Flexible Polyurethane Foam Demand to Reach 2.3 Billion Pounds

Flexible polyurethane foam demand is forecast to increase 2.5 percent annually to 2.3 billion pounds in 2020, accounting for 32 percent of all polyurethane demand.  Advances will be driven by opportunities in bedding, a formerly mature market that continues to be revitalized by the success of memory foam, and strong demand from carpet and flooring markets.  These and other trends are presented in Polyurethane Market in the US, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Polyurethane flexible foam is well regarded for its effectiveness among available cushioning materials, boosting growth in packaging applications.  According to analyst Larry Catsonis, “Flexible polyurethane foams are among the most efficient cushioning materials available.”  They consist of open cells formed by the polymerization and simultaneous expansion of an isocyanate and a hydroxyl compound.  Threats to further flexible foam advances include maturity in markets such as furniture and textiles, as well as increased imports of furniture and components from Asia (e.g., China) and Latin America (e.g., Mexico). 

Household products and transportation equipment will together account for 95 percent of all flexible polyurethane foam used in 2020.  Household product applications will be stimulated by the advantages offered by foam mattresses and growth in carpet and flooring applications, the latter being boosted by rising construction activity.  Packaging applications will be buoyed by solid growth in plastic packaging shipments.  Slower advances in transportation markets are anticipated due to trends toward thinner, more lightweight foams in motor vehicles, and market maturity. 

Polyurethane Market in the US (published 11/2016, 173 pages) is available for $4900 from The Freedonia Group.  For further details or to arrange an interview with the analyst, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600 or email pr@freedoniagroup.com.

Related studies include:         

#3405 Plastic Foams (June 2016)

#3266 Carpets & Rugs (March 2015)