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US specialty foams demand to reach $1.3 billion in 2007.

US specialty foam demand is projected to expand more than six percent annually to $1.3 billion in 2007, comprising 510 million pounds. Stimulants include improvements in the economy and greater needs for lower cost and higher performance materials in electrical/electronic, industrial, transportation equipment and other sectors. Further increases will be constrained by maturing uses and slow advances in markets such as motor vehicles. Polyurethane and engineered plastic will remain the dominant plastic foams, with the best growth expected for the lower volume fluoropolymers and silicones. However, non-plastic foams will increase faster than plastic types with ceramics and metals achieving double digit growth. Electrical/electronic and industrial markets will continue to account for more than one-half of total demand due to widespread structural, filtering, sealing and insulating requirements. These and other trends are presented in Specialty Foams, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Specialty polyurethane foam demand will increase to $440 million in 2007 as a result of opportunities in air and liquid filtration, gaskets, structural reinforcement, fire protection, acoustical insulation and various other uses. Particularly good growth is expected for hydrophilic (water absorbing) foam in areas such as wound dressings and as delivery vehicles for inks, cleansers and antimicrobials. Ceramic and metal foams will experience the fastest growth due to advancing catalyst substrate, metal filtration and other applications. In the metal category, nascent materials such as aluminum foam also have significant potential in areas such as energy absorption (e.g., crumple zones for automotive safety) and filters (e.g., diesel particulate). Good growth is also expected for foam glass in thermal insulation applications.

Industrial markets for specialty foams will present the best opportunities and rise 7.3 percent annually to more than $340 million in 2007. Opportunities are anticipated in areas such as gaskets, seals and filters for industrial machinery, and thermal insulation for storage tanks and other vessels. Electrical and electronic markets will be constrained by intramaterial competition and growing imports of electronic products from lower cost Asian and other countries. Transportation equipment markets will be driven by safety and fuel efficiency concerns in motor vehicle, aircraft, marine and other applications.

Specialty Foams (published 08/2003, 206 pages) is available for $3,800 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 440.646.0484 or e-mail Information may also be obtained through

For Immediate Release Contact: Corinne Gangloff Media Relations phone: 440.684.9600 fax: 440.646.0484
(million dollars)

 % Annual Growth
Item 1997 2002 2007 02/97 07/02

Specialty Foam Demand 765 990 1330 5.3 6.1
Plastic Foam 656 842 1100 5.1 5.5
 Polyurethane 252 332 440 5.7 5.8
 Engineered Plastic 175 215 270 4.2 4.7
 Polyolefins 78 100 128 5.1 5.1
 Other Plastic Foams 151 195 262 5.2 6.1
Non-Plastic Foam 109 148 230 6.3 9.2
COPYRIGHT 2003 Subscription: $00.00 per year as of 1/94. Published irregularly. Contact Freedonia Group, 3570 Warrensville Cente
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Polyurethane and engineered plastic will remain the dominant plastic foams
Publication:Research Studies - Freedonia Group
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 13, 2003
Previous Article:Anti-Aging Products demand to reach $29 billion in 2007. (News Release).
Next Article:World fluorochemicals demand to reach 2.2 million metric tons in 2007.

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