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Polyurethane-Based Foams in Automotive Market

Polyurethane-Based Foams in Automotive Market: Information by Application (Seating, Door Panels), End-User (Light Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Cars), and Region — Forecast till 2030

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Market Snapshot

market snapshot
Base Year:
Study Period:
5.68 %
Fastest Growing Market:
Largest Market:
Asia Pacific

The global polyurethane-based foams in automotive market size was valued at USD 11.29 billion, and it is anticipated to reach USD 18.56 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 5.68%. Many technological breakthroughs in the automobile industry have led to better car features and functionalities that enhance the driving experience.

Driver safety is a growing issue for governments, which is why the automobile industry is undergoing rapid change. Other contributing causes include shifting consumer tastes, environmental concerns, and stringent government regulations to improve driver safety through accident prevention. There has recently been a considerable leap forward in vehicle performance, passenger safety, communication capabilities, and overall driving comfort in the automotive industry.

The production of automobiles makes extensive use of polyurethanes, which offer significant advantages in comfort, defense, and energy conservation.

The cushioning capabilities of polyurethane foams can be found in most cars' seats, armrests, and headrests, where they reduce the tension and weariness frequently connected with driving.

They are ideal not only for cushioning purposes but also for use within the bodies of automobiles, where their durability and light weight, combined with their strength, make them ideal. Their insulation properties protect against the heat and noise of the engine, and their light weight makes them ideal.

The use of polyurethanes, known for being strong even though they are light, has decreased the weight of cars. It has led to an increase in fuel efficiency as well as an improvement in environmental performance.

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Market Dynamics

Global Polyurethane-Based Foams in Automotive Market Drivers

  • The rise in the demand for passenger vehicles is driving the market

The rise in the number of passenger vehicles that require polyurethane foam is one factor that has contributed to the expansion of the industry. Increasing levels of money per person in low- and middle-income nations are, nevertheless, the essential element for the potential of polyurethane foam. People are increasingly concerned about their style of living these days, and passenger cars are a form of status symbol; this is one reason the market share for passenger cars is increasing.

Compared to producing other types of vehicles, such as light commercial vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles, and electric vehicles, the production of passenger automobiles accounts for the highest share. The automotive industry extensively uses polyurethane for various applications, including high-resilience foam seating, rigid foam insulation panels, B-pillars, headliners, suspension insulators, bumpers, and other interior components.

  • Increasing road accidents are driving the market.

Over three million individuals are hurt in car accidents each year across the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For those aged 1 to 54, road accidents are the main cause of death in the United States, and they are also the main cause of death that is not brought on by natural causes for Americans. The circumstances are incredibly similar in each of the other countries as well. Accidents of this nature are the primary concern for the government and individual citizens. More comfortable seats have the potential to reduce these numbers significantly. Because of this, the automotive industry has a growing demand for foams based on polyurethane.

The national governments of each country have taken several measures to ensure that safety features are incorporated into the design, production, usage, operation, and maintenance of vehicles driven on public roads. These measures have been taken with consideration of the international standards and best practices to protect road users from the potentially harmful effects of vehicle operation on their safety and the environment as much as possible.

Global Polyurethane-Based Foams in Automotive Market Opportunities

  • Lignin is a sustainable and inexpensive by-product that can be used for making polyurethane-based foam

As a significant by-product of the pulp and paper industry, lignin has generated significant interest in manufacturing products with high value-added content. It is because lignin possesses abundant, sustainable, low-cost, and one-of-a-kind functional groups. The strategies used to develop high-performance polyurethane (PU) materials from lignin are used not only as a macromonomer to substitute petroleum-based polyols but also as a blending filler for the PU industry. It provides an excellent opportunity for this market to explore.

