Polymeric Flexible Hose and Tubing Markets

Published - Mar 2004| Analyst - Charles Forman| Code - PLS012D
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Report Highlights

  • The U.S. market for polymeric materials used in fabricating flexible hose and tubing is large and mature and the total volume of materials used is estimated to be about 719 million pounds in 2003.
  • The market is expected to rise at an average growth rate (AAGR) of 2.6% to 818 million pounds in 2008.
  • Non-elastomeric thermoplastic resins make up over 50% of the market and will rise at a 2.7% AAGR to 468 million pounds in 2008.
  • Thermoplastic elastomers, while the smallest market segment, will rise the fastest, at an AAGR of 3.4% to 68 million pounds in 2008.
  • Thermosetting elastomers make up the remainder.
  • Consumer and healthcare applications make up 48% of the market primarily in medical tubing.

INTRODUCTION

Flexible hose and tubing are old and established products, and their manufacture and sale has become a moderately large and quite broad-based sector of the United States economy. This study covers flexible hose/tubing made from polymeric materials, as contrasted with rigid metal tubing (e.g., aluminum and copper tubing for automobiles and refrigerators) which is really a subset of the piping industry. (Rigid pipe and tubing is covered at length in a newly updated BCC report, P-043Z — The Competitive Pipe and Tubing Industry.)

The broad base of the U.S. hose and tubing industry is illustrated both by the many different materials, both elastomeric and non-elastomeric, that are used to make hose and tubing, and also by the many different markets that are served by these materials and products. A tube is usually defined as a long cylindrical body with a hollow center, used to convey fluids, and a hose is generally considered to be a flexible tube. However, we differentiate hose and tubing by also considering tubing to be a simpler product constructed from a single material, while hose is a more complex structure that usually consists of three layers: the tube itself at the center, some type of external reinforcement, and a protective covering material of some type.

This study is an update of a 1998 BCC study of flexible hose and tubing materials and their markets, in which we bring up to date the state of the industry and BCC’s estimates and forecasts for U.S. markets for base year 2003 and forecast year 2008. The U.S. hose and tubing industry is generally considered to be a mature one, but that does not tell the whole story.

Competition among supplier companies and materials of hose and tubing construction have caused several important changes in this industry in the past few years, and we review them here and forecast their effects on the industry. However, we found in this update that there were fewer really new developments in the last five years or so, compared to years past. Continual improvements yes, but no real new materials to revolutionize the industry.

SCOPE OF STUDY

The report contains:

  • An overview to the flexible hose and tubing industry in the U.S.
  • Market analysis by physical volume in pounds by hose and tubing material
  • Market analysis by some of the most important applications, including automotive, hydraulic, industrial, and consumer markets
  • Coverage of hose and tubing technology and manufacture
  • Analysis of the structure and some competitive factors and trends in the industry
  • Discussion of regulatory, environmental, and public issues
  • Information on most important major suppliers to this large industry, with profiles.

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

Extensive searches were made of the literature and the Internet, including many of the leading trade publications, as well as technical compendia, government publications and information from trade and other associations. Much product and market information was obtained from principals involved in the industry. The information for company profiles primarily was obtained from the companies themselves, especially the larger publicly owned firms. Other sources included directories, articles and Internet sites.

ANALYSYTS CREDENTIALS

J. Charles Forman, is a research analyst in the field of polymers and chemicals. His work in industry included 21 years at Abbott Laboratories in R&D and manufacturing management. Dr. Forman has researched and written more than 30 multiclient market research reports on a variety of subjects ranging from building construction materials, to several studies on plastic packaging. Polymers and packaging are specialty areas. He has been with BCC for over 10 years. B.A., MIT; M.A. and Doctorate, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

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