Global Foamed Insulation Demand to Grow Nearly 5% Annually Through 2022

Foamed plastic insulation accounted for the largest share of the market in value terms in 2017. This type of insulation is used in all geographic regions and major end-use markets. Polystyrene, polyurethane, and phenolic foams (in both boards and spray-on applications) are the most common foamed plastic insulation products. These and other trends are presented in Global Insulation, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Through 2022, foamed plastic is expected to be the fastest growing insulation product, advancing 4.9% annually. Growth will be driven by:

  • strong gains in nonresidential construction – particularly in the Asia/Pacific region – as foamed plastic is the most commonly used material in this market
  • advances in appliance production, as polyurethane foam is the primary insulation product used in freezers and refrigerators
  • the material’s high R-values, enabling it to gain share from fiberglass and mineral wool products
  • comparatively low installation costs relative to other major materials
  • new building codes in many developed countries that call for dwellings to be more tightly sealed to prevent air leakage

Global demand for all types of insulation is forecast to rise 4.3% per year to $55.2 billion in 2022, when sales in volume terms, excluding reflective insulation and radiant barriers, will total 31.7 million metric tons.

Global Insulation (published 11/2018, 388 pages) is available for $6600 from The Freedonia Group. Please link citations to