Smithers Apex’s new report – The Future of High-Value Construction Board to 2021 – looks at technology development across 20 different construction board materials, and reviews business opportunities based on trends and drivers now in play. These opportunities reflect board and additive technology and application at a nascent stage of development or need, and presenting potential scenarios for the opportunities to come to profitable existence.
Construction boards are a part of overall global panel market approaching 100 billion square metres in volume. While a large percentage of the products also go into packaging, appliances, transportation and other applications, the construction applications are a very large part of this worldwide business.
In a set of markets this large, there are constant technology evolutions for a number of reasons such as cost or product attribute improvement, regulatory requirements, raw material shortages or new supply opportunities, regionality requirements, and so on. At a given point in time, opportunities can cut across a number of these materials, such as fibre reinforcement to address product attribute needs or create a cost out position. Threats can turn into forced changes in the production processes, product attributes and other aspects of their respective businesses.
In this golden age of applied material science, board manufacturers stand to gain long-term profits by developing and commercialising new product and process technology. Board makers work with decades old base materials, and so their success depends heavily on the low volume, relatively expensive additives, and additive technology development in turn, for future growth and profit success.
Six additive classes appear to benefit more than others in the next five years in driving board success in this analysis. Some are responding to threats like regulatory requirements, and some – like fibre technology – are developing rapidly in their own businesses
A common theme among the selected high-value boards is the potential for fibre reinforcement to add unique value to a wide range of board products. Many board types, like gypsum plasterboard and cement fibreboard, have been fibre reinforced for decades: cement fibreboard was developed well over 100 years ago, with the incorporation of asbestos fibre in cement on a process line by Ludwig Hatschek. Further product development has relied upon dispersants, surfactants and other chemicals to reduce cycle times during the cement curing process.
The Future of High-Value Construction Board to 2021 is based on extensive primary and secondary research from multiple sources. Interviews were carried out with individuals within major producing companies and other industry participants, including trade associations. Additional data was derived from various published sources, including conference papers and corporate information taken from published financial and technical reports, as well as industry organisations and surveys.
Notes for Editors
The Future of High-Value Construction Board to 2021 is available for £4,200.
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About Smithers Apex
Smithers Apex provides events, market research, publications, strategic and technical consulting to niche, emerging and high growth industries. Markets covered include lighting and displays, clean energy, home and personal care, industrial biotechnology, performance materials and chemicals.