London - A new report from market research group IAL Consultants Ltd provides an overview of supply and demand for two-component (2-K) spray polyurethane foam (SPF) and one-component foam (OCF) supplied in aerosol cans.
IAL said the report, which costs €3000, builds on its ongoing research into both the polyurethane and thermal insulation markets, and provides data for 2007 and 2012 for each major geographic region.
Total global production of SPF in 2007 is reported to be just over 409 kilotonnes, with the US the largest market, followed by China, Spain and then Japan. These four represent 70 percent of total SPF demand, said IAL.
Factors making these markets major SPF users include:
• Climate - spray foams cannot be applied in damp, cold or windy conditions; the " spray season" is therefore much longer in southern US and Spain, for example;
• Availability of a network of trained contractors - some SPF formulators have left the market as a result of unreliable or inexperienced contractors, but some markets have good training and specialist contractors;
• Building methods - the US construction industry uses large areas of flat roofing for commercial buildings which can easily be insulated and weatherproofed with a coating of spray foam and silicone top coat. Renovation with SPF is also more cost-effective than with tiles or panels;
• Labour costs - application of spray foam is much faster than using roofers, and so becomes more attractive where labour rates are high.
SPF use is also growing as a result of demands for: greater insulation; better energy efficiency; to meet new building regulations; good air quality; and a more comfortable living environment.
Global demand is expected to rise by a 9.8 percent a year between 2007 and 2012, creating a potential market of nearly 654 kt by 2012. But IAL points out that much of this growth depends on continued use of SPF in China, as a means of meeting tough new legislation introduced to reduce energy consumption. Other important factors will be the potential recovery of the Spanish house-building industry as well as the growing awareness of SPF's insulation benefits material in the US residential market.
Forecast growth rates for SPF by region. 2007-2012
Region AAGR (%)
Western Europe 3.0
Eastern Europe 7.6
Middle East & Africa 5.4
North America 10.6
South America 9.0
Asia Pac (excl China) 7.3
Global average 9.8
IAL gives data for 50 separate national SPF markets and a breakdown by wall, roofing, industrial and cold storage use.
In OCF aerosol cans, global production reached a record 395.5 million units during 2007, and is expected to exceed 500 million in five years. This is mainly due to trends in the adhesive and sealant industry, said IAL. Demand from the construction industry depends on regional construction techniques, skill levels and labour costs.
Global production is dominated by European manufacturers, although Chinese companies claim to be catching up fast. Some 273 million cans (70 percent of global production) originates from just 11 manufacturers, six of whom are European, the market research group said.