SBR on a road of growth in Asia; to increase by 2% a year until 2025

June 12, 2018

Styrene-ButadieneStyrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) is the best-selling synthetic rubber and for decades, has been indispensable for many applications. In everyday life, SBR is mainly found in vehicle tyres. According to a recent market study by Ceresana, worldwide consumption for this elastomer type amounts to about 5.1 million tonnes. More than half of global demand is generated in the region Asia-Pacific. Analysts at Ceresana expect global market volume of SBR to increase by 2.0% p.a. until 2025.

SBR is a copolymer consisting of the chemicals butadiene and styrene. SBR is produced by emulsion polymerisation (E-SBR) or by solution polymerisation (S-SBR). E-SBR is accounting for about 72% of total demand. The smaller S-SBR market, however, is accounting for much more dynamic growth rates of 3.8% per year.

The most important sales market for SBR in 2017 was the segment tyres: More than 67% of total worldwide demand was generated by tyres and replacement tyres. Tyres are mainly made of SBR, butadiene rubber, and natural rubber. E-SBR is mostly used for standard tyres. In contrast, S-SBR is needed to manufacture tyres with high abrasion resistance and low rolling friction.

The manufacture of industrial products is the second largest application area worldwide, consuming about 740,000 tonnes. From the chemical industry to mechanical engineering to the electrical and electronics industry, SBR is required for a wide range of applications, such as conveyor belts, roll covers, hoses, profiles, seals, cables, adhesives, moldings, and the modification of plastics. In the construction industry, SBR is also used for pipes, roofing films, and for the modification of other building materials. SBR is also needed for numerous sports and consumer goods.

 

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