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Polymeric Foams, BCC Research

  • June 2015
  • -
  • BCC Research
  • -
  • 225 pages

Use this report to:
Identify the polymeric foams industry, the changes found in this major segment of plastics production.
Know about the most common and popular commercial polymeric foams and their applications, their technologies and competing plastic foams.
Know about the market estimates and forecasts for plastic foams of several kinds in many different important markets such as construction, transportation and packaging.
Identify polymer foam markets by applications.

Highlights
The U.S market for polymeric foam was nearly 7.9 billion pounds in 2014. This market is predicted to reach nearly 8.1 billion pounds in 2015 and nearly 9.3 billion pounds in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8%.
The polyurethanes segment reached nearly 4.4 billion pounds in 2015. This market is expected to grow to nearly 5.1 billion pounds in 2020, with a CAGR of 3%.
The polystyrene market was nearly 2.3 billion pounds in 2015. This market is expected to grow to 2.4 billion pounds in 2020, with a CAGR of 2.4%.

INTRODUCTION

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
In the roughly four years since BCC Research’s last study on the polymeric foams industry, the changes we found in this major segment of the plastics production and
processing industry were more evolutionary than revolutionary. Products and markets change as technology and society change, but aside from continuing work on finding
newer and better foam blowing agents, the products and processes to make them are pretty much the same. Polymer foams find their primary applications in consumer
products, such as cushioning for furniture and automobiles, thermal insulation for construction and packaging, and similar end uses that are driven by the business cycle.
As the business cycle has turned upwards again after the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, these products are again getting attention and sales.
Most of the markets for plastic foams are the same ones that have existed for years. In recent years some newer markets have also developed, such as cross-linked polyolefin
foam in leisure and sports goods and foamed PVC in house siding, windows/doors and other construction shapes. A more recent development is work on foams made from
biopolymers and biodegradable polymers, work done in concert with efforts to reduce the country’s dependency on petroleum and natural gas, the feedstocks for the plastics
that are currently foamed. The focus of this study is on conventional plastic foams, those made from synthetic chemical feedstocks; foams made from newer bioplastics
are outside our scope and are the subject of other studies and reports.

Polymers are foamed for cost and performance advantages. Foamed plastics are lighter than nonfoamed articles made from the same resin; they require less resin and
therefore achieve lower material costs. Equally or more important, foamed plastics have properties different from nonfoamed ones, properties that often are
advantageous and not attainable with nonfoamed plastics. The insulating and cushioning qualities of the gas bubbles in a foamed article are obvious attributes, but
less obvious is the fact that a foamed article is often stronger than its nonfoamed analog. Thus, structural shapes and forms, such as piping and wall siding, can be
stronger when foamed, even though this may seem counterintuitive.
Markets are driven by different forces. Market drivers in recent years that have caused the most significant changes have often been environmental and public perception
issues.
Such issues have included:
Consumer safety issues, ranging from fire resistance and flammability to concerns over the use of plastics that are often thought to be (almost always erroneously)
health hazards (especially carcinogens).
Solid waste disposal and recycling, a political ‘hot button’ of the 1990s that recently has gained more speed with calls for bans on plastic bags, is not a concern of this
study.
Atmospheric protection, caused about by concerns and actions taken regarding blowing agents used to produce foamed plastics. This concern has taken on greater
importance more recently because of global warming.
Because of concerns over the earth’s ozone layer and global warming, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) foam blowing agents were banned, and their first group of
replacements, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), are also scheduled for phase-out over the near future, with a total ban by 2030. The most important CFC-replacement
foam blowing agent, HCFC-141b, has been banned since 2003. HFCs, the nonchlorine-containing compounds that were thought to be the final replacements for
CFCs, have also come under attack, not as destroyers of the ozone layer but as “super greenhouse gases,” many times more powerful than carbon dioxide in heating the
atmosphere. Volatile hydrocarbon blowing agents are under increased control as air-polluting VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Our goal in this study and update is to describe the most common and popular commercial polymeric foams and their applications, their technologies, competing
plastic foams as well as those made from other materials, and future industry trends.
Market estimates and forecasts are made for plastic foams of several kinds in many different important markets such as construction, transportation and packaging. The
polymers and applications covered are introduced below under “Scope and Format” and are discussed in greater detail in later chapters of this report.

REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
Polymer foams touch our lives every day. Some applications are unseen, such as the insulating sheathing on our houses and inside our refrigerators, while some
applications are in visible end uses, such as foamed seat cushions and foamed polystyrene hot cups used for fast-food coffee. These products are important items in
the economy, and because of the environmental issues previously noted, represent an interesting dynamic of twenty-first century American society.
The plastic foam industry is a major segment of the American plastics industry, historically accounting for about 10% of total commodity resin consumption until the
“Great Recession” of 2007-09 caused by the collapse of the housing bubble. Demand for the consumer products that use a lot of foam, like automobiles and construction,
then dropped significantly in the recession and are only recently getting back to former levels. This recovery is led by the simple fact that foamed products have many
advantages; for example, those used for insulation and protective shipping reduce energy consumption and product damage and thus lead to lower manufacturing costs,
less waste and other desirable results.
BCC Research first performed and has updated this study to provide a comprehensive reference for those interested and/or involved in these products; these professionals
comprise a wide and varied group of companies that make and use polymer foams, as well as process technology and equipment designers and marketers, politicians of all
persuasions and the general public. The information in this report has been gleaned and condensed from a large amount of literature and other reference materials in the
course of its compilation.

CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY AND INTENDED AUDIENCE
This report is intended to assist those involved in several different segments of the U.S. industrial and commercial business sectors, primarily those professionals whose main
interest is in thermal insulation (construction, appliances and the like), comfort cushioning (furniture, auto seats and other uses), transportation (other automotive
parts, such as protective cushioning and bumpers), as well as packaging applications.
These professionals include those who are involved in the development, formulation, manufacture, sale and use of foamed polymers and polymer foaming processes; and
those in ancillary businesses, such as processing equipment, additives, and other support chemicals and equipment (e.g., process and product-development experts,
process and product designers, purchasing agents, construction and operating personnel, market staff and top management). This report will be of great value to
technical and business personnel in the following areas, among others:
Marketing and management personnel in companies that produce, market and sell polymeric foams.
Companies involved in the design and construction of process plants that manufacture polymeric foams, and those that service these plants.
Companies that supply chemicals, equipment and other materials to plastic foam producers and users.
Basic research personnel in academia, government and industry.
Financial institutions that supply money for the above-mentioned facilities, including banks, merchant bankers and venture capitalists. Such institutions need to identify
and know areas of potential trouble, as well.
Personnel in end-user companies and industries; these are a wide ranging group of companies in industries as varied as automobile manufacture and healthcare
products packaging.
Personnel in government at many levels, not only at the federal level (such as the Environmental Protection Agency), but also state and local health, environmental and
other regulators who must implement and enforce the laws regarding public health and safety.

SCOPE AND FORMAT
This BCC Research study covers in depth many of the most important technological, economic, political and environmental considerations in the U.S. polymeric foams
industry. It is basically a study of U.S. markets, but because of the global nature of polymer and packaging chemistry, it touches on some noteworthy international
activities, primarily those that impact the U.S. market such as the significant number of foreign firms that operate on U.S. soil.
As noted at the beginning of this chapter, the polymeric foams covered in the scope of this study are the older conventional foams made from synthetic plastics produced
from chemical and petrochemical feedstocks. New foams made from the growing bioplastics industry are outside our scope.
All market estimate figures are rounded to the nearest million pounds, and all growth rates are compounded and signified as percent compounded annual growth rates
(CAGR%). Because of this rounding, some growth rates may not agree exactly with figures in the market tables, especially for differences in small volumes. All market
figures are at the manufacturer’s or producer’s level.

