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Elastomeric Foam –
The New Age Insulation Material

Is insulation necessary? If the answer to this question is no, then let us understand that in the absence of proper insulation, cold piping, ducts, chillers, and roof drains get corroded due to condensation. Insulation in buildings and homes provides resistance to heat flow thereby providing durability and also lowering heating and cooling costs. But effective means of insulation are required to bring efficiency and sustainability along with comfort.


What Makes Elastomeric Foam

Better than Other Forms of Insulation?

Elastomeric foam has various advantages when compared to other forms of insulation. Some of these are:

  • Owing to the flexible nature of elastomeric foam, it is less susceptible to cracks, breakage, and material loss. Rigid insulation, such as cellular glass, POLYISO, and phenolic foam, on the other hand, are more susceptible to breakage and other related issues.
  • Elastomeric foam is more sustainable considering it is fiber-free with low levels of volatile organic compounds producing fewer chemical emissions.
  • This form of insulation is best implemented as an HVAC, refrigerant, and plumbing pipe or piping insulation because of its exceptional ability to control condensation on cold (below-ambient) mechanical systems.
  • Considering its closed-cell structure, low water vapor permeability, and built-in vapor retarder, elastomeric foam insulation is an excellent choice to protect piping and equipment corrosion under insulation or “CUI”.
  • With a specifically designed installation, elastomeric foam insulation can effectively manage heat gain/loss and condensation control for the life of the mechanical system.
  • The closed-cell foam does not lose its thermal efficiency, unlike open-cell fibrous insulation types. Hence, it prevents mold growth when moisture comes in contact with the insulation.
  • It is also much less vulnerable to punctures and tears that can restrict the thermal effectiveness of other insulations.
  • Since it provides a smooth and flexible surface it fits tightly against the equipment, enabling close-fitting joint seams and preventing any kind of openings where condensation might occur.

Elastomeric Foam at a Glance:

Elastomeric foam is a type of synthetic rubber foam used for insulation. It has excellent physical properties such as durability, moisture resistance, and flexibility, and also provides protection against UV radiation and chemicals. These insulation materials are also known as closed-cell elastomeric foam insulation, and flexible elastomeric foam (FEF) insulation, rubber insulation. These foams are commonly used in a wide range of applications, such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), automotive, construction, and insulation.

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Role of Elastomeric Foam in the

Heating and Cooling Industry:

Elastomeric foam plays a major role in providing thermal insulation, and hence, with the growing global heating and cooling industry, which is estimated to cross USD 312 billion by 2035, the demand for these insulation materials is also expected to grow. On the other hand, apart from providing thermal insulation, elastomeric foam also provides acoustic insulation for HVAC ducts. Hence, with the rising HVAC systems market, which was valued at over USD 144 billion in 2022 and is forecasted to reach USD 246 billion by 2035, the demand for acoustic insulation elastomeric foam would grow.
Closed-cell elastomeric insulation, which are used in HVAC ducts also reduces the HVAC ductwork fan noise and keeps the sheet metal vibration between 250-500 Hz. These insulation materials are also used in interior and exterior duct systems as it is moisture resistant and offers a non-fibrous alternative to internal ductwork lining. The elastomeric foam also safeguards indoor air quality since it releases far fewer chemical emissions, making the environment cleaner and safer. These insulating materials also play a major role in the construction industry, and with the growing building construction sector, which stood at a market revenue of around USD 5.68 billion in 2022, and is projected to surpass USD 13 billion by 2035, the demand for insulating materials in this industry would also grow. In refrigeration system, elastomeric foam is used to control the moisture levels, as an increase in moisture by single percent would drive in 7.5% loss in thermal efficiency and a gain of 7.5% in thermal conductivity. With such importance of insulation materials in refrigeration systems, and the growing global market size for refrigerators, which is anticipated to reach a value of USD 170 billion by 2035, the application of elastomeric foam in refrigerators is definitely going to increase.


Role of Elastomeric Foam in the

Automotive Industry:

The automotive industry needs insulation that can not only provide increased product and user safety, improve performance, reduce weight, and improve comfort, but also lower noise, and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Hence elastomeric foams are significantly used in vehicles. Modern luxury vehicles extensively use acoustic insulation materials to lower down the cab noise. As per Research Nester analysis, the market size of automotive insulation was being valued at around USD 2.53 billion in 2022 and is forecasted to generate a revenue of over USD 3.6 Billion by 2035.


The Rise of Eco-Friendly and

Sustainable Insulation:

Insulation materials can conserve energy and also help individuals and businesses lower down their monthly bills generated by heating and cooling equipment. As per our analysis, sustainable insulation promises a definitive market growth over the coming years and is projected to grow from around USD 67 million in 2022 to over USD 98 million by 2035. To help maintain a sustainable and green environment, government agencies globally have laid down certain norms while choosing the right insulation material. For instance, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that while purchasing insulation or any other related services, the following standards or ecolabels in the private sector can be used:

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Cons of Elastomeric Foam:

Although these insulation materials may be known to have multiple benefits, they also have certain cons that limit their usage amongst the end users. For instance, the high cost of elastomeric foam is a major concern for the end-users. On the other hand, in several low- and middle-income nations, there is no awareness among consumers as how beneficial these insulation materials are if they are being used. Furthermore, the rise in concern towards their sustainable disposability, since a few elastomers produce toxic and harmful fumes and produce a snooty flame and smelly odor when burnt, is also poised to limit the use of these insulation materials.


Current and Future

Scope of Elastomeric Foam:

As per Research Nester analysis, the market size of elastomeric foam was about USD 3360 million in the year 2022. Further, by the end of 2033, the market size of elastomeric foam is poised to cross USD 7396 million. Moreover, between the forecast period 2023 and 2033, the market is projected to expand at a CAGR of around 7%. The major players operating the elastomeric foam market are Rogers Foam Corporation, Hira Industries LLC, Armacell International S.A., Zotefoams plc, Aeroflex USA, Inc., Jacobs & Thompson Inc., L’ISOLANTE K-FLEX S.p.A., Rubberlite, Inc., NMC SA, and Kaimann GmbH among others.

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Elastomeric Foam –

Economic Opportunities in the Asia Pacific:

The Asia Pacific region beholds around 4.2 billion people and accounts for over 40% of the global GDP. The region also recorded global GDP growth of more than 60% between 2012 and 2022. The region is also estimated to remain one of the major constructions and real estate market amongst all the other regions of the world, accounting for over 45% of the industry’s output value generated globally by 2035. The production value in the construction and real estate in the region is also poised to grow with a CAGR of about 7% during 2023 and 2035, surpassing the growth rate of major developed regions, such as North America and Western Europe. On the other hand, the region has a reputation of having some of the world’s most valuable manufacturers of vehicles. In the year 2022, the region recorded passenger car sales of over 37 million. With such available economic opportunities, the applications of this technical foam is also huge. As per our analysis, the market size of APAC elastomeric foam was valued reported to be USD 1.26 billion in 2022 and is expected to cross a revenue of USD 2.5 billion by 2035.
On and all, the available opportunities with elastomeric foam is enormous and it definitely beholds a gigantic future for the manufacturers who wants to take the benefits out of it. Additionally, with the surpassing years, as the awareness for the product increases, the demand for these insulation materials would also touch new heights.

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swara-keni
Swara Keni

Head- Global Business Development

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