LeapZipBlog: Steve Blade's blog: Increasing Application of Thermoplastic Copolyester Elastomers in Automotive Industry Creating Sustained Opportunities

Increasing Application of Thermoplastic Copolyester Elastomers in Automotive Industry Creating Sustained Opportunities

May 13, 2019 by Steve Blade  

Top players in the thermoplastic copolyester elastomers market are focusing on product differentiation and expanding production capacity. The leading players continue to focus on strengthening their position in Asia Pacific, based on the growing demand for fuel-efficient and lightweight vehicles.

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The intense competition among the key players in thermoplastic copolyester elastomers market is resulting in value added product offering with increased investment in the research and development activities. DSM, DuPont, Shinkong, and Chang-Chung Group are among the leading players in thermoplastic copolyester elastomers market.

Increasing Application of Thermoplastic Copolyester Elastomers in Automotive Industry Creating Sustained Opportunities

Usage of thermoplastic copolyester elastomers is growing in the automotive industry, owing to their superior physical and chemical properties. The automotive industry is using thermoplastic copolyester elastomers on a large scale to manufacture automotive parts where resistance to chemical, heat and oil is required.

Thermoplastic copolyester elastomers are finding significant applications in automotive hot charge air ducts in advanced petrol and diesel engines that need to withstand high temperatures for a very long period. Further, Constant Velocity Joint (CVJ) boots are being produced on a large scale using thermoplastic copolyester elastomers as it is subject to wide range of temperatures.

Several regulatory bodies have introduced emission standards that are accelerating the usage of low-weight material to increase fuel efficiency and high-performance in the automotive industry. This, in turn, is driving the demand for thermoplastic copolyester elastomers.

Copolyester Thermoplastic Elastomers (COPE) provide flexibility at a lower temperature, eliminating the chances of a splinter in automobile airbags. Growing emphasis on safety norms and mandates on airbags as a safety accessory are creating opportunities for stakeholders in the thermoplastic copolyester elastomers market.

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) Emerging as a Feasible Alternative in Healthcare Sector

Healthcare sector is moving away from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and silicone rubber owing to mounting environmental and health concerns. Thermoplastic elastomers are emerging as a more sustainable alternative to thermoset rubber owing to their recyclability and cost-efficiency. TPEs are rapidly replacing rubber and PVC in medical devices as they are non-allergenic, thereby, eliminating concerns for individuals with latex sensitivity. These factors are fuelling adoption of TPEs in dental, surgical, and medical applications.

With technological advancements, TPEs have gained increased acceptance and improved performance in the medical sector. Overmolding, along with other technological advances, is creating opportunities for thermoplastic elastomers in healthcare applications including syringe plungers, orthopedics, face masks, needle shields, breathable bags, and other home-use medical devices.

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Fluctuation in Raw Material Prices Remains a Longstanding Challenge

Volatility in raw material prices is likely to adversely affect the thermoplastic copolyester elastomers market in the future. This is likely to make it difficult for manufacturers to maintain regular supply for use in various industries. Fluctuating price structure of crude oil is directly impacting the overall production cost of the thermoplastic copolyester elastomers.

Variation in the exchange rate of key producers and exporters dealing in thermoplastic copolyester elastomers is also significantly impacting the development of the product. Rising crude oil prices are also likely to increase petrochemical costs along with the market price for plastic and other downstream chemicals.

Product commoditization is also another major challenge in thermoplastic copolyester elastomers market. Commoditization of thermoplastic elastomer is escalating price competition among the market players, resulting in a decline in the profits. Moreover, the price pressure is likely to worsen in coming years owing to the rising preference for establishing global supplier relationship by end users. This will provide end use industries with better bargaining power.  

Notable Developments

  • In 2017, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation developed a new grade of thermoplastic copolyester elastomer (TPC) known as TEFABLOC™, providing scratch and oil resistance. The company also begun production of styrenic thermoplastic elastomer (TPS) at Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers (Thailand) Co., Ltd in 2018.
  • Kidman Resources has signed an agreement with LG Chem Ltd. to supply lithium hydroxide. Kidman will supply 12,000 tons of lithium hydroxide a year to various chemicals companies for 10 years.
  • DowDuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers is planning to increase production capacity at Shenzhen site. DowDuPont Specialty Products Division is also likely to invest nearly $42 million to install three new production lines, expected to be operational by the end of 2019.
  • LG Chem is planning to build a new facility for electric vehicle battery in Nanjing in China by 2020. The company also plans to invest around 2 trillion South Korean won on second car battery plant in China with production likely to begin in 2019.

The report provides detailed profiles of the key players in the thermoplastic copolyester elastomers market. Thorough research has been conducted on the leading players including DowDuPont Inc., Celanese Corporation, DSM Engineering Plastics, Toyobo, Teijin Industries, DIC Corporation, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Tosoh Corporation, Samyang Corporation, LG Chem. Ltd., Chang-Chung Group, SK Chemicals, and Shinkong Group.

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