Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is known widely and is familiar with consumers in the form of PET bottles. This has been the only area of application for this recyclable, lightweight thermoplast. However, PET foams have opened up a great number of possibilities as a core material. Well-known core materials in the industry are SAN, PVC and PMI foams, as well as balsa and honeycombs but the innovative PET foams offer an interesting ratio of stability to density. PET foam is temperature, corrosion and chemical resistant, lightweight, stable yet flexible and offers a great compressive strength.
The transportation, packaging, marine, building and construction and wind energy applications are projected to be the growing application areas of PET foam. PET foams can also be used in general industrial applications such as sandwich panels, advertising panels, special food trolleys, air containers and stage sets among others. However, the range of possible applications of PET foams is enormous. The distinct characteristics of PET foams such as low maintenance and repair costs ease of installation, chemical resistance and thermal insulation properties help to reduce the operating costs in the industrial applications. Moreover, other important properties of PET foams such as FST (fire, smoke and toxicity) properties and recyclability make it an attractive choice for applications which focus on the green aspect.
The growing penetration of PET foam in the end-user industries such as marine and wind energy market is driving the growth of the global PET foam market. One of the major influencing factors for the growth of the global PET foam market is the upsurge in sales of end products owing to the increasing demand and spending by the growing population in the emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil among others. Therefore, the global PET foam market is showing significantly high growth in the end-use application areas such as building and construction, marine and transportation segments. Furthermore, the explosive growth of the wind energy segment is in turn boosting the growth of the PET foam market as PET foams meet the wind energy’s demand for strength, low cost and light weight.
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The global PET foam market can be segmented, on the basis of PET foam grade into low-density foam and high-density foam segments. On the basis of application, the global market can be bifurcated into wind energy, transportation, marine, packaging, building and construction and others. In addition, the global PET foam market is geographically segmented into five major regions, namely: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Latin America and Middle East and Africa (MEA). The PET foam market is witnessing high growth in the North American and APAC regions owing to the increase in demand for PET foam in its application areas. Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region and its growth is mainly attributed to the high economic growth rate in this region.
Some of the key companies leading the PET foam market are Armacell International S.A., BASF SE, DIAB Group, Armacell International S.A., Gurit Holding, Changzhou Tiansheng New Materials Co. Ltd, Sekisui Plastics, Carbon-Core Corp. and Petro Polymer Shargh among others.
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