The vast majority of consumption in 2013 was for general purpose elastomers, such as natural rubber (NR), styrene-butadiene rubbers (SBRs), polybutadeiene rubber (BR), butyl rubber (IIR) and ethylene-propylene-diene-monomer rubber (EPDM), which represented approximately 95% of the total. The remaining 5% was made up of a wide range of specialty elastomers, some of which were modifications of general purpose elastomers and some were standalone products.
The Future of Specialty Elastomers to 2019 covers in detail the global specialty elastomers market and describes in detail the individual elastomers, their market by type and by end use, as well as future developments covering a period up to 2019.
According to the report, the principal industrial markets for specialty elastomers are: transportation, electronic applications, building and construction, medical, healthcare and hygiene, leisure and sports. The main driver for specialty elastomers is demand from the automotive industry. In general, specialty elastomers are only used where they are absolutely needed. Wherever possible, a lower cost product will be attempted, by redesigning the component. However, this is not often possible. Thus, specialty elastomer growth is powered by demand and not fashion. Many applications are not seen, thus black pigmented elastomers are often used.
The report also details the performance of elastomers in various geographic markets. Although the overall economic picture in Europe is not looking particularly promising, the UK is faring much better than its European partners. It has a growing GDP and although slightly less than France at $2,556 billion, it is predicted to overtake France in the next few years. Its success is mainly due to a fast growing automotive industry, as well as a very buoyant financial market.
The North American economy has taken on a fairly dramatic growth in the last few months. The main contributing factor would appear to be the increased exploitation of the shale gas and oil reserves. Mexico is also pushing ahead very quickly, though Canada seems to be suffering some small setbacks.
In Asia, China’s economy is beginning to slow down. Automotive production is at an all-time high, with a growth of 14.8% versus 2012. With a production
According to The Future of Specialty Elastomers to 2019, specialty elastomers do not consume nearly as much in raw materials as commodities and only in the case of silicone elastomers is there an exceptional route to the production of these elastomers. Recently, major investments have been made in China that will guarantee for a considerable amount of time free availability of silicone-based raw materials. The production of silicone polymers demands extremely high amounts of low-cost energy and an abundant supply of methyl alcohol. The future shale gas situation ensures the future of both of these needs.
The main driver for specialty elastomers is demand from the automotive industry. Other end uses are also being challenged and find that the solution is often to go up to a higher performance material. Weight saving is not an issue here, but the increasing compactness of engineering space, especially in automotive applications, is not leaving much choice other than specialty elastomers. This trend is increasing as competition builds, thus providing specialty elastomers with a safe future.
The Future of Specialty Elastomers to 2019 is available to purchase online and receive immediately here for £3950.
To find out more about the report and how your company can benefit from a global usage licence, please contact: Brian Santos (US) T: +1 207 781 9618 or Bill Allen (UK) T: +44 (0) 1372 80202