Leatherhead, UK – Global demand for high-performance elastomers is set to show a five-year growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9%, from 918,300 tonnes in 2012 to 1.22 million tonnes by the end of 2017, Smithers Rapra estimates.
And in its new report, the UK-based market watcher also predicts an increased CAGR of 6.4% in the years ahead – demand on track to reach 1.67 million tonnes between this year and 2022.
Growth is being driven by a move to higher-specification materials, especially in terms of heat and chemical resistance, according to Patrick Ellis, author of the report titled The Future of High-Performance Elastomers to 2022.
“Automotive under-the-hood applications are setting the scene by demanding superior and reliable long-term performance compared with products that have been previously offered,” Ellis noted in particular.
But, he added, the aerospace and rail transport sectors are, likewise, starting to recognise that standard elastomers no longer meet their technical requirements around demands for higher speeds.
Electric and electronic applications are also seeking higher performance materials, Ellis citing the example of LED lighting, where high temperature resistance, combined with outstanding electrical properties are an increasing priority.
Electrical and electronic applications occupied a 15.2% market share in 2012, and this is likely to increase to 16.5% by 2017, ending up in 2022 with 17.6%
The strength of the market for high-performance elastomers is in marked contrast to the commodity elastomers market which, said Ellis, faces “serious competition” and increasing pressures on pricing.