Asia Pacific thermoplastic elastomers market size was USD 4.63 billion in 2014 and is anticipated to reach over USD 7.82 billion by 2022. It is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period owing to growing automotive manufacturing in countries such as India, China, Indonesia and Thailand. The introduction of government policies that support investment along with private players emphasizing on enhancing technologies is anticipated to further fuel market demand.
TPEs have superior properties such as moisture resistance, excellent elasticity and flexibility and tactile grip and hence are widely used in automotive components. Demand from other industries such as footwear, medical devices, and electronics is expected to remain a key driving factor for growth over the forecast period. Growth in demand is expected owing to the ease of recycling and processing with negligible emission is anticipated to result in higher demand. They have replaced thermosets in varied applications including medical devices and electronic components. TPE are gaining prominence mainly on account of the high degree of purity, low level of extractable compounds, cost effectiveness and recycling ability. They are popularly known as an ideal substitute for latex and PVC owing to above-mentioned factors.
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Block copolymers and ionomers are the major raw materials for manufacturing TPE. Block copolymer process utilizes SBS rubber (styrene-butadiene-styrene) formed by combining a long block of polybutadiene with a short block of polystyrene where as ionomer process includes copolymers of ethylene and methacrylic acid. Increasing disposable income, rapid industrialization, and economic progress has progressively fostered automotive, electronics and consumer goods sectors, resulting in higher demand for component manufacturing end-uses. This aspect is likely to boost market growth, especially in India and China.
Improvement in the production process has propelled demand for biodegradable and recyclable TPE producing less scrap material. Additionally, packaging application segment is expected to witness exponential growth owing to increasing demand for transparent product packaging in different markets including consumer goods, electronics and medical applications. Other growing industries are projected to boost thermoplastic elastomers in personal care products, footwear, wire and cable, clothing applications and sports and leisure equipment.
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Market players may have to confront major barriers to substitute rubber materials. Key companies are gradually undertaking new product development and innovation to allow entry into new marketplaces where rubber remains the dominant most applications.
SBC accounted for 50% of the overall volume and emerged as the largest application segment in 2014. Demand for hydrogenated SBC is catching momentum in sealants, adhesives, coatings, films and coating applications on account of its superior pressure sensitivity. Rising demand from applications including footwear, advanced materials and paving & roofing is expected to further improve industry growth over the forecast period.
TPO finds its widespread applications in automotive industry such as fascia systems, instrument panels and bumpers. It emerged as the second most consumed product in the market. Key automotive OEMs are increasingly adopting plastics in automotive components as a substitute for alloys and metals in order to reduce weight, improve structural strength and gain chemical resistance.
TPV is estimated to experience the highest growth at a CAGR of 7.4% over the forecast period amongst all products from 2015 to 2022. TPV is broadly used in fluid handling, consumer good sand automotive applications. Growing usage of TPV in the automotive sector, such as interiors and under the hood components, on account of its high oil and heat resistance, is anticipated to be an important driving factor for market growth over the forecast period. TPU is mostly used in construction, hose & tubing, wire & cables and automotive. Its superior thermal insulation and acoustic properties, when compared to thermoset PU, plays a vital role contributing toits consumption in the above-mentioned applications.