The Global "Blowing Agent Market" is expected to grow at a high CAGR of 3.5% during the forecasting period (2022-2029).
The blowing agents are the substances capable of producing the cellular structure through a foaming process in the various materials such as polymers, plastics, and metals. The blowing agents act by creating holes in the matrix producing cellular materials. The cellular structure in a matrix is capable of reducing the density, increasing thermal and acoustic insulation, and increasing the relative stiffness of the original polymer.
The market is driven by the rising demand for the blowing agents in various industries such as construction, automotive, and appliances industries. The blowing agents are used for the development of the PIR/ PUR board, XPS board, sandwich panels, pipe & roof insulation, and others in the construction industry. The blowing agents are used for the development of the seats, headrests, armrests, roof liners, dashboards, and instrument panels in the automotive industry. The blowing agents are widely used by the appliances industry for the development of refrigerator or freezer insulation, commercial refrigeration, water heater, and others
The rise in the launch of the novel blowing agents shall stimulate market growth. For instance, in February 2016, The Chemours Company had introduced the Opteon 1100 foam blowing agent. This product provides excellent thermal insulation performance while reducing energy consumption, environmental footprint, and greenhouse gas emissions to the homeowners. Opteon 1100 is a foam blowing agent that would meet the long-term needs of polyurethane foam customers for non-flammable, high efficiency, low global warming potential (GWP) solutions. It provides extremely low global warming potential, zero ozone depletion potential, excellent thermal insulation performance, and improved R-value, allowing for greatly reduced energy consumption and far lower greenhouse gas emissions. In July 2014, Lapolla Industries, Inc. had developed the technology and commercially release Honeywell's new Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA) in spray foam insulation wall system in the United States.
However, the high cost of shifting the technology is hindering the market growth as the technical complexity such as commercial concerns, the complexity of interrelated technical, and legislative problems are involved in the shift from one blowing agent technology to another. For instance, the conversion to HCs technology involves high investment or fixed cost, and conversions to HFCs/HFOs based technology leads to the high operating cost. Moreover, the increasing government regulations due to the ozone potential depletion (ODP) and global warming could have a negative impact on the demand for blowing agents.
The blowing agent market is segmented based on product type as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), hydrocarbons (HCs), hydro fluoro olefin (HFO), and others. The hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) segment accounts for the highest market share owing as the hydrofluorocarbons are the preferred choice for the different end-user industries including the automotive, appliances, construction, flooring, furnishing, and other industries due to their advantages such as Low global warming potential (GMP) and low operating costs associated. The hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) segment comprised of the N-pentane, cyclopentane, isopentane, isobutane, N-butane, and other HCS. The N-pentane is the liquid blowing agent that is injected into the extruder, and are converted to a gas. Pentane has a boiling point of 97 °F (36 °C) and volatizes very quickly.
The hydro fluoro olefin (HFO) segment is expected to have positive market growth due to increasing research and development activities for hydro fluoro olefin as it has a very low global warming potential, low ozone depletion potential (ODP), a low volatile organic compound (VOC), highly reactive in the atmosphere, and has a less impact on the greenhouse gas. It is a suitable substitute for HFC and HCFC. Hydrofluoroolefin is gaining the commercial interest of the regulatory bodies due to its ability to breaks down to trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) in the atmosphere and TFA can easily be flushed out from the atmosphere into the aqueous environment, where it is already present in small quantity. Several major players including Honeywell International and Arkema have patented and marketed the hydro fluoro olefin. For instance, Honeywell International has marketed the hydro fluoro olefin under the brand name Solstice and Arkema has marketed the hydro fluoro olefin under the brand name Forane. Honeywell International’s Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA) has received approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the use in foam insulation in refrigerators, spray foam insulation for residential and commercial buildings, insulated metal panels, and other applications.
Further, the market is also classified based on application as building & construction, automotive, bedding & furniture, appliances, packaging, and others. The building & construction segment accounts for the highest market share owing to the higher usage of the blowing agents for building & construction as the blowing agents provide better uniform components, tighter insulation, higher energy efficiency, and limited energy consumption to the buildings. The blowing agents are used as a component for building insulation, such as block pipe and roof insulation, doors, and sheathing. These agents are also used as sealants for windows and doors. The blowing agents are used in the polyurethane foams for preventing heat loss and maintaining the temperature even during cold climates. The blowing agents are effective in avoiding the freezing or cracking for long-distance heating. The blowing agents are also used in the phenolic foams for panels and provide the insulating barriers in roofing, wall cavities, and floor insulation.
By region, the blowing agent market is segmented into North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle-East, and Africa. Among all of the regions, Asia-Pacific accounts for the highest market share and is expected to maintain its dominant position over the forecasted period. China accounts for a high market share of XX% in 2019 due to the high consumption of the hydrocarbons, unsaturated HFCs, and other chemical blowing agents. The major production base of the HCFC blowing agent is located in China. The low consumption of the blowing agents is expected to be observed in South Korea. Drastic market growth is expected to be observed in India due to the rising growth of the end-user industries and growing urbanization. According to The World Bank, the population of the Indian towns and cities is expected to increase from 282 million to 590 million in the next 20 years due to the rising number of people migrating to the towns and cities in search of economic opportunity.
North America is expected to have positive market growth owing to the high usage of the blowing agents in building & construction, and automotive industries. There is higher penetration of the blowing agents for building insulation and as sealants for windows and doors. The market is witnessing the higher adoption of polyurethane foam for the automobile interiors including the seats, steering wheels, door panels, etc. The rise of customized packaging, rising demand for microwave food, snack foods, and frozen foods shall stimulate the demand for blowing agents in the food packaging industry.
The blowing agent market is highly competitive with the presence of several international and local markets. Product diversification, revenue generation, and opportunities intensify the market competition. The Linde Group, Americhem, Arkema, Form Supplies Inc., HCS Group GmbH, Honeywell International Inc., Huntsman International LLC, Lanxess, and Nouryon are the leading market players with significant market share.
In October 2017, The Chemours Company had won the Polyurethane Innovation Award in 2017. This award highlights the role that innovation plays in the polyurethane industry and today recognized Chemours for its vision and perseverance to bring Opteon 1100 to the marketplace.
The companies are focusing on product approval, product development, market expansion, and technological advancement strategies for holding their position in the market. For instance, in June 2019, Nouryon had completed the Euros 20 million project at Sundsvall, Sweden that would significantly raise production capacity for its Expancel expandable microspheres. These microspheres are used to enhance the properties of products ranging from shoe soles and food packaging to wind turbines. The Expancel microspheres are used as a lightweight filler and a blowing agent to make end products lighter, create attractive textures, protect against damage, or shield against the elements. It would reduce the costs as less raw material is needed.
In October 2013, Arkema had launched the Forane 1233zd, a new molecule for use as a low global warming potential (GWP) blowing agent for polyurethane foams. Forane 1233zd blowing agent provides exceptional energy performance and environmental benefits over the existing blowing agents, such as HCFC, HFC, and hydrocarbon molecules.
In June 2015, Foam Supplies Inc. had planned to add more than 50,000 square feet of production and warehousing space to its Earth City, Missouri, headquarters. The expansion is in response to an increased demand for ecomate, a foam-blowing agent as well as the anticipated future demand from both new and existing customers.
In June 2012, Foam Supplies Inc had set up a subsidiary in India, named Foam Supplies India Pvt. Ltd. The India operations would focus primarily on the distribution of Ecomate, a foam blowing agent in the Asia Pacific region.
**The global blowing agent market report will provide access to approximately 53 market data tables, 44 figures, and 178 pages
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