Global Thermoplastic Vulcanizates

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TPVs

This study covers the global market for thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). End-use markets for TPVs comprise:

  • motor vehicles, includes TPVs used in exterior, structural, engine, mechanical, and interior applications
  • industrial products
  • consumer goods (including footwear, appliances, household products, and personal care products)
  • medical products, including IV bags and tubing, syringe tips, peristaltic tubes, seals, gaskets, grips, personal protection equipment, and ventilator components
  • others, including packaging and wire and cable jacketing

Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for 2024 and 2029 are presented for global thermoplastic vulcanizate demand in metric tons by product and market on a country-by-country basis. The terms “demand”, “sales”, and “market” – defined as domestic shipments, plus imports, minus exports – are used interchangeably in the study.

TPVs

Markets

Demand by Market

Demand for TPVs is projected to grow 3.7% per year through 2024 to 515,500 metric tons, driven by:

  • increasing manufacturing – notably motor vehicle and medical products – globally
  • rising technological capabilities of manufacturing industries in developing countries, allowing for greater uptake of TPEs in general
  • the greater ability of TPVs to reduce raw material waste, which is causing more companies to use these products at the expense of competitive rubber materials
  • TPV’s ability to bond with engineering thermoplastics, which reduces manufacturing time and costs by limiting the number of steps need to assemble components
  • growing consumer backlash against plastics, which is leading producers of products meant for personal care and food applications to prefer TPVs to improve marketing and consumer health

Thermoplastic vulcanizate elastomers are highly versatile materials that find use in a range of applications. Motor vehicles are the primary market, accounting for 60% of global demand in 2019, and the bulk of opportunities for TPV use will continue to be in this market. Healthy expansion in the motor vehicle market will be due to:

  • an acceleration in global motor vehicle production through 2024
  • new weight saving and recyclability challenges, which will lead to increased penetration of TPVs in under-the-hood and sealing system applications

TPVs are also used in industrial products, consumer goods, and wire and cable, among other applications. Although only about a third of the size of the motor vehicle market, production of industrial products will also provide solid opportunities for TPVs, which are continuing to replace thermoset rubbers in hoses, belts, seals, gaskets, knobs, and clamps.

Medical Products

The medical products market includes TPVs used in the manufacture of such items as:

  • IV bags and tubing
  • syringe tips
  • peristaltic tubes
  • seals, gaskets, and grips
  • personal protection equipment
  • ventilator components

Demand for TPVs in the medical products market is forecast to increase 3.7% per year to 15,000 metric tons in 2024. TPV demand in this market rose sharply in 2020, as growing demand for PPE and medical equipment such as ventilator components boosted the output of medical products. Going forward, market levels will remain elevated as more manufacturers hasten the switch to TPVs in part due to their cost efficiency and ability to be sterilized without losing shape, which users of these medical products find increasingly valuable in the post-pandemic era. Increasing healthcare spending, due in part to the large aging populations of North America and Europe, will be the main driver of medical product demand for TPVs.

Similar to other markets, TPVs have been steadily supplanting thermoset rubber in medical products, due in part to:

  • cost-reduction efforts, particularly in light of healthcare cost discussions in the US
  • the ability to mold TPVs into a wide variety of shapes
  • concerns surrounding natural-rubber latex sensitivity, which can cause reactions up to and including death from anaphylactic shock, and exposure to other chemicals of concern such as plasticizers
  • the excellent temperature resistance of TPVs, allowing for sterilization of medical products
  • TPV’s chemical resistance, allowing for use of disinfectants on medical products containing TPVs

Demand by Region

The Asia/Pacific region is the largest regional market and has historically grown at an above average rate, while intensity of use per capita is higher in North America and Western Europe. This reflects TPV’s rapid market penetration in motor vehicle applications, a trend that is expected to continue.

TPV’s performance advantages relative to thermoset rubbers will boost growth in North America and Western Europe. In these regions, the material is increasingly being adopted across all markets, even motor vehicles. Although TPV use is somewhat mature in exterior components, manufacturers continue to look for ways to use TPVs in more under the hood applications in order to meet strict emissions regulations and improve the performance of electric vehicles.  

The Asia/Pacific region will post significant absolute gains for TPV demand. Rising motor vehicle production and customer demand for higher performance seals, belts, and gaskets will spur TPV sales among export-oriented suppliers. Gains will be particularly strong among Chinese manufacturers, due to an ongoing shift in the country toward more durable, higher value products.

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