Blowing agents are chemical compounds that induce cell formation in plastics, rubber, and glass and lead to reduced density under controlled conditions. They have high thermal stability, even when processed at high temperatures. Blowing agents find major applications in construction, packaging, automotive, and appliance industries, where they are used to manufacture products using molten polymers through processes such as injection molding and extrusion. In the construction industry, blowing agents are widely used for manufacturing insulation materials, such as expanded polystyrene boards and panels, extruded polystyrene boards, and polyurethane foam panels boards, which provide thermal insulation to buildings and structures. The global construction industry is growing steadily over the recent years, driven by increasing infrastructure development and construction activities across both commercial and residential sectors globally. This is expected to drive the demand for insulation materials made using blowing agents over the forecast period.
The global Blowing Agents Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 4.90 Bn in 2023 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.6% over the forecast period 2023 to 2030, as highlighted in a new report published by Coherent Market Insights.
The growing demand for insulation materials from the construction industry and stringent energy efficiency regulations are expected to drive the growth of the global blowing agents market over the forecast period. As mentioned in the heading, the construction industry has been flourishing in recent years. The increased construction activities require extensive use of insulation materials to improve the energy efficiency of buildings as well as reduce thermal losses. This rising need for insulation is expected to propel the demand for blowing agents for producing insulation foam boards and panels. Moreover, various governments across the globe are implementing stringent regulations regarding energy conservation in the construction sector. For example, the European Union has set mandatory energy performance standards for new buildings through the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. This is subsequently augmenting the consumption of blowing agents in insulation manufacturing.
The global blowing agents market is dominated by the polyurethane foam segment, accounting for over 60% share in 2021. Polyurethane foams find wide application in bedding & furniture, construction, automotive, footwear and packaging industries owing to properties like stiffness, structural strength and insulation. Within polyurethane foam segment, flexible foam dominated and is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period due to increasing usage in furniture, automotive and bedding applications.
- Political: Regulations pertaining to usage of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are encouraging adoption of environment-friendly blowing agents. The Kigali agreement aims to phase down hydrofluorocarbons which is supporting market growth.
- Economic: Growth of end-use industries like construction, packaging, automotive is driving the demand. Emerging economies are witnessing higher infrastructure spending and construction activities.
- Social: Rising disposable income and changing lifestyles are positively impacting industries like furniture, construction and packaging. Growing population is also augmenting demand for insulation in construction and packaging.
- Technological: Developers are focusing on advancing bio-based and natural blowing agents to reduce dependency on hydrocarbon gases. Hybrid blowing agent systems combining hydrofluorocarbons and methyl formate are also gaining traction.
The global blowing agents market is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period supported by growth in polyurethane foam consumption.
The Asia Pacific region dominates the market and is expected to maintain its lead supported by strong growth in insulation demand from China, India and other Southeast Asian countries. India is projected to witness fastest growth attributable to ongoing infrastructure development projects and expanding construction industry.
Key players operating in the blowing agents market are DuPont, Arkema S.A., Honeywell International Inc., Solvay S.A., Foam Supplies, Inc., AkzoNobel NV, Haltermann GmbH, Linde AG, Americhem, and HARP International Ltd. Key players are focused on accelerating the shift towards eco-friendly solutions by investing in R&D around bio-based and natural blowing agent technologies. Adoption of innovative hybrid blowing agent systems is also gathering pace among major players to achieve sustainability goals.