Brookfield, Connecticut – Recessionary conditions following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic "have affected and will affect" the supply and demand of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), particularly within the automotive industry, according to an industry official.
Speaking at the virtual 2020 TPE Topcon event, industry consultant Robert Eller, said that Covid-19 impacts could be seen “for several years”, with a slow recovery in vehicle sales beginning in late 2020 and early 2021.
However, the industry expert noted that increasing demand for "smart interiors" and vehicles that can handle "massive amounts of data" are driving demand.
On the materials front, styrenic block copolymers and thermoplastic vulcanisates (TPVs) will provide competition for thermoplastic olefins (TPOs) and PVC in interior panel skin applications, according to Eller.
The 2020 TPE Topcon event, held 15-16 Sept, was hosted by the US Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and was featured presentations on new types of TPEs and market demand following Covid-19.