Polyethylene foam is a durable and lightweight material often used for in the packaging of fragile goods due to its excellent vibration and insulation properties. It also offers high resistance to chemicals and moisture. Polyethylene foam is easy to process and fabricate and exhibits high load bearing characteristics which help manufacturers reduce packaging costs as they can use thinner and smaller amounts of foam and still protect their products. Polyethylene foam is developed by thermochemical expansion with low-density polyethylene resins. The closed cell structure resists water pick-up and moisture transmission. These foams are resistant to chemical reactions from water, oil, greases, and common chemicals. Polyethylene foams are ideal for packaging, surface protection, cold chain, automotive, sports & leisure, void fill, medical, construction, military, blocking & bracing, recreational, agriculture, and archery target applications.
The polyethylene foams market is mainly driven by increasing residential and commercial construction activities caused by rapid urbanization and increasing income levels and modern attitudes toward home ownership in several countries. In addition, rising expenditure on commercial and luxury vehicles in emerging economies is expected to fuel the demand for polyethylene foams in the automotive sector. The building & construction industry is likely to witness growth during the forecast period, driven by investments in new infrastructure development, housing projects, and renovation of non-residential buildings in emerging economies, contributing to an increasing demand for polyethylene foams in various applications.
The global polyethylene foams market can be categorized into the following: ethafoam synergy fine cell polyethylene foams, flame-resistant polyethylene foams, medium & high density foams, and military grade & recycled content foam. Based on the method of foaming, the market is classified into the following categories: mechanical foaming, foaming with hollow glass beads, chemical foaming, and physical foaming. In terms of application, the polyethylene foams market is divided into the packaging, surface protection, cold chain, automotive, sports & leisure, void fill, medical, construction, military, blocking & bracing, recreational, agriculture, and archery target segments. Protective packaging is a significant end-use application of polyethylene foams and accounts for a major market share in terms of volume.
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The global polyethylene foams market has witnessed decent growth in 2015 and is anticipated to follow the same trend over the forecast period. Asia Pacific accounted for a major share in the polyethylene foams market owing to the availability of inexpensive raw materials, low cost of production, and the product’s ability to cater to the local emerging market. Besides, increased demand for premium and better quality products has contributed to the development of the polyethylene foams market in this region. In North America, the market is anticipating progression, with three polymer foams capacity projects already set up in the region. The domestic market is expanding as well which triggers the exporting of polyethylene foam products into the remaining parts of the world. In Europe, the market is bound to experience an upward trend with the U.K, Germany, and Russia persisting as successful polyethylene foam markets. Latin America and Middle East & Africa are also projected to create a strong market for polyethylene foam owing to the recent infrastructure developments and urbanization in these regions.
Key players in the global polyethylene foam market include Armacell International S.A, Zotefoams Plc., The Dow Chemical Company, and Sealed Air Corporation.
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