North America Foam Blowing Agents Market Analysis, Growth Opportunities and Recent Trends by Leading Manufacturers & Regions
Foam blowing agents are used to enhance certain properties and nature of polymers. These agents create holes and expand in polymer matrix, providing it cellular structure. The cellular structure provides strength to the foam, while using very less material. Hence, polymeric foams have several advantages, such as low density, low heat transfer, optimum flexibility and others, which makes them suitable for use in automotive and construction industries.
Moreover, polymer foam products also provide comfort, durability, safety and support. In the automotive industry, polymer foams are used for manufacturing of several components, such as wiper cowls, side skirts, bumpers, and roll pans. As there are several blowing agents available to customize the properties of polymer foams, the demand for these foams has increased over the years for applications in the construction and automotive industries.
The North America foam blowing agents market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 3.4% during 2015 – 2020. The major factors driving the growth of the North America market include increasing demand for polymeric foams in the construction and automotive industries, and high demand for foam blowing agents in the manufacturing of polyurethane foam. Moreover, the high demand for low GWP and zero ODP blowing agents is anticipated to significantly increase the consumption of HFOs, inert gases and methyl formate blowing agents in the region.
During 2011-2014, the U.S. held the largest share in the North America foam blowing agents market, in terms of value and volume. The U.S. government implemented stringent regulations to control the production and consumption of blowing agents with presence of ODP and high GWP.
Therefore, a high growth in consumption and production of the eco-friendly blowing agents, such as HCs, HFOs, and methyl formate, is predicted in the coming years in the U.S. market. The U.S. plans to phase out HCFCs in accordance with Montreal Protocol. As per the implementation of HCFC phase out through Clean Air Act Regulations, there would be no production and no importing of HCFC-142b and HCFC-22 from 2020.
Polymer foams are characterized with great thermal insulation properties, and can be customized with different physical properties. In addition, polymer foams could be made rigid or flexible by altering their chemistry, structural properties, and their density or by changing raw materials. Therefore, the increasing polymer foams compliance for applications in the construction and automotive industry implies increased demand for foam blowing agents. Moreover, an increase in the demand for polymer foams in the construction and automotive industry has been observed, and it is further expected to increase during the forecast period.