Worldwide demand for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) is forecast to rise 5.5% pa in 2017, as per Freedonia. Advances will be driven by ongoing product innovation on the part of TPE manufacturers, allowing these materials to further displace traditional elastomers and thermoplastics in a variety of applications. In addition, TPE demand will benefit from the ongoing push to reduce motor vehicle weight, particularly as automotive fuel economy standards worldwide become more stringent. Healthy growth will also be fueled by an improved economic outlook in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe, while gains in emerging markets will benefit from further adoption of TPEs over competing materials. The Asia Pacific region will continue to be the largest market for TPEs through 2017, rising at an above average pace to account for nearly half of global demand in 2017. China, the world’s largest consumer of TPEs in volume terms, will continue to see strong annual growth in demand. Regional gains will also benefit from robust expansion in India and Southeast Asia, although continued sluggishness in the sizeable Japanese market will limit growth. TPE demand in North America and Western Europe will exhibit substantial improvement compared to the recession-plagued 2007-2012 period. Over the long term, however, these regions are expected to account for an increasingly smaller share of global TPE demand. Other world regions will enjoy above-average gains in demand through 2017, particularly the Africa/Mideast region, where current TPE consumption per capita is the lowest worldwide. Styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) will remain the leading TPE product type through 2017. However, SBC demand will rise at a below average pace compared to TPEs overall, limited by a high degree of market saturation in many large volume applications. The fastest growth is expected for polyolefin elastomers (POEs), a relatively new TPE product class that is gaining rapid acceptance as a performance additive for plastics and packaging adhesives. Strong gains are also forecast for thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs), which are penetrating new applications in motor vehicle, consumer, and medical product markets. A resurgent motor vehicle industry will spur demand for thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs), although advances will be restrained by maturity in applications such as automotive bumper fascia. Motor vehicles account for the largest portion of the world TPE market, with one-third of total demand in 2012. Gains will be fueled by an improvement in the TPE-intensity of automotive industries in North America and Western Europe, as well as increased TPE usage in emerging markets. The most rapid growth will be seen in the asphalt and roofing market, driven by a rebound in developing world construction spending. The adhesive/ sealant/coatings market will also see good growth, as TPEs continue to displace other resins in adhesive formulations.
The Thermoplastic Elastomers market will be driven by ongoing product innovation on the part of manufacturers, allowing TPEs to continue to displace traditional elastomers and thermoplastics in a variety of applications. In major industries there has been a major shift from PVC to TPEs which is expected to drive the market forward in the next 10 years. There is significant growth in the Medical TPEs market expected in the next years because of the increase in demand for non-latex alternative products. TPEs are often used for medical applications requiring a PVC free or non-latex alternative. TPEs have an added advantage in this field because they are cost effective as an alternative to silicone. More materials and uses are being found for TPEs which will continue to grow the market rapidly in the next 10 years. For example there have been many developments in the use of 'soft touch TPEs', which are found in car interiors, razors, telephones and pens. They are a very diverse material and their properties means they can be used in a number of products so end uses are numerous. This is why Visiongain forecasts the Thermoplastic Elastomers market is set to grow significantly in the next ten years - in 2013, the market will reach US$14.96 bln.