REPORT ORGANIZATION
This report is segmented into nine chapters, beginning with this Introduction. Chapter Two, the Summary which follows, next encapsulates our findings and conclusions, and
includes a summary major market table. Here, the busy executive can find the major findings of the study in summary format.
Chapter Three is an Overview to the industry, starting with an introduction to the petrochemical industry that is the source of polymers and the plastic resin industries
that make the resins that go into polymer foams. Polymeric foams are introduced and each of the major foamed plastics and their principal foam structures are discussed.
The chapter ends with a discussion of some competing foam materials, thus introducing the reader to the field of polymers and foamed plastics and foam
structures.
Chapter Four, Polymer Foam Markets by Material Types, is the first of our market analyses, estimates and forecasts. It discusses and forecasts markets for foamed
plastics by type. These include three classes of major commodity thermoplastic resins used to produce foams: polyolefins (primarily polyethylenes and polypropylene),
polystyrene and PS copolymers, and polyvinyl chloride and copolymers. The largest foamed polymer group, the thermosetting polyurethanes (PURs), comprise the major
focus. Some specialty foams are included, as well as market estimates and forecasts for plastic foam blowing agents and PUR raw material isocyanates and polyols.
Chapter Four begins with an overall market analysis, estimate and forecast for the major types of polymeric foams for base year 2014 and a five-year forecast from 2015
through 2020. Each type of foam is then described in more detail with a discussion of important applications and more-detailed market forecasts.
Chapter Five is our second market analysis chapter, Polymer Foam Markets by Applications. It discusses, estimates and forecasts markets by polymer foam
applications. Applications have been categorized into seven specific major groups:
Appliance thermal insulation.
Building/construction, primarily insulation and PVC profiles/shapes.
Electrical/electronics, with the largest market in acoustical and noise-control foams.
Furniture and furnishings, mainly comfort cushioning.
Medical applications.
Packaging, both functional and product protection.
Transportation, primarily cushioning.
A group of other applications, ranging from sports equipment to shoe insoles and powder puffs, ends the chapter.
Chapter Six, Technology, starts with a review of some basic polymer chemistry, manufacture and properties of plastics used in producing plastic foams and then
progresses on to conventional foam technologies. Some new polymer foam technologies are covered, including new blowing agents, polyol technology and
microcellular foams. A discussion of polymer recycling technology rounds out this chapter.
Chapter Seven, Industry Structure and Competitive Analysis, covers the structure of the polymeric foams industry and emphasizes the major domestic producers and
suppliers, as well as trends in the industry. Some international aspects of the business are also discussed and analyzed, including the global nature of the polymer foam
industry, major foreign-owned supplier companies that operate in the U.S. and trends outside the U.S.
Chapter Eight, Environmental, Regulatory and Public Policy Issues, discusses items of increasing importance to the polymer foams industry. Several of the most important
environmental and regulatory considerations are linked, since governments around the world seem to have decided that regulations are the best means of achieving
environmental ends such as saving the earth’s ozone layer and reducing greenhouse gases. Getting agreement on international cooperation and action is another matter.
The last narrative chapter is Chapter Nine, Company Profiles, which lists many supplier companies that BCC Research considers to be among the most important and/or best
representatives of the polymer foam business.
Finally, this report ends with an Appendix containing a glossary of some important terms, abbreviations and acronyms used in the chemical, polymer and polymer foams
industries.

REPORT SCOPE AND NOTATION
Some topics and materials covered in the text of this report are not specifically broken out in our market estimate and forecast tables. A good example is microcellular foams,
an exciting technology that is steadily getting more applications. Since the technology is used to foam the same resins, commercial applications are already included in
market figures.
Copyrighted and trademarked trade names are capitalized. Generic product names are lowercase, with the exception of common chemical acronyms, such as MDI and TDI,
and plastics such as PE, PP, PVC and PUR. Chemical formulae are sometimes used to abbreviate compounds, such as NaCl for sodium chloride (table salt).

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Searches were made of the literature and the Internet. These included many leading trade publications as well as technical government compendia, and information from
trade and other associations. Much product and market information was obtained from the principals involved in the industry. Corporate profile information was obtained
primarily from the individual companies, especially the larger publicly owned firms.
Other information sources included textbooks, directories, articles, and industry websites.

