PHOENIX (Feb. 12, 10:35 a.m. EST) — Thermoplastic polyolefin use is on the rise, but the materials still have to climb the PVC mountain to gain greater acceptance.
“Soft TPOs can replace [styrenic block copolymers] today based on price,” Faisal Syed, plastics project manager for Chemical Market Resources Inc. in Houston, said at the Plastics News Executive Forum in Phoenix. “And once [TPO] costs come down, they'll replace other materials.”
Syed estimates soft TPOs have only 4 percent of a $7.5 billion application market in which PVC holds a 93 percent share.
Global use of soft TPOs hit 430 million pounds in 2001, with half of that demand in North America, according to CMRI. Automotive uses, including under-the-hood parts and interiors, accounted for 29 percent of the total.