The global neoprene market size reached a volume of around 405 kilotons in 2019. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber produced artificially by free radical polymerization of chloroprene. It was first developed in the 1930s, as an oil-resistant substitute for natural latex rubber with DuPont being the first to market the compound in 1931. Neoprene offers various advantages over natural rubber latex and other synthetic compounds. Neoprene provides a strong level of protection from oxidizing agents such as alcohols, oils, and acids and offers resistant to all acetonic solvents. It also provides high resistance to physical failures like cuts and is resistant to damage caused by abrasion, flexing and twisting. Neoprene also does not degrade in the presence of sun, ozone or weather and provides excellent adhesion to fabrics and metals. Moreover, Neoprene exhibits good chemical stability and maintains flexibility over a wide temperature range. Compared to natural rubber, neoprene is more gas permeation resistant and can tolerate higher temperatures: up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Even at such elevated temperatures, neoprene maintains its integrity, making it better suited to long-term use in high temperature applications compared to natural rubber. Neoprene’s polymer structure also allows it to be modified to create a material compound with a diverse range of chemical and physical properties, based on the product needs.
The global demand of neoprene has been increasing continuously over the last few years catalyzed by its superior physical and chemical properties. The automotive sector represents one of the biggest end users of neoprene. In the automotive industry neoprene is used in the manufacturing of tires, oil seals, power transmission belts, breaking and steering system components, hose covers, etc. Apart from the automotive industry, the growth in the construction sector is also catalyzing the demand of neoprene where it is used to provide electrical insulation; seals for windows, doors, and facades; elevator astragals; deviator pads; Highway and bridge seals, etc. Looking forward, the global neoprene market is expected to exhibit moderate growth during the next five years.
Breakup by Manufacturing Route:
Based on the manufacturing route, the market has been segmented into the butadiene route and acetylene route. The butadiene route currently accounts for a higher share.
Breakup by Grade:
Based on the grade, the market has been segmented into general-purpose grade neoprene, pre-crosslinked grade neoprene, sulfer-modified grade neoprene and slow crystallizing grade neoprene.
Breakup by Application:
Based on the application, the market has been segmented into technical rubber, adhesives industry and latex industry. Technical rubber currently represents the biggest segment.
Breakup by End-User:
Based on the end-user, the market has been segmented into automotive, manufacturing, consumer goods and medical. The automotive segment currently represents the biggest end user.
Breakup by Region
Region-wise, the market has been segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. Amongst these, Asia Pacific is the biggest region, accounting for the majority of the global market.
The competitive landscape of the market has also been examined with some of the key players being Denka, Lanxess, Showa Denko, Tosoh, Zenith Rubber, DowDuPont, GK GmbH Endlosband, Pidilite Industries Ltd., Covestro AG and Asahi Kasei Corporation.
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