Global demand for low-pressure laminates (low-basis weight papers, saturated papers, vinyl films, and decorative foils) is forecast to increase 2.2% per year to 9.1 billion square meters in 2024. These and other trends are presented in the new Freedonia Group study Global Decorative Laminates. Growth is due, in part, to:
- Durable goods producers looking to lower material costs will continue to replace higher cost high-pressure laminates, coatings, or wood veneer with low-pressure laminates, particularly in applications with low durability requirements.
- In applications where durability is key or highly pleasing aesthetics is a requirement, low-pressure laminates will continue to face intense competition from alternative surfacing materials, including high-pressure laminates, vinyl sheets, natural stone, engineered stone, cast polymers, and wood. In many instances, alternative surfacing materials are viewed as aesthetically superior to low-pressure laminates.
Thermoplastic films, mostly vinyl films, are expected to post the faster gains of low-pressure laminate types due in part to their performance advantages, such as:
- ease of cleaning
- enhanced designed flexibility as they can wrap around irregular and curved surfaces
Gains for vinyl films will result from their favorable cost and performance in comparison to other types of low-pressure and high-pressure laminates. In particular, these products are valued for their use on furniture and store fixtures with curved edges and cabinet doors with raised panels.