Insulating and saving: new Ceresana report on the world market for insulation materials

Choosing the right insulation material is a science in itself: it should insulate well, be robust and inexpensive, quick to install, but also environmentally friendly, fireproof, durable, and easy to dispose of. Unfortunately, however, no patent solution has yet been found as no material has so far fulfilled all requirements equally well and at the same time. Even so, there is no way around insulation if energy saving and climate protection are to be taken seriously. Ceresana has already examined the world market for insulation materials used in the construction industry for the third time.

Mineral, synthetic, and natural insulation products are used primarily for thermal and acoustic insulation of buildings, primarily in the form of mats, boards, or as a loose filling. Insulation materials have a considerable market potential: analysts at Ceresana expect global demand to grow to a total of over 617 million cubic meters by 2027. The most important factors in this regard are government regulations on the reduction of climate-damaging greenhouse gases and energy conservation.

Market Study: Insulation Materials - World

High Demand for Mineral Wool

Mineral wool is currently the most widely used material around the world for minimizing heat loss in cold regions and blocking out the heat in hot climates. The starting materials for mineral insulation materials are sand, stone, lime, and various minerals. Glass wool and stone wool cover more than half of total demand between them. The global market share of synthetic polystyrene insulation materials is also high, with a distinction drawn between expandable polystyrene (EPS, known as "Styrofoam") and extruded polystyrene (XPS). Rigid foams made of polyurethane (PUR) and polyisocyanurate (PIR) are sold significantly less. The quantities of the various insulating materials vary considerably from country to country, depending on climatic factors and customer preferences, but also on the purchasing costs and the reputation and technical properties of the product type.

Organic Products are Thriving

Insulation materials made from renewable resources are considered to be particularly sustainable and environmentally friendly. Bio-based insulating materials such as straw, reed, hemp, cork, wool, coconut fibers, or wood chips are climate-neutral, because they absorb carbon dioxide as they grow. They can be purchased regionally, which avoids long transportation routes, they are easy to process and dispose of, and they have perfect values in an ecological assessment. However, they are often even more expensive than products made from crude oil and have to be protected against moisture, pests, and fire. Building regulations and safety standards are also complicating their usage in many places. Eco-insulation materials, for example those with the German "Blue Angel" label or the "Austrian Eco-label", still represent niche products, but demand is growing steadily.

Construction Industry Defies Corona Crisis

The construction industry has so far been less affected by the corona pandemic and the measures to contain it than other industries. There have been significant regional differences in the past few years, even before the current crisis, with regard to refurbishment and renovation, but also in new building construction: the construction sector slumped very sharply in countries that were particularly affected by the economic crisis of 2008/09, and the effects are still felt today. In other countries, such as Germany, the construction sector developed much more positively. In the developed industrialized countries, it is primarily existing buildings that are being renovated to make them more energy-efficient, whereas significantly more new buildings are being constructed in the emerging markets. The economic situation, factors such as the unemployment rate or disposable income, as well as demographic developments also have an impact on the consumption of insulation materials. The key factor for country-specific demand for insulation materials, however, is how quickly subsidy programs are implemented – and whether the population also attaches importance to improving energy efficiency.

The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 provides an overview and analysis of the global market for insulation materials, including forecasts up to 2027. Key figures such as production and demand as well as revenues are provided for each region of the world.

Chapter 2 analyzes the production and consumption of insulation materials for 16 countries, broken down by material (EPS & XPS, polyurethane (PUR/PIR), glass wool, and stone wool). Import, export, and revenues are also examined in detail.

Chapter 3 provides useful company profiles of the most important producers of insulation materials, clearly arranged according to contact data, revenues, profit, product portfolio, production facilities, profile summary, product types, and application areas. We provide detailed profiles from the 114 most important manufacturers, such as BASF SE, China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A., Covestro AG, PetroChina Company Limited, Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), Styropek Group, Synthos S.A., Total S.A., and URSA Insulation, S.A.

About Ceresana

As one of the world's leading market research institutes, Ceresana is specialized in the segments chemicals, plastics, packaging, and industrial goods. Companies have been benefiting from our high-quality industry analyses and forecasts since 2002. More than 180 market studies provide more than 10,000 customers around the world with the knowledge base for their sustainable success.
Find more information about Ceresana at www.ceresana.com