Copolyester elastomer is a synthetic rubber consisting of hard polyester crystallites dispersed in a flexible matrix. Copolyester elastomers are thermoplastic. They are used in a variety of applications such as tires and automotive parts. They provide resistance to heat, fuel, oil and chemicals. They are block copolymers in nature. They have physical and chemical properties similar to vulcanized rubbers. Other applications include hose and tubing, cable and wire among others. These elastomers do not require compounding thus eliminating the addition of reinforcing agents or cure systems.
Thermoplastic polyester elastomer is a physical mix of polymers which consist of materials which possess both thermoelastic and elastomeric properties. Copolyester elastomers help in increasing the fuel efficiency by reducing the overall weight of the automobiles. Thus, growing demand for fuel efficient automobiles is expected to drive the demand for these elastomers within the forecast period. These elastomers have excellent tensile strength, abrasion resistance and electrical properties. In addition, they have resistance to chemicals and oil. This increases their utility in various industries. Additionally, shift towards replacing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with copolyester and other elastomers are expected to drive the copolyester market. However, fluctuation in the raw material prices is expected to hamper the demand for copolyester elastomer within the forecast period. Ongoing research and development on copolyester elastomers for medical applications is expected to open avenues for these elastomers.
Arnitel, a copolyester elastomer produced by DSM combines the performance characteristics of elastomers with the processing features of thermoplastics. These materials combine elastomeric properties at low temperature with exceptional fatigue behavior. Compared to other elastomers, copolyester elastomers offer consistent performance over the entire operating temperature range. Arnitel helps in protecting rail road ties. In addition, Hytrel TPC-ET, a versatile copolyester manufactured by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) gives chemical resistance with strength and durability. In addition, DuPont Hytrel RS contains renewably sourced material from non-food biomass.
In terms of demand, North America dominated the copolyester elastomer market in the past. Growing automotive applications had been one of the major factors driving the demand for copolyester elastomer. The U.S. and Canada were the major contributors in this region. The demand for these materials in North America was followed by Europe. Germany and the UK were the leading countries in the copolyester elastomer market owing to the huge demand from the automotive industry. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market within the forecast period owing to the rising demand for fuel efficient and light weight automobiles in emerging economies such as China and India. Japan may show a sluggish growth in the copolyester elastomers market in near future. The Rest of the World market is likely to exhibit substantial growth over the next few years. Increasing disposable income in the Middle East and North Africa is likely to offer potential growth for the market.
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Some of the key players in the copolyester elastomers market are BASF, Bayer, Dow Chemicals, Kraton Polymers LLC and Polyone Corporation among others. Developed regions such as Europe, the U.S. and Japan account for a substantial chunk of these elastomers. However, these are mature markets and thus the demand for these elastomers is expected to remain steady in near future. Numerous automobile manufacturers are collaborating with these local elastomers manufactures by means of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures to make their position felt in the global market.