In the first of a new series of views from the top, Lee Salamone looks at the state of the North American PU market
Since 1999, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) has published information on the polyurethanes industry in North America in its End Use Market Survey on the Polyurethanes Industry in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The latest survey, comprising over 300 pages, 150 tables as well as charts and diagrams based on more than 250 interviews with various participants in the polyurethanes industry, provides a detailed analysis of the major end-use markets for polyurethane in North America in 2012.
The United States economy has been showing signs of recovery in the last two years and demand for consumer goods has increased now that the worst of the downturn is over.
Polyurethanes product production increased by about 556Mlbs (252kT) from 2010 to the end of 2012. Production rose in all major product segments with the notable exception of Reaction Injection Molding/Reinforced RIM (RIM/RRIM), which witnessed a sharp decline of -25.0%. Polyurethane in RIM applications has been commonly replaced by other materials, like steel and thermoplastic polyolefin.
The fastest growth rates were in polyurethane binders, flexible molded foam and…