Technical Papers Plastics
Growing penetration in automotive industry to drive global thermoplastic Polyurethane films market

Growing penetration in automotive industry to drive global thermoplastic Polyurethane films market

The global thermoplastic polyurethane films market is expected to register significant growth on account of increasing application in automotive industry, as per Hexa Research. After-sales/replacement has been a major segment for TPU demand in automotive application. High elasticity, shear strength, grease resistance and low temperature performance of TPU make it an idyllic material for automotive applications compared to other conventional thermoplastics. Growth of major end-use industries such as building & construction and transportation, mainly in Asia Pacific is expected to yield growth opportunities for the market over the forecast period. Growing preference for TPU films in medical devices is expected to complement the market growth over the forecast period.
 TPU films market is bound by stringent regulations from EPA, REACH and OSHA, which have made produce registration mandatory for manufacturers in the market. Rising concerns regarding the use of petrochemical raw materials which have adverse environmental effects may restrain the market growth. Development of bio-based TPU is expected to provide companies operating in the market with opportunities over the next six years. Companies such as PolyOne, Arkema, DuPont, BASF and Lubrizol are already involved in the production of bio-based TPU compounds. Companies in the market are focused on improving production technologies and developing new additives to improve product specifications and quality. Volatility in spot prices of propylene and aniline, raw materials used to manufacture TPU, is expected to impact profitability of market participants. Growing market penetration of TPU films in automotive industry is expected to drive the market growth. TPU films are widely used to manufacture automotive components such as levers, sensors and instrument panels. This trend is expected to continue over the next six years driving TPU films demand in automotive applications. Growth of manufacturing sector coupled with rapid urbanization in emerging market of Asia and South America have resulted in the need for better residential and industrial infrastructure. Increased construction spending in these markets is expected to fuel the demand for TPU films in construction applications. In comparison to other thermoplastics, TPU offers better surface protection for windmill blades and solar panels. Growing importance for renewable energy generation coupled with growing solar power and wind power installations globally is expected to drive the market growth over the forecast period. Increasing preference for high performance thermoplastics as an alternative to conventional plastics and metals in aircrafts is expected to drive the demand for TPU films in aerospace applications. TPU films are used to manufacture aircraft components such as armrest surfaces, seat cushions, interior panels, masks and wire & cable jacketing. Asia Pacific emerged as the leading region for TPU films market and accounted for over 37% of the market share in 2013. Growing transportation and infrastructure industries in India and China can be credited to the market growth in the region. Increasing TPU production coupled with capacity expansion by TPU manufacturers in China is expected to drive the market growth over the next six years. North American market is characterized by increasing TPU film application in automotive, construction and energy industries. Product innovation by companies operating in the region may positively impact the market. The market in Europe is expected to grow owing to increasing penetration of TPU films in leisure & sports application. Demand for TPU films in construction, automotive and aerospace is expected to low owing to economic recession in the region.

As per Grand View Research, Inc, the global Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) films market is estimated to reach US$724.6 mln by 2020. Automotive applications dominated the TPU films market, with demand estimated at 11,622.1 tons in 2013. Increase in lightweight plastics demand in order to achieve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce carbon footprints is likely to drive market. Favorable regulations regarding automobile norms benefiting consumers is anticipated to drive high performance thermoplastics such as TPU. Increasing use of TPU films in automotive applications such as paint protection, scratch protection, anti-chipping and rear bumper protection coupled with growing after sales market is expected to fuel market growth. Asia Pacific emerged as the largest regional TPU films market, with demand estimated at 16,299 tons in 2013. Growth of automotive industry coupled with increasing application of TPU films in sports goods and construction is expected to drive the market growth over the next six years, at an estimated CAGR of 7.8% from 2014 to 2020. Furthermore, lower TPU film prices in Asia Pacific compared to other regional markets may also complement market growth. Further key findings from the study suggest:
* Global TPU films market demand was 46,769.1 tons in 2013 and is expected to reach 68,033.1 tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2014 to 2020.
* Aerospace is expected to be the fastest growing application segment, at an estimated CAGR of 6.6% from 2014 to 2020.
* North America and Europe accounted for over 27% and 19% of the total market volume in 2013, respectively. Increasing use of TPU films in automotive and construction applications is expected to drive the market growth in these regions. Owing to higher raw material, utility and labor cost, TPU film prices in North America and Europe are the highest in the world.
* China and India dominated the TPU films market in Asia Pacific and accounted for over 60% of the market volume in 2013.
* Japanese TPU films demand was estimated at 3,685.4 tons in 2013 and is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 4.9% from 2014 to 2020.
* The global TPU films market is highly fragmented with the top four companies including Bayer Material Science, Huntsman, 3M and Permali Gloucester Limited, accounting for just over 40% of the market in 2013. Other companies in the market include American Polyfilm Inc., PAR Group, Nippon, Lubrizol and Avery Dennison. Customized product offerings, based on client specifications is a strong trend in the market, with many participants looking to acquire and retain market share through long-term exclusive supply contracts and strategic alliances

As per Grand View Research, Inc, positive outlook on the automotive industry, especially in Asia Pacific is expected to be a key driving force for the market. It is observed that growth in application markets such as construction, railways, leisure, furniture and energy is anticipated to have a domino effect on TPU films demand over the next five years. Automotive applications accounted for a bulk of TPU film consumption in 2012, with 25% of overall volume share. Film demand for building and construction, another key product avenue, is expected to reach US$75.8 million by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2013 to 2018. Leisure and sports, along with furniture applications are expected to offer promising growth opportunities for market participants in the near future. Pricing issues, coupled with higher availability of cheaper substitutes is expected to present a challenge for participants, in terms of product penetration.

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