Table Of Contents

Polymeric Foams, BCC Research
TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 2
STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 2
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY 3
CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY AND INTENDED AUDIENCE 4
SCOPE AND FORMAT 4
REPORT ORGANIZATION 5
REPORT SCOPE AND NOTATION 6
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES 6
RELATED BCC RESEARCH REPORTS 6
ANALYST'S CREDENTIALS 7
BCC RESEARCH WEBSITE 7
DISCLAIMER 7
CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY 9
SUMMARY TABLE U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BY RESIN FAMILY, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 11
SUMMARY FIGURE U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BY RESIN FAMILY,
2014-2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 11
CHAPTER 3 OVERVIEW 13
THE PETROCHEMICAL AND PLASTIC RESIN INDUSTRIES 13
PETROCHEMICALS 13
TABLE 1 VALUE OF U.S. CHEMICAL INDUSTRY SHIPMENTS, THROUGH 2012 ($
BILLIONS) 16
PLASTIC RESINS 17
History 17
Modern Polymer Chemistry 18
Bulk Resin Manufacture 19
Plastic Resin Fabrication 19
Commodity vs. Specialty Resins 20
Commodity Resins 20
TABLE 2 NORTH AMERICAN PRODUCTION OF MAJOR THERMOPLASTIC RESINS,
2006-2013 (MILLION POUNDS) 21
Specialty Resins 21
Bioplastics 22
POLYMERIC FOAMS 22
CLOSED- AND OPEN-CELL FOAMS 23
POLYMER FOAM BLOWING AGENTS 23
RESINS USED TO PRODUCE POLYMER FOAMS 24
POLYOLEFIN FOAMS 24
POLYSTYRENE (PS) FOAMS 25
POLYURETHANE (PUR) FOAMS 25
Polyurethane Raw Materials 25
Isocyanates 26
Polyols 26
Flexible Polyurethane Foams 27
Rigid Polyurethane Foams 27
Semirigid (Integral-Skin) PUR Foams 27
POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC) FOAMS 27
OTHER POLYMERIC FOAMS 28
PHENOLIC FOAMS 28
STRUCTURAL FOAMS 28
COMPETITIVE FOAM MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS 29
NATURAL FOAM MATERIALS 29
THERMOFORMED SHEET 29
PAPER AND OTHER FIBER PRODUCTS 29
CHAPTER 4 POLYMER FOAM MARKETS BY MATERIAL TYPES 32
OVERALL MARKET ESTIMATE AND FORECAST 32
TABLE 3 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BY RESIN FAMILY THROUGH 2020
(MILLIONS POUNDS) 32
BLOWING AGENTS 34
MARKET ESTIMATE AND FORECAST 34
TABLE 4 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BLOWING AGENTS, THROUGH 2020
(MILLION POUNDS) 35
PHYSICAL BLOWING AGENTS 37
CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs 37
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 37
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) 38
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 39
TABLE 5 FOAM BLOWING APPLICATIONS OF HCFCS AND HFCS 40
TABLE 6 FOAM PRODUCTS/APPLICATIONS BLOWN WITH FLUOROCARBONS 41
CFC, HCFC, and HFC Nomenclature 41
Hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) 42
Hydrocarbons 42
Carbon Dioxide 43
Nitrogen 44
Other Physical Blowing Agents 44
CHEMICAL BLOWING AGENTS 44
Inorganic (Endothermic) Chemical Blowing Agents 45
Organic (Exothermic) Chemical Blowing Agents 45
TABLE 7 TYPICAL USE OF EXOTHERMIC CHEMICAL BLOWING AGENTS BY RESIN 46
TABLE 8 OPERATING TEMPERATURE RANGES FOR EXOTHERMIC BLOWING AGENTS 47
TABLE 9 APPLICATIONS FOR EXOTHERMIC BLOWING AGENTS 47
Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type of CBA 48
TABLE 10 ADVANTAGES OF ENDOTHERMIC VS. EXOTHERMIC BLOWING AGENTS 48
TABLE 11 ADVANTAGES OF EXOTHERMIC VS. ENDOTHERMIC BLOWING AGENTS 49
Endo/Exo Combinations 49
POLYOLEFIN FOAMS 49
POLYOLEFIN FOAM MARKET ESTIMATE AND FORECAST 50
TABLE 12 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYOLEFIN FOAM BY TYPE AND APPLICATION,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 50
RESINS AND PROCESSES 51
Properties and Applications 51
Cross-Linked Polyolefin Foams 52
