Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) January 01, 2014
US demand to reach 8.6 billion pounds in 2017
US demand for plastic foams is forecast to reach 8.6 billion pounds in 2017, mounting a healthy recovery from the declines posted during the recessionimpacted 2007-2012 period. The construction market is anticipated to enjoy particularly robust growth prospects, as renewed strength in construction activity generates significant opportunities for foam insulation products. Increased new housing activity, along with heightened consumer spending levels, will bode well for foams used in household products such as bedding, furniture, and appliances. Gains in this market will also be aided by the expanding popularity of memory foam mattresses. In the motor vehicle market, advances will be promoted by rising vehicle output and efforts to enhance safety and comfort.
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Packaging to remain leading outlet for plastic foams
Packaging will remain the leading outlet for plastic foams through 2017, accounting for over 30 percent of total volume. While this sector tends to be less cyclical than other industries due to the significance of nondurable goods such as food, the market is mature and will post steady but below average advances through the forecast period. Gains will be constrained by ongoing environmental concerns regarding the disposal of packaging foams, which have resulted in the establishment of bans against foam foodservice containers in certain localities. Nevertheless, demand will continue to be supported by the cost and performance advantages of plastic foams over alternative materials, and by opportunities for foam used to protect delicate items. Moreover, efforts to promote sustainability will generate more interest in biodegradable packaging foams.
Bedding, carpet cushioning to drive flexible polyurethane foam demand
Polyurethane represents the leading resin in the plastic foams market. Flexible polyurethane foam will remain the dominant product type, outpacing its rigid counterpart through 2017 based on especially rapid growth in the bedding and carpet underlay markets, where it is valued for its cushioning properties. Strong gains for rigid polyurethane foam will be propelled by a healthy rebound in construction activity and by changes in building codes and construction practices that call for structures to use energy more efficiently. Rigid polyurethane is one of the best materials available for roof and wall insulation, insulated windows and doors, and air barrier sealants. However, polyurethane foam insulation will continue to face competition from fiberglass and polystyrene foam.
Waste disposal to continue hampering polystyrene foam demand
Polystyrene accounts for over one-third of demand for plastic foam and will maintain a sizable share of the market through the forecast period based on its excellent protective and insulative capabilities, moisture resistance, and low cost. However, advances in the large packaging sector will be restricted by ongoing solid waste disposal concerns about the use of disposable foam products and rising competition from paperbased materials, which are viewed as more eco-friendly. Through 2017, expanded polystyrene foam is projected to outpace its extruded counterpart, stemming mainly from its use in insulation, molded foam protective packaging, and insulated shipping containers.
Profiles for 41 US industry players such as Carpenter, FXI – Foamex Innovations and Pactiv (Reynolds Group)
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