can be categorized into Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. In term of volume and value, Asia Pacific has been registering strong growth in the market for flexible foam. Many industries, especially the automotive sector, have been establishing their production base in countries such as India, China, and South Korea, and many countries in Southeast Asia. In order to capture a larger share in the market, manufacturers are providing technologically advanced and high quality products to countries such as China and India. The market in this region is growing due to increased investment in research and development, the growing availability of advanced technologies, and favorable infrastructure.
The report profiles major players in the global flexible foam market based on various attributes such as company overview, financial overview, business strategies, and recent developments. The key players in the global flexible foam market include BASF SE, Bayer Material Science, Huntsman Corporation, Rogers Corporation, Ube Industries, Ltd, Recticel, Zotefoams Plc, The Woodbridge Group, The Dow Chemical Company, and Sekisui Alveo AG.
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