POLYSTYRENE FOAMS 53
XPS AND EPS FOAMS COMPARED 53
POLYSTYRENE FOAM MARKET ESTIMATE AND FORECAST 54
TABLE 13 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYSTYRENE FOAM BY TYPE AND APPLICATION,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 54
EXTRUDED POLYSTYRENE (XPS) FOAM SHEET 55
XPS Foam Sheet Blowing Agents 56
EXTRUDED POLYSTYRENE (XPS) EXPANDED BOARD 56
XPS Foam Board Blowing Agents 57
EXPANDABLE POLYSTYRENE (EPS) BEADS 57
EPS Bead Blowing Agents 58
POLYURETHANE FOAMS 58
RAW MATERIALS DEMAND AND USE 58
Isocyanates 58
Foam Market Estimates for Isocyanates 59
TABLE 14 U.S. MARKET FOR ISOCYANATES IN POLYURETHANE FOAMS, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 59
Polyols 60
Foam Market Estimates for Polyols 60
TABLE 15 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYOLS IN POLYURETHANE FOAMS, THROUGH 2020
(MILLION POUNDS) 61
Chain Extenders and Cross-Linkers 61
Polyurethane Blowing Agents 61
Fluorinated Hydrocarbons 62
Hydrocarbons 63
Auxiliary Blowing Agents 64
High-Water Formulations (HWFs) 64
Carbon Dioxide 65
Vacuum Panels 66
POLYURETHANE FOAM MARKET ANALYSIS AND FORECAST 67
Method of Calculation for Total PUR Foam Demand 67
TABLE 16 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYURETHANE FOAM BY TYPE AND APPLICATION,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 67
FLEXIBLE POLYURETHANE FOAMS 68
Properties and Types of Foams Produced 69
Flexible Slabstock 69
Molded Flexible Foams 69
Applications 69
Acoustical Applications 69
Cushioning 70
Flexible Foam Filters 70
Reticulated Foams 71
RIGID POLYURETHANE FOAMS 71
Properties and Applications of Rigid PUR Foams 71
Appliance Insulation 71
Rigid Foam Boardstock 71
Sandwich Panels 72
Spray Foam Insulation 72
Rigid Polyisocyanurate Foams 73
Reaction Injection Molding (RIM) 73
INTEGRAL-SKIN AND MISCELLANEOUS PUR FOAMS 74
POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC) FOAMS 75
PVC FOAM MARKET ESTIMATE AND FORECAST 76
TABLE 17 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYVINYL CHLORIDE FOAM BY TYPE AND
APPLICATION, THROUGH 2015-2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 77
RESINS AND PROCESSES 78
Flexible PVC Foams 78
Rigid PVC Foams 79
PROPERTIES AND APPLICATIONS 80
TABLE 18 MAJOR APPLICATIONS OF PVC FOAMS, BY PROCESS AND APPLICATION 80
OTHER POLYMERIC FOAMS AND COMPETING MATERIALS 82
MARKET ESTIMATE AND FORECAST 82
TABLE 19 U.S. MARKET FOR OTHER FOAM BY APPLICATION THROUGH 2020
(MILLION POUNDS) 83
PHENOLIC FOAMS 83
STRUCTURAL FOAMS 84
Production Processes 85
Materials and Applications 85
FLUOROPOLYMER FOAMS 85
COMPETITIVE MATERIALS 86
Competition in Cushioning 86
TABLE 20 GENERAL PERFORMANCE FACTOR COMPARISON OF CUSHIONING
MATERIALS 86
TABLE 21 CATEGORIES AND TYPICAL PRODUCTS THAT REQUIRE PROTECTIVE
PACKAGING 88
Competition in Building Insulation 88
Competition in Packaging of Electronic Products 88
TABLE 22 POLYETHYLENE FOAM VS. FOAM-IN-PLACE POLYURETHANE FOAM FOR
ELECTRONIC PRODUCT PACKAGING 89
Competition in Food-Service Packaging 89
CHAPTER 5 POLYMER FOAM MARKETS BY APPLICATION 92
OVERALL MARKET ESTIMATE AND FORECAST 92
TABLE 23 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BY APPLICATION, THROUGH 2020
(MILLION POUNDS) 92
APPLIANCE INSULATION 93
TABLE 24 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN APPLIANCE INSULATION, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 93
ALTERNATIVE BLOWING AGENTS 93
BUILDING/CONSTRUCTION 94
TABLE 25 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN BUILDING/CONSTRUCTION,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 94
TABLE 26 TYPICAL THERMAL INSULATION 'R' VALUES (BTU) 95
ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONICS 96