Global Polyurethane-Based Foams in Automotive Market Restraints

  • The manufacturing of polyurethane foams entails several significant risks to human health

Polyurethane foam is a type of polymer created by combining two different kinds of liquid chemicals, an isocyanate (also known as side A) and a polyol, in addition to various additives and catalysts. This process results in polymer formation (known as side B.) The distillation of crude oil is the source of both of these chemicals. When combined to make polyethene, isocyanates and polyols give off heat and vapour, respectively. Isocyanates have been shown time and again to present serious health risks. They can irritate the skin and make it more sensitive. Cancer, asthma, lung damage, and other respiratory and breathing issues can be caused by the vapours and aerosols that are released during and after mixing side A and side B chemicals up until the time that the polyurethane is cured. These vapours and aerosols can also irritate the skin and the eyes. Those who work with polyurethane vapours or are exposed to them are advised to follow the guidelines developed for personal safety by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It can hinder the market growth.

Segmental Analysis

The global polyurethane-based foams in automotive market are divided into four parts: Application, End-User, Type and Region.

On the Basis of Application

Based on application, the market is divided into seating, bumper systems, headliners, door panels, and others. Seating has the most widespread use of polyurethane-based foam in cars and is expected to be the most extensive use during the forecast period. The growth of the given application segment is fuelled by the growing use of polyurethane-based foams in the seating application segment. That is because polyurethane-based foams are easy to work with and can be shaped into complex shapes and forms.

On the Basis of End-User

Based on end-user, the market is divided into light commercial vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles, passenger cars, and electric vehicles. The largest market is passenger cars, where polyurethanes are used to their fullest potential. In the auto industry, polyurethane is often used in high-resilience foam seats, rigid foam insulation panels, B-pillars, headliners, suspension insulators, bumpers, and other interior parts of passenger cars.

On the Basis of Type

Based on type, the market is broken down into flexible foam and rigid foam. Flexible foams are the most popular type of polyurethane-based foam in the automotive market, and they are expected to hold the largest market share over the next few years. Aside from its well-known use in seats, it also makes driving comfortable, even for long periods or when driving hard.

Regional Analysis

Based on region, the market is broken down into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East & Africa. Asia-Pacific dominates the global market for Polyurethane-Based Foam in Automotive.

Polyurethane-Based Foams in Automotive Market Regional Analysis

Regional Growth Insights Request Sample Pages

The global polyurethane-based foams in automotive market are divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East & Africa, based on region.

Polyurethane-based foams are required in many ways throughout the world. Asia-Pacific is expected to have the largest share of the global polyurethane-based foams in the automotive market. It is because there are a lot of automakers there, such as Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and others.

Globally, China sells and makes more cars than any other country, so more polyurethane-based foams are used and bought in the automotive industry there. But as the need for applications like safety, noise reduction, and durability grows, it is expected that the demand for polyurethane-based foams in automotive will rise over the forecast period.

Industry Key Players in Market

List of key polyurethane-based foams in automotive market companies profiled

  • Huntsman International LLC
  • Dow
  • Rogers Corporation
  • Recticel NV/SA
  • Foam Supplies Inc.
  • Huebach Corporation
  • Caligen Europe B.V.
  • Vita (Holdings) Limited
  • Bridgestone Corporation
  • M/s Sheela Foam Ltd.
  • Saint-Gobain
  • Greiner AG
  • Interplasp
  • UFP Technologies Inc.
  • Covestro AG.

Recent Developments in Some of the Key Players

  • In May 2022, The Vita Group, one of Europe's largest producers of PU foam, was named "Manufacturer of the Year (above £25m)" at the North West Business Insider's Made in the North West awards ceremony.
  • In June 2021, A mass-balance method for the creation of novel polyurethane solutions based on a circular feedstock drawn from a waste product of the mobility sector was unveiled by Dow in June 2021. This strategy was based on a circular feedstock.
  • January 2022, DuPont de Nemours, Inc.'s acquisition of Rogers Corporation was approved by the company's shareholders at a special meeting conducted earlier.

Global Polyurethane-Based Foams in Automotive Market: Segmentation

By Application

  • Seating
  • Bumper Systems
  • Headliners
  • Door Panels
  • Others

By End-User

  • Light Commercial Vehicles
  • Heavy Commercial Vehicles
  • Passenger Cars
  • Electric Vehicles

By Type

  • Flexible Foam
  • Rigid Foam

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
  • The Middle East & Africa
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