Comfortably warm through the winter: Ceresana analyses the European market for insulation materials

Walls and rooftops are becoming more and more intelligent, not only thanks to built-in electronics. A group of German Fraunhofer Institutes, for example, is working on programmable insulating materials made of shape memory polymers: high-tech foams are designed to change their shape depending on the temperature, i.e. to independently adapt the size and air permeability of their flow channels to the need for heating or cooling. Innovative materials for the air conditioning of buildings are in high demand: in industrialized countries, people are spending more and more time in closed rooms, while the demands on building materials in terms of environmental sustainability and fire protection are growing. Ceresana is now publishing its fourth comprehensive study on the European market for insulation materials used in the construction industry. A total of 233.2 million cubic meters were used for thermal and sound insulation in Europe in 2019, mainly mineral wool (glass and stone wool), polystyrene (EPS and XPS) and polyurethane (PUR / PIR).

Market Study: Insulation Material - Europe

Insulation Materials Save Energy

Well-insulated walls reduce the energy that is required to heat or cool buildings and thus not only costs but also carbon dioxide emissions. The manufacturers and distributors of insulation materials therefore benefit from regulations and subsidy programs that have been introduced in many countries in order to improve energy efficiency. The EU's environmental and climate protection regulations, however, are implemented with varying degrees of enthusiasm throughout Europe. The most important factor that generally determines the dynamics of the market for insulation materials is the development of the construction industry, in particular building construction. Demand furthermore depends, for example, on the economic situation of a country, factors such as the unemployment rate or available income, as well as demographic developments. The types of insulation materials that are used also vary greatly from region to region. Bio-based insulation materials made from renewable raw materials, such as flax, hemp, wood fibers, or sheep's wool felt, are still of little economic importance throughout Europe, although they could further improve the energy balance of buildings. This latest study by Ceresana addresses the specific conditions and factors in individual country chapters.

Extruded versus Expanded Polystyrene

Insulating materials made of the foamed plastic polystyrene are widely used. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) was introduced in 1952 under the trade name "Styropor" and has been marketed in Europe as "airpop" since 2014. Extruded polystyrene (XPS), which is not only foamed but also passes through an extruder, i.e. melted at high temperatures and highly compressed under high pressure, represents an alternative. While the relatively large-pored EPS rigid foam is permeable to air and water vapor, fine-pored XPS rigid foam has a denser, more closed surface and hardly absorbs any water. The advantages of XPS, which was originally developed for floating and buoyancy products, are not only its insensitivity to moisture but also its high mechanical strength and pressure resistance. A disadvantage of XPS is the high energy consumption in the production of rigid foam insulation boards, which leads to a comparatively high price.

The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the European market for insulation materials including forecasts up to 2027. Clear tables and graphs provide data on revenues, production, and demand, as well as on the 5 individual insulation types EPS, XPS, PUR/PIR, glass wool, and stone wool.

Chapter 2 presents a comprehensive overview and analysis of the European market for insulation materials. The market development of 18 individual countries is examined in detail: demand, revenues, production, and the trade with insulating materials. The figures are broken down into the different types of insulation materials.

Chapter 3 contains company profiles of the most important producers of insulating materials, clearly arranged according to contact information, revenues, profit, product range, production facilities, short profile, as well as product types and applications. It provides profiles of the 57 most important manufacturers, such as BASF SE, BEWiSynbra Group AB, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A., Covestro AG, Kingspan Group plc, Knauf Insulation GmbH, ROCKWOOL International A/S, and Sika AG.

Further information:

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