Structural Foam Market: An Emerging Technology
- Structural foams are thermoplastic injection molding components with each one having a cellular foamed core and solid skin surrounding the core
- The injection molding (structural foam molding) process is generally used to develop structural foams. The process involves use of a chemical blowing agent or inert gas such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide.
- The process of structural foam molding generally employs low injection pressure that usually ranges from 3,000 PSI to 6,000 PSI. Sometimes, high injection pressure is also used to mold structural foams.
- Polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene, and polyurethane are major raw materials used in the manufacture of structural foams. Polyethylene is a major thermoplastic used in the production of structural foams.
Key Drivers of Global Structural Foam Market
- Rising use of structural foams in material handling equipment that are used for transportation of goods within a manufacturing plant for short distances is expected to drive the global structural foam market in the material handling application segment during the forecast period
- Rapid rise in the usage of structural foam products in wind power, shipbuilding, and consumer goods sectors is also anticipated to boost the others application segment of the global structural foam market during the forecast period
- Increasing spending in construction and automotive sectors, particularly in developing countries such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa is expected to drive the demand for injection molded structural foam in these countries in the next few years
- Rapid adoption of plastic pallets as an alternative for conventional wooden pallets, especially structural foam pallets is expected to drive the material handling segment of the global structural foam market in the near future
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Key Restraints of Global Structural Foam Market
- Varying prices of raw materials and increasing preference for bio-based plastics as a dependable alternative for non-biodegradable foams can act as restraints of the global structural foam market in the next few years
- Growing environmental concerns related to product disposal are anticipated to hamper the global structural foam market during the forecast period
Advantages of Use of Structural Foams
- Structural foam is notably lighter than solid plastic products. They exhibit a high strength-to-weight ratio and low-cost tooling, which is an added advantages.
- Structural foams are primarily employed to attain durability, conductivity, heat resistance, and strength in a wide range of applications including wind turbines, automotive components, and insulation of building roofs, doors, columns, etc.
- Furthermore, increased strength and stiffness, low stress and warpage, superior impact resistance, and long life expectancy for tooling are some of the additional benefits of using structural foams Other properties such as insulation and vibration dampening, light weight, durability, resilience, and closed-cell material characteristics are increasing the adoption of structural foams in packaging of fragile goods as well as in the automotive industry
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North America to Lead Global Market for Structural Foam
- In terms of region, the global structural foam market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- North America is expected to dominate the global structural foam market, owing to increasing use of structural foams in wind turbines and building and construction activities in this region
- Developing economies in Asia Pacific, such as India, China, and Indonesia, are anticipated to emerge as the most rapidly expanding structural foam markets in the near future, due to increasing usage of advanced materials in the building & construction industry in these countries
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Key Manufacturers Operating in Global Market
The global structural foam market was highly fragmented in 2018. Key manufacturers operating in the global market are:
- One Plastic Group
- Season Group
- Bayer Material Science
- BASF SE
- Changzhou Tiansheng New Materials Co., Ltd.
- Evonik Industries
- PSI Molded Plastics
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Covestro AG
- Diab International AB
- Gurit Holding AG
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