Global Olefinic Block Copolymer (OBC) Market Demand & Forecast Analysis, 2016 - 2032
Olefin Block Copolymers Market
The global Olefinic Block Copolymer Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% to reach USD 3 billion by 2032 from the current market size of USD 1.3 billion. Olefin Block Copolymers (OBCs) are a new class of thermoplastic olefin elastomers developed by Dow Chemical back in 2006. They were brought into commercial production in 2008. OBC are composed of alternating hard and soft segments arranged in a linear fashion that provide them with elastomeric properties. This composition and property are generic to elastomers. The hard segment can be crystalline or semi crystalline in nature and is composed of either polyethylene or polypropylene. The soft segments consist of polymers of ethylene and alpha-olefin. This segment is amorphous in nature. These block copolymers offer better properties than random copolymers based on olefins. The crystallinity and density of the polymer is dictated by its composition and its molecular weight distribution. Moreover, OBC are different from other block copolymers due to the fact that the polymer chain consists of a distribution of number of blocks and block lengths rather than having fixed number of blocks of similar compositions. OBCs are sought as an alternative to elastomers like Styrene Block Copolymers (SBC). Further, OBCs are used along with Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) in the form of blends and in foam applications. It can also be used as a replacement of EPDM in compounded thermoplastic olefins (TPO). OBCs are widely used as compatibilizer in PP/HDPE blends.
Global Olefin Block Copolymers Demand Analysis, By Region - 2016-2032 (Kilo Tons)
Olefinic Block Copolymer Market By Region
Asia-Pacific is the biggest market at global level in 2022 accounting for more than 65% of the global Olefinic Block Copolymer demand on account increase in athletic footwear market and shift of the footwear manufacturing from mature market such as North America and Western Europe to Asia-Pacific regions like China, Vietnam, India and other Southeast Asian Countries. North America is estimated to account over 12% Olefinic Block Copolymer demand, while Western Europe’s share is estimated to be around 10%. The other regions like Central & Eastern Europe, Central & South America, and Middle East & Africa together account for remaining share.
Global Olefin Block Copolymers Demand Analysis, By Region - 2022 (Kilo Tons)
Olefinic Block Copolymer Market, By Application
Key drivers for Olefinic Block Copolymer market especially INFUSE OBCs have been their increasing consumption in in the footwear industries, hot melt adhesives (HMA) and pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA) applications. In 2022, Footwear applications constituted the largest demand for Olefinic Block Copolymer accounting for more than 45% of the total demand followed by adhesives applications accounting for around 25% of the total demand. All other applications, including, houseware, infrastructure and others together constituted remaining share of total Olefinic Block Copolymer demand. OBC finds numerous applications in the footwear industry, including outsoles, sandals, floats, slippers, sock liners, and midsoles. OBCs are commonly used in blends with Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) to manufacture midsoles for shoes. There is potential for OBCs to be utilized in hunting boots as well.
Global Olefin Block Copolymers Demand Analysis, By Application- 2016-2032 (Kilo Tons)
Olefinic Block Copolymer Market Dynamics
Drivers: Replacement of EPDM, EVA, SBC, and other elastomers
OBC possesses properties that make it a suitable substitute for styrene block copolymers (SBC) and styrene-isoprene-styrene (SIS) in adhesive applications. Additionally, it can be used as an alternative to flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for halogen-free compounds. OBCs can produce TPOs (thermoplastic olefins) with enhanced flow, impact resistance, and compression set, making them viable replacements for thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) and SEBS (styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene). The product has successfully replaced SBC and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) in various consumer applications, ranging from footwear to hygiene products and housewares.
Rising Demand from End Use Industry will further drive OBCs market in the forecast period
In the footwear industry, OBC provides improved resilience, softness, and durability. It enhances cushioning performance by reducing the overall weight of the shoe. As a result, there has been strong demand for athletic and running shoes among consumers in recent years. According to the World Footwear Yearbook, global footwear production reached 22 billion pairs in 2021, experiencing nearly 9% growth compared to the previous year. The majority of shoe production, approximately 88%, is concentrated in the Asia Pacific region. China holds over 54% market share in global shoe production, making it one of the largest producers worldwide. In terms of consumption, the Asia Pacific region accounts for more than 55% of footwear consumption, followed by North America and Europe with individual market shares ranging from 12% to 15%. However, footwear consumption trends are highly influenced by population size.
The growing fitness trend is fueling the demand for athletic shoes with high-performance midsoles. OBC-based midsoles enhance the durability of the shoe, thereby improving the quality and comfort of the athlete s experience. These midsoles offer protection, stability, and shock absorption, reducing the impact and stress on the athlete s body. Due to increasing consumer demand for advanced cushioning technology in athletic footwear for running and other sports, as well as market competition, footwear manufacturers prefer using high-performance OBC midsole solutions to meet evolving consumer trends in performance. OBC solutions for footwear foams provide superior benefits compared to other materials, offering increased dimensional stability and assisting OEMs in reducing production costs. OBC midsole formulations based on INFUSE OBCs offer enhanced resilience, reduced shrinkage, improved low-temperature flexibility, and superior compression properties compared to conventional materials like EVA.
Apart from footwear, adhesive applications are a significant driving force in the olefinic block copolymer market, particularly in the manufacturing of hot melt adhesives. Prominent adhesive manufacturer Bostik offers hot melt adhesives composed of olefinic block copolymers for various end products, including disposable diapers, bed pads, bandages, sanitary napkins, tapes, surgical drapes, labels, nonwoven sheets, cardboard, filters, and paper sheets.
Growing purchasing power in the developing economies and growth in footwear is seen as a key driver of demand for like. The economy in Asia-Pacific has been thriving on account of the advancements witnessed in the houseware, hygiene, and consumer appliances. Increased participation in the sports and fitness activities along with rise in demand for athletic footwear in developing economies is likely to drive the demand for Olefinic Block Copolymer in the long-term forecast.