TABLE 27 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONICS,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 96
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS 96
TABLE 28 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN FURNITURE/FURNISHINGS
MARKETS, THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 97
MEDICAL APPLICATIONS 97
TABLE 29 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN MEDICAL APPLICATIONS, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 97
PACKAGING 98
TABLE 30 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN PACKAGING MARKETS, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 98
TRANSPORTATION 99
TABLE 31 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN TRANSPORTATION MARKETS,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 99
MISCELLANEOUS OTHER MARKETS AND APPLICATIONS 100
TABLE 32 SOME MISCELLANEOUS OTHER APPLICATIONS FOR POLYMERIC FOAMS 100
TABLE 33 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN MISCELLANEOUS OTHER MARKETS,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 101
CHAPTER 6 TECHNOLOGY 103
PLASTIC RESIN CHEMISTRY, MANUFACTURE AND PROPERTIES 103
POLYMERIC FOAM PROPERTIES AND CHARACTERISTICS 105
MECHANICAL PROPERTIES 105
CHEMICAL PROPERTIES 106
ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES 106
ACOUSTICAL PROPERTIES 106
LIGHT PENETRATION 107
SAFETY AND HEALTH ISSUES 107
CONVENTIONAL POLYMER FOAM TECHNOLOGY 107
POLYOLEFIN FOAM PROCESSES 107
Extruded Polyolefin Foams 107
Molded Polyolefin Foams 107
Cross-Linked Polyolefin Foams 108
POLYSTYRENE FOAM PROCESSES 108
XPS Foam Sheet Process 108
XPS Foam Board Process 109
Expandable Bead (EPS) Process 109
POLYURETHANE FOAM CHEMISTRY AND PROCESSES 109
Isocyanate Reactions 109
Polyol Equivalent Weight and Functionality 110
TABLE 34 POLYURETHANE FOAM-POLYOL DEPENDENCY BASED ON POLYOL
EQUIVALENT WEIGHT AND FUNCTIONALITY 110
Polyurethane Foaming Processes 111
Chemistry 111
One-Shot System 111
Two-Component (Prepolymer) System 112
Quasi (Semi) Prepolymer System 112
Flexible Polyurethane Foam Process 112
Rigid Polyurethane Foam Process 112
Nonisocyanate Polyurethane Processes 113
CELLULAR FOAM STABILIZATION 113
Chemical Stabilization 113
Physical Stabilization 114
DEVELOPMENTS IN POLYMER FOAM TECHNOLOGY 114
NEW BLOWING AGENTS 114
HCFC and CFC Replacements for CFCs 114
Hydrocarbons 115
Carbon Dioxide 116
Foam Blowing Without Auxiliary Blowing Agents 117
Variable-Pressure Foaming 117
Vacuum Forming 118
MICROCELLULAR FOAMS 118
POLYMER RECYCLING TECHNOLOGY 121
RECYCLING STATISTICS AND TRENDS 122
CONVENTIONAL (MECHANICAL OR PHYSICAL) RECYCLING 123
ADVANCED (CHEMICAL) RECYCLING 123
Depolymerization to Monomers 124
Depolymerization to Feedstocks 124
Waste-to-Energy Recycling (Incineration) 125
POLYURETHANE RECYCLING TECHNOLOGIES 125
Automobile Recycling 127
PUR Foam Recycling Technologies 127
CHAPTER 7 INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AND COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS 131
TRENDS IN THE U.S. PLASTIC RESINS INDUSTRY 131
PLAYERS IN THE U.S. PLASTIC FOAMS INDUSTRY 132
STRUCTURE OF THE U.S. POLYMERIC FOAMS INDUSTRY 133
BLOWING AGENT SUPPLIERS 135
PHYSICAL BLOWING AGENTS 135
CHEMICAL BLOWING AGENTS 135
Endothermic Agents 135
Exothermic Agents 135
PLASTIC RESIN SUPPLIERS 136
TABLE 35 NORTH AMERICAN PRODUCTION OF MAJOR THERMOPLASTIC RESINS,
2006-2013 (MILLION POUNDS) 137
POLYURETHANE RAW MATERIAL SUPPLIERS 137
ISOCYANATES 138
POLYOLS 138
POLYURETHANE FOAM SYSTEM SUPPLIERS 138
FOAM FABRICATORS AND MOLDERS 139
COMPANY CONSOLIDATION, RESTRUCTURING, ETC. 139
INTERNATIONAL ASPECTS 140
MAJOR FOREIGN PLAYERS 141
TRENDS OUTSIDE THE U.S. 141
New Applications for Foamed Plastics 142
Environmental Aspects 142
Polystyrene Foam Recovery 143
Polyurethane Recycling 143
