The Total Addressable Market (TAM) for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films was valued at USD 410.40 million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 681.68 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period (2023-2031). Thermoplastic polyurethane films are flexible elastomers with a wide range of uses. They are also perfect for various industrial applications due to additional characteristics like chemical, puncture, abrasion, and tear resistance. Due to a time of stability in the automobile industry, the demand for TPU films has increased globally during the past few years. Exterior applications, like scratch and paint protection, anti-stone chipping, rear bumper, and cowl protection, are essential vehicle uses. The final product was created utilizing polyester polyurethanes or polyether polyurethanes to make TPU pellets. Product demand is expected to increase due to attributes including waterproofness, high resilience, and cold temperature resistance. The market is anticipated to be primarily driven by the rising usage of the product in automotive applications during the projection period.
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Growing Usage in the Footwear and Clothing Sector
The demand for leather is increasing at a healthy rate due to the population's rapid growth and the continued expansion of numerous economies. The typical leather industry takes up a lot of resources and pollutes the environment. The public's focus on environmental issues presents severe challenges for the leather industry. TPU film is frequently used in footwear and clothing since it has many of the same characteristics as other polymers and rubbers.
With the development of science and technology, the production technique for TPU film and its composite products has grown significantly, creating the perfect environment for their acceptance. Recently, manufacturers have introduced a lot of advancements to the clothing and footwear markets. For instance, TPU was used exclusively in a shoe prototype that Lubrizol exhibited. This prototype shoe made entirely of TPU can provide better "circularity" solutions. TPU waste can be recycled after use by shoe manufacturers, making post-consumer recycling easier.
Increasing Costs of Raw Materials
Polyol, MDI, BDO, adipic acid, ethylene glycol, and other petroleum derivatives or byproducts are among the basic materials used in TPU. Early in 2021, a global "energy crisis" caused domestic chemical prices to soar. Demand for BDO (1,4-Butanediol) remained higher than supply. In the previous six years, the cost of BDO increased steadily and to an all-time high. The availability of upstream raw materials, BDO remained mostly constrained, and TPU production was scarce. Due to the fact that MDI has a wide range of end uses, its demand is not entirely met, which leads to a significant increase in its price. The situation worsened when, in late February 2021, the US Gulf Coast was hit by a very severe winter storm and shallow temperatures. This impacted the operation and production of MDI and TDI plants in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
Increased Use in Aircraft Interior Flooring and Cabin Furnishings
TPU films are used in aircraft interior flooring and cabin furnishings to give fabrics and laminate materials excellent durability, comfort, and fire safety. In the creation of lightweight airplane components, TPU is essential. These TPU films help lighten a load of aircraft while enhancing performance. The International Air Transport Association reports that 805 new planes were delivered to commercial airlines in 2020, almost half of what was first anticipated. In 2021, 1143 new aircraft were scheduled to be delivered to airlines; 1622 are expected in 2022.
Significant changes are anticipated in the supply chain, technological advancements, and how people fly and transport goods by air over the next four to five years. The government-supported aerospace industry recovery is projected to boost airplane demand, raising demand for TPU films. TPU sheets and films are being used more frequently in automotive designs. Automotive design experts will benefit from knowing how TPU can help them overcome performance issues when confronted with more demanding design standards.
The global thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films market is segmented by chemical class and end-user industry.
Based on chemical class, the global TPU films market is bifurcated into polyester, polyether, and polycaprolactone.
The polyether segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.35% during the forecast period. A polyurethane plastic called polyether TPU is beneficial for its resistance to abrasion, oil, and grease, among other things. Polymers possessing a functional group, primarily ether, are referred to as polyethers. Many grades of polyether TPUs are available that are impervious to microbiological growth, moisture, and humidity. Due to their resilience to oil and grease, polyether thermoplastic polyurethane materials perform well in applications that come into direct contact with human skin. Polyether TPUs can maintain their elasticity in low-temperature settings and have a high moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR).
The most popular kind of polyurethane film is made of polyester. They are solid and stable over the long run. Polyester polyurethane is useful for emblems in industrial washing, textile tagging, and identifying systems because it acts as an adhesive when heated. It can also be employed as a protective layer in applications involving metal bending and machine shops to stop delicate parts from being scratched. Pneumatic bladders and polyester polyurethane fuel bladders are two other uses. Polyester TPU film products have excellent heat-activated adhesive, high tensile strength, strong puncture resistance, good performance in contact with fuels or solvents, high abrasion conditions, excellent helium containment use, and are ultrasonic and radio frequency weldable.
A polyurethane material with various practical characteristics, including oil, grease, and abrasion resistance, is thermoplastic polycaprolactone polyurethane. Polycaprolactone TPUs enable low molecular weight distribution (MWD), common acid values, and excellent end-termination functioning. Overall, polycaprolactone TPU performance is comparable to polyester and polyether-based TPU performance. Compounds consisting of polycaprolactone can be specially formulated to satisfy specific performance specifications in various severe conditions. This thermoplastic has better structural characteristics thanks to its mechanical parts and even-numbered carbon spacing than polyester-polyurethanes.
Based on the end-user industry, the global TPU films market is bifurcated into footwear and apparel, medical supplies, sports equipment, building and construction, and other end-user industries.
