Global Thermoplastic Elastomers Markets, 2020-2026: Automotive, Consumer & Leisure, Electrical & Electronics, Medical & Hygiene

The thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) market comprises segments including styrene block copolymer (SBC), thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), copolyester elastomer (COPE), and polyether block amide (PEBA). By end-use industry type, the market has been further divided into automotive, consumer & leisure, electrical & electronics, medical & hygiene, and others.

The demand for materials that can be processed easily with superior performance characteristics in terms of touch, feel, appearance, and mechanical properties have created a slew of opportunities for TPEs worldwide. Easier processing allows compounders and manufacturers to mix different resins and develop innovative solutions with shorter cycle times.

Moreover, increasing demand for materials that offer lightweight, recyclability, and miniaturization is further responsible for the growing adoption of TPEs across various application areas. Hence, TPEs have been gradually replacing thermoset rubbers and conventional polymers across multiple end-use industries including automotive, consumer & leisure, electrical & electronics, medical & hygiene, and construction. New technologies such as 3D printing are further expected to create tremendous growth opportunities for the TPE market in the future.

Automotive sector accounted for the largest share of volume consumption of TPEs worldwide in 2019 and is expected to retain its dominant market share during the forecast period. TPO and TPV are majorly preferred for this segment, owing to their high impact resistance, flexibility, soft-touch, ease of processing, excellent light-weighting, and good temperature resistance characteristics, among others.

The demand for TPEs in the consumer & leisure sector is expected to benefit from the increasing demand for lightweight, flexible, and soft materials in different application areas including footwear, home appliances, personal care products, kitchenware, and power tools. This sector contributed to the second-largest share in global TPE consumption in 2019, both by value and volume.

In the electrical & electronics segment, the market growth for TPEs is primarily driven by the increasing production of power cables, fibre optic cables, and consumer electronics.

The medical & hygiene industry is expected to create major opportunities for the TPE market, primarily owing to the high demand for materials that offer ease of processing, elasticity, transparency, design flexibility, and superb barrier properties. This sector is expected to expand at the highest CAGR, both by value and volume, throughout the forecast period.

Other application areas including road construction, roofing membranes, industrial machines, rail coaches, and aircraft components are expected to further drive the market for TPEs during the forecast period.