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[TPU industry status and trend analysis: outstanding environmental performance, wide application space!]
Release date:[2020/7/22] Is reading[44]次

Polyurethane is a new organic polymer material, known as the "fifth largest plastic", because of its excellent performance, it is widely used in many areas of the national economy. China is currently the world's largest producer of polyurethane, accounting for about 45% of global polyurethane production. There are many types of polyurethane products, and polyurethane elastomer is one of them. Polyurethane elastomer is a series of elastomer materials containing more urethane groups on the polymer main chain. It is a kind of polymer material that can be restored well after the external force applied to it is eliminated.

Polyurethane elastomers can be divided into thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers (TPU), castable polyurethane elastomers (CPU) and mixed polyurethane elastomers (MPU) according to different processes. Among them, TPU has the largest scale. The TPU industry is a branch of the polyurethane industry, located in the downstream of the entire chemical industry chain, closer to the end consumer market.

01. Classification of polyurethane elastomers

TPU is a polyurethane elastomer product. The raw materials such as polyol, MDI, BDO, adipic acid, ethylene glycol, etc. required for its production are all petroleum derivatives or by-products, which are downstream products of petrochemical industry. TPU is a branch of thermoplastic elastomer materials. It is a polymer material polymerized from three basic materials: diisocyanate, macromolecular polyol, and chain extender (low molecular diol).

Compared with general plastic and rubber materials, TPU has a wide range of hardness, outstanding mechanical properties, excellent high/low temperature resistance, good processing performance, excellent environmental performance, strong plasticity, strong designability, and excellent transparency performance. It has both the high elasticity of rubber materials and the high strength of engineering plastics.

02. Global and China TPU industry development history

Thanks to its excellent product performance, TPU's market demand in various national economic fields such as consumer goods, industrial production, medical and health, national defense and military industries has increased significantly. In recent years, my country's new TPU production capacity has been released successively, and the TPU operating rate has steadily increased in 2018 and 2019. The compound annual growth rate of domestic TPU production from 2014 to 2019 is as high as 15.46%. The scale of my country's TPU industry continues to expand in 2019, with an output of about 512,900 tons. my country has gradually surpassed Europe and the United States to become the world's largest TPU producer and consumer, and its average annual consumption has maintained a rapid growth of about 10%.

03.2014-2019 China TPU production trend chart

With the impact of the Xiangshui incident in 2019, the government has accelerated the remediation of chemical parks. At the same time, fluctuations in raw material isocyanate prices have increased the production costs of some small factories. The combined impact has prompted some small domestic factories to shut down their production capacity, and the domestic TPU supply pattern has made some room.

04. Distribution of China's TPU production pattern in 2019

Although my country's domestic TPU production scale is high, it lacks advantages in subdivision fields. At present, most of my country's TPU production enterprises lack of core technology advantages, single product structure, slow progress in new products, resulting in overall weak market competitiveness, and it is difficult to effectively increase industry profits.

The technological development direction, scale and competitive landscape, growth rate, and profit level of the TPU industry directly depend on the market demand of downstream industries.

05. China's TPU downstream application pattern

my country is a major producer and exporter of the global diyi shoe industry, and its output accounts for more than 50% of the global total. The technological innovation of sole materials is an important innovation in the shoe industry. Compared with traditional sole materials, TPU has obvious performance advantages, and its dosage is increasing. Among them, ETPU has outstanding resilience and shock absorption advantages, and the made sole can effectively absorb the impact of the ground on the foot and provide a high-quality cushioning effect.

On the whole, the TPU industry has the characteristics of a relatively high proportion of raw material costs, fast product updates, a wide variety of specifications and models, and distinct customer needs. Therefore, the industry's profit level is affected by various factors such as fluctuations in raw material prices, new product development capabilities, and customer service levels. With the successive introduction of domestic policies and measures for residents’ sports and health, as well as the improvement of residents’ consumer spending on sports goods, the growth of consumer demand for high-tech sports shoes will help increase the application space of the TPU industry. On the other hand, in the high-end market Such as calendered TPU, medical TPU, high temperature resistant TPU and other varieties, the domestic mainly relies on imports. With the long-term technology accumulation and R&D investment of domestic TPU companies, it is expected to break the monopoly of foreign companies and expand the domestic substitution space.

Source: China Plastics Online

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