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Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a synthetic rubber which is gaining popularity in numerous end-user industries owing to its features such as excellent thermal resistance, slow weather aging, and slow oxidation. EPDM membranes are extensively used in commercial infrastructure as they are considered ideal for insulation and sealing purposes. The major demand for EPDM is witnessed from the construction and automotive industries. The globalEPDM market sizewas valued at $4.15 billion in 2018, and is poised to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2025.

Geographical Distribution of the EPDM Market

APAC dominated the EPDM market in 2018, and accounted for 39% of the total EPDM market share. The region is anticipated to grow at a substantial rate owing to increasing demands from sectors including buildings and construction, electrical and electronics, and automotive. Over the past decade, there has been rampant growth in the manufacturing sectors in countries such as India, China, and Japan. A majority of consumer electronic products are being manufactured in the APAC region, which is consequently supporting the EPDM market growth. Additionally, prevailing demand from the automotive sector in the region is impacting the regional EPDM market. EPDM rubbers serve various functions and have features that catalyze its application in the automotive industry and APAC is currently the most lucrative region for the automotive market, which further boosts demands for EPDM rubber in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Major Application Segment of EPDM

The automotive sector is estimated to be the fastest growing application segment for the EPDM market, growing at a CAGR of 5.89% during the forecast period. The product is popular in the industry owing to properties such as strong barrier against the harsh weather conditions, easy bonding with metals, noise cancellation, hydraulic brakes optimization, and its ability to absorb vibrations occurring due to road surface, outer environment, and the engine compartment. The automotive sector is expanding at a consistent pace, which is anticipated to propel demand in the global EPDM market. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), production of automobiles surpassed 95 million units in 2018 on the back of continuous growth in the global automotive end-user segment. Considering the exuberant volume of production, it is evident that the automotive sector is generating high demand for EPDM rubber manufacturers.

Forces Driving the EPDM Market

· Emergence of autonomous vehicles (AV), electric vehicles (EV), and self-driven trucks in the automotive industry are breeding a huge application ground for EPDM market players to harness significant revenue. Electric mobility is increasing at a drastic rate, the global electric car numbers reached 5.1 million units, a lush rise of 2 million from the preceding year, this resonates almost doubled sales of new electric vehicles. According to the International Energy Association (IEA), China registered the maximum sales of electric vehicles in 2017. In China, 1.23 million electric vehicles were sold that year, which was an unprecedented increase of 72% over the preceding year.

· In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, a majority of governments globally are planning to harness clean and affordable energy. The adoption of electric vehicles is also one of the by-clause in sustainable development goals. This is encouraging the government to come up with stringent rules and mandates to check the current carbon emission and reduce emissions from the upcoming fleet of vehicles. In Norway, the government was encouraging electromobility – through exemption of battery electric vehicles (BEV) from having to pay vehicle registration costs and the 25% VAT charge on new cars sales, and with significant exemption on import duties as well. This step proved to be extremely successful with the IEA reporting that Norway became the world’s most advanced market for electric vehicle sales, with over 39% of new vehicles being sold in the country in 2017. Moreover, the organization found that the number of electric vehicles including buses, trucks, and two and three wheelers running on the road will touch 125 million by 2030 globally. This is expected to employ a significant amount of EPDM rubber in window sealing and interiors of the vehicles.

· Construction is one of the fastest growing end user segments for the EPDM market. Over the years, construction companies have innovated their process of development and glass centric construction is the latest trend among the major construction companies. EPDM adhesive rubbers are extensively used as sealing and damping solutions in the construction industry. DURAPROOF is one such product that offers a wide spectrum of solutions for compression, center seals, and glazing seals in timber, aluminum, and plastic doors, gates, and windows. Since the EPDM rubber provides adequate sealing, the product is highly preferred for applying roof in buildings. EPDM rubbers are extremely resistant to mechanical stress, which makes them suitable for ornamental water bodies and swimming pools, running tracks, golf courses, gymnasiums, water gardens, and parks. The product is also being employed in the sports industry. As per the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the global health club industry spawned returns worth $87.2 billion in 2017. The industry serves 174 million members in more than 201,000 clubs globally. IHRSA launched an initiative that aims to surpass 200 million health club members globally by 2030. Exuberant development of such recreational and social centers is estimated to employ a huge volume of EPDM rubber, thereby leading to surging demand for EPDM rubber which will further support the EPDM market.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Application

EPDM rubber is considered as an ideal insulation for cold weather plumbing and frost control. It prevents condensation issues and heat gain on refrigerant pipelines and chilled water. Burana EPDM rubber tube is an insulation product that is used in the piping system and also prevents heat loss from liquid, dual temperature, and hot water plumbing. The product is offered with a self-adhesive aluminum variant that is durable, cleanable, energy efficient, moisture resistance, and optimum air delivery. The increasing uptake of energy efficient solutions for maintaining indoor temperatures is driving the HVAC market. HVAC equipment is gaining popularity in development of green buildings and commercial complexes such as malls, airports, and offices. Commercial construction is the biggest driver for green buildings which employ HVAC equipment, further growing demand for the EPDM market.

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Competitive landscape

The major players impacting the global EPDM market are ExxonMobil Chemical Company (U.S.), PetroChina Co. Ltd. (China), SK Global Chemical Co. Ltd. (South Korea), Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (Japan), Carlisle Companies Inc. (U.S.), DoW Elastomers (U.S.), John Manville Inc. (U.S.), JSR Corporation (Japan), Lanxess AG (Germany) and Kumho Polychem Co. Ltd. (South Korea).

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