Polyolefin is a class of polymer produced from a simple olefin through polymerization. The foams of polyolefin are lightweight, environmentally friendly, and versatile. The products are available in the form of rolls and sheets. Polyolefin foam is used in various industries such as packaging, building & construction, furniture & bedding, and automotive.
The global polyolefin foams market is driven by the diverse range of applications of these foams. Polyolefin foams offer flexibility, cushioning, compression set, toughness, chemical and abrasion resistance, and electrical and thermal insulation properties. The resiliency of this product gives excellent energy absorption, a requirement in most cushion packaging, athletic pads, floatation devices, and occupant safety applications.
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Based on application, the polyolefin foam market can be segmented into packaging, building & construction, furniture & bedding, automotive, and others. Demand for polyolefin foams is high in the building & construction industry. Thus, building & construction is one of the major applications of the market. Demand for polyolefin foams is also significant in the automotive segment. Therefore, the segment is estimated to expand at a rapid CAGR in the next few years. Demand for polyolefin foam in the automotive segment is high due to its usefulness in myriad applications such as gaskets, headliners, cushioning, and cables. Environment regulations set for different industry sectors facilitate the growth of foams. However, fluctuation in prices of raw material and recessionary impact are expected to adversely affect the growth of the market. Demand for polyolefin foam is high in the packaging sector. Increasing application of the product in numerous industries is projected to propel the polyolefin foam market over the next few years. Rise in technical advancement coupled with constant innovation in terms of research and development taking place in the industry is anticipated to boost the demand for polyolefin foam during the forecast period. Polyolefin foam offers various expansion opportunities to the end-use consumer products and various other industries. This is projected to drive the market during the forecast period.
These foams are highly resourceful due to the constant R&D effort in the sector. Depending on the performance property requirement, polyolefin foam is cross-linked or non-cross-linked. Polyolefin foam can be broadly divided into polyethylene, polypropylene, and ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer foams. EVA foams are generally cross-linked and used for various applications such as footwear, sporting goods, medical applications, and other miscellaneous applications.
Asia Pacific is a rapidly growing region of the polyolefin foam market in terms of volume. The market in the region is projected to expand significantly during the forecast period due to the increase in construction activities in emerging economies such as India and China. Improvement in standard of living and rise in per capita income are likely to be the major drivers of the market during the forecast period. Rise in automotive manufacturing activities in emerging economies such as India and China is estimated to propel the market in the near future. Europe and North America are expected to remain important markets for polyolefin foam owing to the increase in penetration of the product in packaging, aviation, and marine sectors in these regions.
Polyolefin foam are manufactured from a wide variety of raw materials. Raw materials are supplied by major companies such as BASF SE, JSP Corporation, Armacell International S.A., Dow Chemical Company, Borealis AG, Woodbridge Foam Partner, INEOS Styrenics, and British Vita Foams Plc.
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