A recently added report by Transparency Market Research states that foam core materials are likely to see their demand rise steadily over the course of next few years primarily due to their usage in the shipping industry. The report, titled, “Foam Core Materials Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Trends and Forecast 2016–2024,” adds that for over 60 years, foam cores have been finding usage in lightening, stiffening, and strengthening almost everything in marine bodies, ranging from hull bottoms to fly bridges.
Foam core materials have great physical properties and ability to withstand extreme temperature fluctuations. They are also resistant to moisture. This also makes them an excellent choice in other industries such as wind energy and construction. The aircraft industry is another major user of foam core material because of its lesser weight and structural strength. Foam core materials are used in rotor blades, flight control surfaces, satellite containment fairings, and radomes.
Foam core materials are mostly produced from polystyrene, polyurethane, and polyvinylchloride (PVC) foams. At present, PVC foams are seeing widespread usage in various sectors and hence are considerably fuelling growth in the foam core materials market. This is because they are closed-cell and are resistant to moisture. PVC foams are available in different densities ranging from 3pcf to 25 pcf. Further, PVC foams can be made in ductile and rigid version. Of the two, the rigid foams steal a march over the ductile foam on account of having greater resistance to heat and being less soluble. Besides, they do not become brittle in low temperatures and find usage in cryogenic applications as well. However, styrene acrylonitrile, are a strong competitor against PVC foams in many applications because of their toughness and malleability. And this is a challenge the market needs to overcome going forward.
A noticeable trend in the market for foam core materials is the rising demand for new technologies which has resulted in the emergence of new kinds of technologies. A case in point is the sandwich composite technology which is seeing surging uptake because of its greater strength and lesser weight. Besides, to cater to the demand for lightweight composites, many companies are producing lightweight wood-based foam core panels. Expandable polystyrene and expandable microspheres are being used as core materials.
In order to study the market for foam core materials, the report segments it geographically into
Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and the Rest of the World. Asia Pacific, among them, holds most of the share in the market due to an expanding construction industry. Growing aerospace and shipping industries too are helping the market in the region.
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There are numerous players operating in the market for foam core materials both at the regional and international level. This makes the competitive landscape fragmented. Competition is also stiff among the various players in the market. Some of them who have consistently beaten competition to emerge as prominent names are The Dow Chemical Company, Armacell Enterprise GmbH & Co. KG, BASF, and Ashland Incorporation.