Replacement of CFCs as Blowing Agents 143
CHAPTER 8 ENVIRONMENTAL, REGULATORY, AND PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES 146
FOAM PACKAGING ISSUES 146
FOOD SERVICE 146
PROTECTIVE SHIPPING PRODUCTS 147
Loose-Fill 148
CFC- AND HCFC-REPLACEMENT ISSUES 149
OZONE DEPLETION 149
CHRONOLOGY OF MAJOR EVENTS 149
The Clean Air Act and Amendments 149
Sherwood-Molina 149
United Nations Environment Programme 149
Montreal Protocol 150
Action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 150
The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment 150
CFC Ban 150
Ozone Layer Conference 150
EPA'S 1993 FINAL RULE AND SUBSEQUENT ACTIVITIES 150
OZONE-DEPLETION POTENTIAL 152
OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR HCFC REDUCTION AND REPLACEMENT 152
TABLE 36 TECHNICAL OPTIONS FOR PLASTIC FOAM PROCESSORS FOR
REPLACEMENT OF HCFCS AS BLOWING AGENTS 153
GREENHOUSE GASES 155
TABLE 37 OZONE DEPLETION AND GLOBAL-WARMING POTENTIALS (FRACTION OF
CFC-11 ODP = 1.0) 156
FOAM RECYCLING AND RECOVERY 156
POLYSTYRENE FOAMS 157
POLYURETHANE FOAM 157
PERFORMANCE STANDARDS 158
THERMAL INSULATING STANDARDS (R-VALUES) 158
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH, DIMENSIONAL STABILITY 159
POLYMER FOAM HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES 159
FLAMMABILITY 159
Polymeric Foams 159
Polyurethane Foams and Raw Materials 161
Flame Retardance 161
Upholstered Furniture 163
Recent Actions Regarding Foam Flammability 164
TOXICITY 165
Polyurethane Foams 165
TABLE 38 POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF POLYURETHANE FOAM COMPONENTS 165
Other Foams 166
ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS 167
FEDERAL 167
STATE AND LOCAL 168
PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS 169
CHAPTER 9 COMPANY PROFILES 172
INTRODUCTION 172
SUPPLIER COMPANIES 173
20/20 CUSTOM MOLDED PLASTICS LTD. 173
ACH FOAM TECHNOLOGIES LLC 173
ADDIVANT 174
AIR PRODUCTS AND CHEMICALS INC. 174
AMERICAN EXCELSIOR INC. 175
AMERICHEM INC. 176
AMPACET CORP. 176
ARCH CHEMICALS INC. - SEE LONZA GROUP LTD. 177
ARKEMA INC. 177
BASF CORP. 178
BAYER MATERIAL SCIENCE LLC 178
BERGEN INTERNATIONAL LLC 180
BIDDLE SAWYER CORP. 180
BOYD CORP. 180
ER CARPENTER COMPANY 181
CELLOFOAM NORTH AMERICA INC. 182
CHEMTURA CORP. 182
CLARIANT CORP. 183
COIM USA INC. 184
CREATIVE FOAM CORP. 184
CREST FOAM INDUSTRIES INC. 185
CYLATEC INC. 186
DART CONTAINER CORP. 186
DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY (THE) 187
E.I. DU PONT DE NEMOURS AND CO. 189
EFP CORP. 190
ENDEX INTERNATIONAL 190
EVONIK FOAMS INC. 191
EXPANCEL 192
FERRO CORP. 192
FOAM PRODUCTS CORP. 193
FOAM SUPPLIES INC. 193
FREE FLOW PACKAGING INTERNATIONAL INC. 194
FUTURE FOAM INC. 194
FXI 195
GALATA CHEMICALS LLC 196
GENERAL FOAM PLASTICS CORP. 196
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC. 196
HSM SOLUTIONS 197
HUNTSMAN CORP. 198
IGLOO PRODUCTS CORP. 199
JOHNSON CONTROLS INC. 200
LEAR CORP. 200
LONZA GROUP LTD. 201
LONZA INC. AND LONZA AMERICA INC. 201
LYONDELLBASELL INDUSTRIES 201
PACTIV LLC 202
PINTA ACOUSTIC INC. 202
PLASTOMER CORP. 203
REEDY CHEMICAL FOAM and SPECIALTY ADDITIVES 203
RMAX INC. 204
ROGERS CORP. 204
RUBICON LLC 205
SAINT-GOBAIN PERFORMANCE PLASTICS 205
SEALED AIR CORP. 206
SEKISUI AMERICA CORP. 207
SONOCO PRODUCTS CORP. 208
SPAN-AMERICA MEDICAL SYSTEMS INC. 209
STEPAN COMPANY 209
STOROPACK INC. 210
TEKNI-PLEX INC./DOLCO PACKAGING 210
TEXTILE RUBBER and CHEMICAL CO. INC. 211
TORAY PLASTICS (AMERICA) INC., PEF DIVISION 211
TREXEL INC. 212
UFP TECHNOLOGIES INC. 214
WFI GLOBAL LLC 214
WOODBRIDGE SALES and ENGINEERING INC. 215
ZOTEFOAMS INC. 215
CHAPTER 10 APPENDIX 218
GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT TERMS, ABBREVIATIONS, AND ACRONYMS 218


