Global Insulation

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This study analyzes global supply of and demand for insulation. Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for 2024 and 2029 are provided for insulation demand by material (in dollars and metric tons) and market (in dollars and square meters R-1), net exports (in dollars), and production (in dollars) on a country-by-country basis. Demand in value terms is shown at the manufacturers’ level and excludes distributor and retailer markups.

Materials broken out include:

  • foamed plastic
  • expanded polystyrene, including graphite polystyrene
  • polyurethane and polyisocyanurate by rigid and spray
  • extruded polystyrene
  • others foamed plastics (e.g., elastomeric, phenolic, polyolefin, melamine)
  • fiberglass (including batts, blankets, loose fill, roof deck, and board)
  • mineral wool (including batts, blankets, board, and loose fill)
  • other materials (e.g., aerogels, cellulose, reflective insulation, radiant barriers, perlite, vermiculite, and all other insulation materials)

Granulated mineral wool used in ceiling tiles is not included in the scope of this study.

The major market segments analyzed are:

  • residential buildings
  • nonresidential buildings
  • industrial and plant equipment
  • power generation
  • oil and gas
  • petroleum refining
  • chemicals
  • other industrial markets (e.g., food and beverage, pharmaceuticals)
  • HVAC/air distribution equipment (including residential, commercial, and heating and air ducts)
  • appliances (e.g., refrigerators, freezers, ovens, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers)
  • transportation equipment
  • motor vehicles (cabins, engines)
  • aerospace equipment (fuselage, air ducts)
  • ships and boats (hull, cabin)
  • railroad equipment (railcar, insulated cars)
  • other insulation markets, including insulation, packaging, furniture, bedding, and clothing

Both thermal and acoustic insulation are included in the scope of this study.

How will the COVID-19 coronavirus impact the global economy? The Freedonia Group is tracking recent developments and analyzing their impact in an easy to follow Economic Impact Tracker.

The metric measures of thermal value used in this study cannot be converted to English units (those used in the Freedonia Group’s US insulation studies) simply by converting square meters to square feet. The metric version of thermal value defines heat transfer in metric units (watts) and is based on a material sample one meter thick; the English version of thermal value defines heat transfer in British thermal units and is based on a material sample one inch thick.

Taking into account all of the differences in measurement, approximately 16.4 square meters of R-1 value (metric system) is equal to 1,000 square feet of R-1 value (English system).

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