Ethylene propylene elastomers are the most dominant type of synthetic rubber. For the production of ethylene propylene elastomers, ethylene and propylene are reacted in presence of catalyst to produce rubber. The resultant product can possess varied properties including crystalline, amorphous or semi crystalline depending on the composition of polymer and reaction conditions.
The monomers of ethylene and propylene react to form a stable compound with high thermal stability and durability with resistance to oxidation and withering. Catalysts are employed primarily to impart specific characteristics to ethylene propylene elastomers. Vulcanization is also among dominant processes employed in the production of ethylene propylene elastomers.
The temperature resistance of ethylene propylene elastomers is profoundly dependent on the physical characteristics such as crystalline or amorphous nature. Low crystalline grade of the elastomers have high stability at low temperatures. High thermal stability can also be achieved by sulfur acceleration. Peroxide cured compounds are also used to attain higher thermal stability. Major applications of ethylene propylene elastomers include tubing, insulation, roofing, etc.
Major end user segment for ethylene propylene elastomers include automotive, electronics, building & construction, oil additives and hose among others. Automotive segment dominates the global demand for ethylene propylene elastomers and this trend is anticipated to continue for the next six years. Electronics segment is anticipated to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period.
High growth in automotive segment has been among foremost factors driving demand for ethylene propylene elastomers. Increasing demand for hoses for several application segments including home gardening is expected to drive the market growth during the forecast period. Ethylene propylene elastomers are extensively used in the insulation of wires and cables employed in several end user industries including electronics, automotive, etc.
High growth in electronics segment has been driving demand for ethylene propylene elastomers mainly for insulation applications. Several environmental and health hazards have been associated with the production of ethylene propylene elastomers. The environmental hazards have led to surge in regulations to control the use of several catalysts including sulfur used in the production process. The regulations have restrained market growth for ethylene propylene elastomers. Increasing in use of bio based products is anticipated to offer huge growth opportunity for the market.
Asia Pacific dominates the global ethylene propylene elastomers market both in terms of production and consumption. China dominates the global production of ethylene propylene elastomers. Increasing industrial investment and high GDP growth in the emerging economies of India and China is anticipated to drive market growth for ethylene propylene elastomers market. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing regional segment for ethylene propylene elastomers market for the next six years. North America is the largest market for ethylene propylene elastomers.
Demand for ethylene propylene elastomers in North America is anticipated to grow at a sluggish rate in the near future, primarily owing to market saturation in several end user industries. Demand for ethylene propylene elastomers in Europe is expected to be driven primarily by reviving automotive market in the region. High growth in the developing economies in Africa and South America is anticipated to offer huge growth opportunity for ethylene propylene elastomers market growth.
Some of the major players in the ethylene propylene elastomers market include Firestone Building Products, Carlisle Syntec Inc., Johns Manville, Royal Adhesives and Sealants and Milliken & Company among others.