LIST OF TABLES

SUMMARY TABLE U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BY RESIN FAMILY, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 11
TABLE 1 VALUE OF U.S. CHEMICAL INDUSTRY SHIPMENTS, THROUGH 2012 ($
BILLIONS) 16
TABLE 2 NORTH AMERICAN PRODUCTION OF MAJOR THERMOPLASTIC RESINS,
2006-2013 (MILLION POUNDS) 21
TABLE 3 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BY RESIN FAMILY THROUGH 2020
(MILLIONS POUNDS) 32
TABLE 4 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BLOWING AGENTS, THROUGH 2020
(MILLION POUNDS) 35
TABLE 5 FOAM BLOWING APPLICATIONS OF HCFCS AND HFCS 40
TABLE 6 FOAM PRODUCTS/APPLICATIONS BLOWN WITH FLUOROCARBONS 41
TABLE 7 TYPICAL USE OF EXOTHERMIC CHEMICAL BLOWING AGENTS BY RESIN 46
TABLE 8 OPERATING TEMPERATURE RANGES FOR EXOTHERMIC BLOWING AGENTS 47
TABLE 9 APPLICATIONS FOR EXOTHERMIC BLOWING AGENTS 47
TABLE 10 ADVANTAGES OF ENDOTHERMIC VS. EXOTHERMIC BLOWING AGENTS 48
TABLE 11 ADVANTAGES OF EXOTHERMIC VS. ENDOTHERMIC BLOWING AGENTS 49
TABLE 12 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYOLEFIN FOAM BY TYPE AND APPLICATION,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 50
TABLE 13 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYSTYRENE FOAM BY TYPE AND APPLICATION,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 54
TABLE 14 U.S. MARKET FOR ISOCYANATES IN POLYURETHANE FOAMS, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 59
TABLE 15 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYOLS IN POLYURETHANE FOAMS, THROUGH 2020
(MILLION POUNDS) 61
TABLE 16 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYURETHANE FOAM BY TYPE AND APPLICATION,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 67
TABLE 17 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYVINYL CHLORIDE FOAM BY TYPE AND APPLICATION,
THROUGH 2015-2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 77
TABLE 18 MAJOR APPLICATIONS OF PVC FOAMS, BY PROCESS AND APPLICATION 80
TABLE 19 U.S. MARKET FOR OTHER FOAM BY APPLICATION THROUGH 2020
(MILLION POUNDS) 83
TABLE 20 GENERAL PERFORMANCE FACTOR COMPARISON OF CUSHIONING
MATERIALS 86
TABLE 21 CATEGORIES AND TYPICAL PRODUCTS THAT REQUIRE PROTECTIVE
PACKAGING 88
TABLE 22 POLYETHYLENE FOAM VS. FOAM-IN-PLACE POLYURETHANE FOAM FOR
ELECTRONIC PRODUCT PACKAGING 89
TABLE 23 U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BY APPLICATION, THROUGH 2020
(MILLION POUNDS) 92
TABLE 24 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN APPLIANCE INSULATION, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 93
TABLE 25 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN BUILDING/CONSTRUCTION,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 94
TABLE 26 TYPICAL THERMAL INSULATION 'R' VALUES (BTU) 95
TABLE 27 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONICS,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 96
TABLE 28 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN FURNITURE/FURNISHINGS MARKETS,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 97
TABLE 29 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN MEDICAL APPLICATIONS, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 97
TABLE 30 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN PACKAGING MARKETS, THROUGH
2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 98
TABLE 31 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN TRANSPORTATION MARKETS,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 99
TABLE 32 SOME MISCELLANEOUS OTHER APPLICATIONS FOR POLYMERIC FOAMS 100
TABLE 33 U.S. MARKET FOR PLASTIC FOAMS IN MISCELLANEOUS OTHER MARKETS,
THROUGH 2020 (MILLION POUNDS) 101
TABLE 34 POLYURETHANE FOAM-POLYOL DEPENDENCY BASED ON POLYOL
EQUIVALENT WEIGHT AND FUNCTIONALITY 110
TABLE 35 NORTH AMERICAN PRODUCTION OF MAJOR THERMOPLASTIC RESINS,
2006-2013 (MILLION POUNDS) 137
TABLE 36 TECHNICAL OPTIONS FOR PLASTIC FOAM PROCESSORS FOR
REPLACEMENT OF HCFCS AS BLOWING AGENTS 153
TABLE 37 OZONE DEPLETION AND GLOBAL-WARMING POTENTIALS (FRACTION OF
CFC-11 ODP = 1.0) 156
TABLE 38 POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF POLYURETHANE FOAM COMPONENTS 165


LIST OF FIGURES
SUMMARY FIGURE U.S. MARKET FOR POLYMERIC FOAM BY RESIN FAMILY, 2014-2020
(MILLION POUNDS) 11

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