Dublin – Production efficiency and process innovation are becoming increasingly important differentiators among EPDM suppliers, according to a report on the outlook for the industry over the next five years.
This is a key take-away message from the study titled EPDM Market by Application and Geography - Trends & Forecasts to 2019 – as highlighted by Research and Markets (R&M) – a supplier of industry reports.
“This market has yet to be tapped fully and holds huge promise as most industries are focusing on green technology and energy-saving currently,” notes the report. "Companies around the world are investing capital in order to achieve a higher EPDM manufacturing efficiency.”
To illustrate the point, R&M cites Lanxess AG’s development of a process technology, called the Keltan ACE, to produce EPDM. Compared with conventional production processes, this is said to reduce energy requirements for rubber production.
Moreover, the process does not require catalyst extraction due to the high reaction efficiency achieved, and can also enable the manufacture of new EPDM grades.
The report further cites Lanxess’ progress in the manufacture of EPDM materials using raw materials extracted from renewable resources, particularly sugarcane waste.
R&M goes on to highlight study findings showing that the market for EPDM is growing at a brisk pace in emerging markets. It is also being driven by the end-user industries, such as building & construction, electronics, and plastics modification.
However the biggest pull, said the study, is coming from is the global automotive industry. EPDM suppliers are focused heavily meeting the specific requirements of this industry, including light-weighting and reductions in emissions.
EPDM is widely used in automotive weather-stripping, seals, glass-run channels, radiators, tubing, belts, electrical insulation and bumpers. Meanwhile, EPDM-modified plastics are currently replacing PVC and other materials in automotive interiors.