Germany-based research group Ceresana says thermoplastic elastomers are increasingly replacing other plastic materials.
While TPEs mainly are used in the auto industry, new sectors with uses for it are constantly emerging.
Ceresana states that revenues generated from TPE came to $16.7 billion in 2014. It forecasts annual revenues generated with TPE to increase by 4.7 percent until 2022.
China, the U.S., Japan and Germany are the four largest consumers of TPE, says Ceresana, accounting for a combined 63 percent of global demand for the material in 2014.
Ceresana predicts that that the highest growth rates in TPE demand will be in South America and Asia Pacific, with emphasis on China, India and Brazil. Consumption of TPE will also increase in North America and Western Europe by 2 percent annually.
Growth in Asia in particular has seen several new producers enter the market says Ceresana, with China increasing TPE production by 60,000 metric tons in the past eight years.
The research group highlights in its report that the global automotive industry accounts for about 40 percent of all TPE products consumed. Therefore the development in this industry is a good indicator of the growth of TPE.
Demand will also grow for TPE in other industries such as machine construction and medical technology, Ceresana predicts.