According to a survey conducted by Ceresana, approximately 4.7 million tons of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) was used worldwide in 2017.
The production of TPE is mainly concentrated in Asia, with a proportion of more than 56%, followed by North America and the third largest region of Western Europe. The demand for TPE comes from major economic powers. The combined demand of China, the United States, Japan and Germany accounts for two-thirds of global demand.
Due to the unique functionality and ease of processing of TPE, the main applications are in the automotive industry, such as automotive fabric coatings, seals and bumpers, which account for approximately 36%. Therefore, the focus of TPE's future demand will be concentrated in the automotive and transportation industries, as well as its suppliers.
TPE is also used in construction and other fields, including mechanical engineering, medical equipment, electrical appliances and electrical engineering. TPE has been involved in the following daily commodities, such as cables, shoes, sporting goods, toys and household appliances.
The most commonly used TPE category in the global market is styrene block copolymer (SBC), which is used in a range of applications from binder blends to modified asphalt used in road construction. The second category is thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), which is mainly used in the automotive industry.
In addition, TPE's key uses include thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which can be used in instrument panels and enclosures.