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Why are TPUs getting back into the 'rat-race' of the Sports & Leisure industry?

SpecialChem / Thibaud Deleger – Jul 8, 2014

From the elastomeric materials, side significant changes occurred in these past years, with many more options offered to product designers and engineers. Vulcanized rubbers were the first to be developed, and therefore have a long history in multiple uses. Flexible PVC entered the game, and thanks to their cost competitive pricing and almost infinite formulation possibilities they easily gained significant market shares in practically all markets, from automotive to electrical, from consumer goods to medical.

Soft PVC are seen almost everywhere. Later, Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) witnessed many new products and chemistries being launched, replacing rubbers or soft PVC. Styrenic compounds, like SBS or SEBS, enjoy the highest share of the global TPE production volumes, because of a good combination of useful properties and competitive pricing. High performance TPE, like COPE or PEBA, keep on growing in demanding applications, but remain much smaller in terms of global production volumes when compared to PVC or Styrenics.

Overall the TPE market sees an above the average annual growth rate, which was estimated last year to reach 5.5% until 2017 by the US-based Market Research Freedonia Group. At that time Freedonia estimates the global TPE market volumes will reach 5.8 million tons. This good health of the TPE market is also confirmed by the latest...

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