Increasing Demand from Extruded Products
- Thermoplastic polyurethane exhibits properties like oil and grease resistance, abrasion resistance and has strong mechanical properties, which make it valuable for many industrial applications. TPU, like other thermoplastic elastomers, is melt-processable and highly elastic. It is transparent and easily colored. Therefore, it is widely used for extruded products application.
- Furthermore, TPU can be compounded with many materials using the extrusion process in order to enhance its properties, such as increased strength, fuel and oil resistance, and abrasion resistance. Compounded TPU finds a wide range of applications in areas where superior structural integrity is required, such as for hoses and tubes (pressure hose, fire hose, pneumatic tubing, and air tubing), belts (conveyor belts, air matting, and drive belts), electrical wires (vehicle wiring, computer wiring, and wire and power cable sheathing), medical disposables, and OA equipment connectors.
- These extruded TPU products find applications in several industries like electrical and electronics, oil and gas, medical, automotive, etc.
- The shrinkage in global automotive production and global oil production during 2018-19 has impacted the demand for extruded TPU products. The declining automotive industry, along with the temporary shutdown of automotive manufacturing units and various industrial activities due to the ongoing pandemic scenario, has declined the consumption of thermoplastic polyurethane. According to OICA, automobile production declined by around 15.8% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, reaching a total of 77.62 million units produced, thus creating a negative impact on the demand of the thermoplastic polyurethane market.
The Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market
- The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the largest share of the regional market for thermoplastic polyurethane. Owing to the increasing automotive demand and the increasing demand for textile and footwear, TPU-based adhesives and sealants are expected to witness a healthy growth rate in the region.
- The Chinese footwear industry is the largest in the world, with a robust network of domestic sales and exports to major countries. As leather footwear accounts for the largest share of the footwear industry in China, the demand for TPU adhesives is estimated to be the strongest in China, compared to other parts of the world.
- The construction sector in India is growing at a higher rate with urbanization projects and new construction activities, such as bridges, dams, roads, railways (metro rails), urban infrastructures, buildings, etc. Around 100% FDI in the construction sector has also helped the industry to grow, which is expected to grow further at a higher rate, with increasing population, during the forecast period.
- Currently, China has numerous airport construction projects, which are either in the development or planning stage. These include Beijing Capital International Airport, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, etc. Additionally, the government rolled out massive construction plans for the movement of 250 million people to its new megacities over the next 10 years.