Polyurethane Film, also known as TPU, Urethane, or PU film, is created by reacting a polyol, which is an alcohol with more than two reactive hydroxyl groups per molecule, with a di-isocyanate or a polymeric isocyanate in the presence of appropriate catalysts and additives. PU films can be used to create a wide range of materials for a variety of applications.
The Global "PU Films market" is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.4% during the forecast period (2022-2029).
The growing demand for automotive industry is expected to boost the PU Films market.
Due to growing population and urbanization on a global scale, the automotive industry is expected to grow during the forecast period, and hence, will also drive the Global PU Films market. PU foams and films are used by automotive designers, engineers, and manufacturers for a variety of interior applications such as headrests, armrests, and lumbar support systems, as well as highly flexible PU foam molded into the seat cushion, synthetic textile coatings, electronic components, and instrument panels that require high-quality surfaces and dimensional stability. TPU is an ideal material for automotive applications due to its high elasticity, grease resistance, and low-temperature performance. For example, the International Energy Agency reports that global sales of electric vehicles surpassed 2.1 million in 2019, breaking the previous year's record of 7.2 million electric vehicles. According to data, approximately 80 million motor vehicles were produced worldwide in 2020, with this figure expected to rise during the forecast period. The automotive industry is expected to reach approximately 9 trillion dollars by the end of the forecast period, according to data provided by Statista. According to data, approximately 25 million commercial vehicles were sold on a global scale in 2020. Moving forward, the current automobile industry is expected to stabilize in the near term, with 350 million electric vehicles on the road by 2040, which will boost demand for PU Films. This growing demand for automobiles will drive the PU Films market in the forecast period.
Advancements in the development of PU Films is expected to drive the market.
The PU films market is governed by stringent regulations imposed by the EPA, REACH, and OSHA, which have made product registration mandatory for market participants. The growing concerns about the hazards that come with using some petrochemicals for manufacturing PU Films have forced companies to develop innovative and environment-friendly PU Films options. The development of bio-based TPU is expected to provide opportunities for market participants. PolyOne, Arkema, DuPont, BASF, and Lubrizol are among the companies already producing bio-based TPU compounds. Companies in the market are concentrating their efforts on improving production technologies and developing new additives in order to improve product specifications and quality. For instance, Desmopan® TPU resin grades for roofing membranes are available from Covestro. This material is well-known for its abrasion and mechanical resistance has another property that is particularly important for roofing membranes: Water Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR) performance. Desmopan® TPU creates a moisture barrier due to its inherent mechanical resistance and high MVTR. These advancements are expected to boost the demand for PU Films.
The factors restraining the Global PU Films market include the high operational costs and environmental effects caused by the usage of raw materials used to manufacture PU Films.
COVID-19 Impact Analysis
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting and significant impact on industries all over the world, including the PU Films market. The automotive industry, of which PU Films are a key component, has experienced a drop in sales during the pandemic, due to social distancing and traveling restrictions implemented by governments all over the world. Passenger car sales have been steadily declining around the world. Car sales re-entered a slump at the end of 2018 just like it happened in 2008-09. Sales fell in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and related measures to control the spread of the coronavirus. According to the International Energy Agency’s car sales data from January to April 2020, the passenger car market shrank by about 15% year on year compared to 2019. The aerospace industry has also been affected by the pandemic. For instance, Airbus' plane production rate dropped to around 40 A320 family planes per month since the pandemic began, but the company has stated that it will increase the average rate to 45 by the end of 2021. As things began to normalize on a global scale, we expect both the automotive and aerospace industry to grow steadily, therefore boosting the PU Films market.
The Global PU Films market is segmented into Type, Function, End-Use, and Region.
Based on Type
The Global PU Films market based on Type is segmented into Polyether PU Film, Polyester PU Film.
The polyester PU films segment is expected to account for a larger share of the PU films market in 2019 than the polyether PU films segment because of the low cost of polyester PU films and their high demand in the various industries such as textiles, According to data, the global demand for polyester fibers in 2020 was around 50 million metric tons and global demand for the polyester fibers is expected to reach nearly 65 million metric tons by 2023, according to projections. For instance, the value of polyester fabrics sold in Japan in 2019 was approximately 6.89 billion Japanese yen, and this figure is expected to rise over the forecast period. According to data, in the United States of America, the total volume of polyester fiber produced in United States in 2019 was approximately 1.3 million metric tons. Polyester foam is more rigid and supportive than polyether foam. It is resistant to many corrosive gases, accepts fire retardant additives, and can be formulated with electrostatic discharge (ESD) characteristics. These factors along with the growing demands in the textile and medical industries will drive the demand for polyester PU films during the forecast period.
Based on Function
The Global PU Films market based on Function is segmented into Thermoplastic based PU Film and Thermoset based PU Film.
Based on End-Use Industry
The Global PU Films market based on End-Use Industry is segmented into Textile, Automotive, Aerospace, Medical, and Others.
Based on Region
The Global PU Films market based on Region is segmented into North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa.
The Asia Pacific region is the world's largest consumer of PU films, accounting for approximately 45 percent of global demand. Because of the region's rapid urbanization, which is expected to continue in the coming years, unprecedented demographic, economic, and social shifts are expected. This trend is expected to benefit the PU film end-user sector. The region's economic growth and rising incomes are fueling unprecedented growth in the airline business and leisure travel. As a result, aircraft manufacturers are showing interest in building more aircraft for the APAC region. For example, in December 2018, Boeing opened its first 737 plants in China, with the goal of producing over 100 Boeing 737 planes per year. This growth in the region will increase demand for PU Films, which are an important component of aircraft. The growing automobile industry in the APAC region will also drive the demand for PU Films. According to data, in 2020, China was the largest holder of the passenger vehicles market with total sales amounting to approximately 20 million units. China and India are considered to be among the largest car markets in the world, followed by Japan, Germany, and USA. Moreover, China has also recently strengthened its New Energy Vehicle mandate and CO2 emissions standards, with the goal of increasing sales of battery-powered electric vehicles. According to the International Energy Agency, of the 7 million electric car sales in 2019, approximately 47% of those came in China. These factors will ensure that the Asia-Pacific market continues to dominate the PU Films market.
The PU films market is highly fragmented and competitive, with numerous key players. Covestro AG, SWM International, 3M Company, Avery Dennison Corporation, DingZing Advanced Materials Inc., American Polyfilm, Inc, BASF SE, Taiwan PU Corporation, Plastic Film Corporation of America, and Jindal Poly Films are some of the major players. Companies are focusing on new product launches, mergers, and acquisitions to increase their market share. For example, in August 2018, Mitsui Chemicals and SKC Polyurethanes Co., Ltd commercialized a new polyurethanes production facility with a capacity of 15,000 tons/year in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. 3MTM Daylight Redirecting Film, for example, employed micro-replication technology that casts light as far as 40 feet (12 meters) from the windows.
Company Profile: Covestro AG
Overview: Covestro AG is a German company headquartered in Leverkusen. It was founded in September 2015 and produces high-tech polymers for various industries.
Product Portfolio: The company specializes in manufacturing isocyanates and polyols for cellular foams, thermoplastic polyurethane and polycarbonate pellets, as well as polyurethane-based additives used in the formulation of coatings and adhesives.
Recent Developments: 1) In June 2021, Nexeo Plastics, a leading global thermoplastics resin distributor, collaborated with Covestro on the development and launch of the new Addigy® FPB 2684 3D Polycarbonate/ABS 3D printing filament.
2) Covestro announced the opening of additional production lines for high-quality specialty films at its Dormagen site in Germany in April 2021. The new coextrusion lines are intended to meet growing global demand.
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