The footwear and apparel segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.65% during the forecast period. Thermoplastic polyurethanes, or TPUs, are incredibly resilient and flexible plastics. This premium material offers unmatched abrasion resistance, stress absorption, traction on slippery terrain, and minimal weight. For use as a wear-resistant, non-slip protective covering for the outside of shoes, such as safety shoes, hiking boots, and alpine boots, foamed TPU film is appropriate. TPU is a well-liked substance for orthopedic insoles since it maintains its unique properties even when wet. Globally, the shoe business is expanding at a moderate rate. Due to the availability of inexpensive labor and the rising demand in Asia's developing nations, several large footwear businesses are moving their manufacturing operations there.
Medical applications benefit from the distinctive characteristics of thermoplastic polyurethane film. Polyether TPU films have the flexibility and a soft feel and are biocompatible, breathable, and antibacterial. Polyether TPU has successfully passed testing for skin cytotoxicity on agar. It is also resistant to skin oils. Polyester TPU films are excellent at resisting rips and abrasion, making them perfect for medical products that withstand more significant physical stress. TPU is frequently used in various medical device applications, including breathable wound dressing, hospital mattresses, operating room drapes, medical bags, organ retrieval bags, tubing, medical disposables, surgical drapes, surgical gloves, and surgical gowns. It is also used in pressure systems, post-operative positioning devices, heating/cooling systems, and other medical device applications. TPU-based wound dressing films are impervious to bacteria and liquids but allow moisture to pass through. TPUs are utilized to create medical gloves and are gradually taking the place of PVC in this market due to their superior elasticity, tensile strength, and lack of plasticizers.
The main circumstances where TPU films are significantly considered in sports equipment are abrasion resistance, UV resistance, tear resistance, scratch resistance, and impact resistance in different stiffness and hardness ranges. The primary applications are in ski boots, skis, ice skates, motocross boots, goggles, and wearables. When impermeable materials become wet, they quickly transfer body heat away, leaving behind moisture and discomfort. The TPU films were developed to give products essential attributes such as lightweight comfort, breathability, and water resistance. Other benefits include excellent elasticity over a broad temperature range, water vapor permeability, and air and water tightness.
TPU films combine exceptional resistance to gases, ozone, water, oil, and environmental pollutants with abrasion resistance, shred strength, and puncture resistance, even at low temperatures. They can be used in the construction sector as thin membrane barrier coating and lining materials for building supplies and for repairing and renovating existing underground pipe systems for utilities and industrial plants. TPU construction films are blown films that are internally extruded and given to manufacturers on an uninterrupted roll, either in seamless tubular form for pipe relining or cut to width and rewound as a single-layer film upon request for barrier sheeting. TPU films are widely utilized in the construction industry for the cured-in-place piping (CIPP) process, which is used to repair and renovate existing underground pipe networks. CIPP is a popular "trenchless" technique for installing new pipelining inside old pipes with a diameter of 100 millimeters to 1.5 meters.
The global thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films market is bifurcated into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.10% during the forecast period. The country's demand for residential development is anticipated to be driven by rising household income levels, population shifts from rural to urban areas, and other factors. The rise in the residential construction industry is driven by the public and private sectors' more significant focus on affordable housing. Infrastructure that is not residential is anticipated to expand significantly. The nation's aging population drives the need for new hospitals and healthcare facilities. Colossal commercial and office buildings have been built due to the structural changes in the Chinese economy over the past few years, which have seen the service sector account for a more significant portion of the GDP overall.
Europe is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.90% during the forecast period. The German economy is the fifth-largest in the world and the biggest in Europe. The German economy expanded by roughly 1.1% in 2019, the slowest growth rate in the previous six years. Despite struggling manufacturers slowing down operations, more state investment, surging construction, and more substantial private consumption supported growth in 2019. Germany's building industry is Europe's largest. More residential building projects have contributed to the gradual evolution of the country's construction industry. Germany has the most prominent construction market in Europe. The country's construction industry has been continuously expanding as a result of the increase in residential construction projects.
The world's largest corporations, including Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, have invested in building new offices and data centers in the United States, making it one of the dominant countries with high economic growth. As a result, it is anticipated that the United States expanding construction sector will drive up demand for TPU films. Even though the construction industry in the United States decreased in 2020, it recovered in 2021, increasing the demand for TPU films throughout the projected period. The second-largest individual exporter of textile-related goods worldwide is the United States. Manufacturing of textiles and garments varies across the nation. Non-apparel textile items, including home and industrial textiles, are becoming an increasingly significant business component.
As one of the top five global destinations for medical tourism, Brazil is home to one of South America's most successful healthcare markets. People have been more drawn to health and wellness trends due to rising income levels and the increase of the middle class in the nation, which has fueled the expansion of the market under study. The amount of private investment in the healthcare industry has grown over time. After Mexico and Brazil, Argentina is Latin America's third-largest healthcare market. Imports dominate the Argentine market for medical equipment. There is a large market for medical gadgets in the United States. Saudi Arabia has robust government control over all critical economic activity and an oil-based economy. Medical supplies in the country are largely made up of equipment and consumables for use in medicine.
The global thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films manufacturers are 3M, American Polyfilm, INC., Avery Dennison Corporation, Covestro AG, Ding Zing Advanced Materials Inc, Gerlinger Industries GmbH, Huntsman International LLC, Okura Industries Co. Ltd, Permali Gloucester Ltd, Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc., Wiman Corporation, and The Lubrizol Corporation.