Polyurethanes are manufactured from reaction of polyols (polyester, polyether polyols) with polyisocynates such as MDI and TDI. In case of PU coatings, polyols are first converted to stock coatings and are then mixed with polyisocynates cross linker before processing thus offering two component system. The properties of the coatings can be adjusted according to polyol used in manufacturing and crosslinker selected. Polyurethane coatings offer various characteristics such as high performance coatings with low temperature curing, excellent abrasion and corrosion resistance, high flexibility, higher durability, pleasing optical properties and good weathering features. Polyurethane coatings are one of the emerging sectors in global paints and coatings industry. In spite of these features, the cost associated with PU coatings is higher as compared to other coatings available in the market. On the basis of formulations, the market for PU coatings is divided as PU water borne coatings, PU solvent borne coatings, PU powder coatings and PU high solids coatings among others. PU solvent borne coatings had the largest market share in PU coatings market however, there is likely to be more demand for PU waterborne coatings in near future owing to lower VOC content.
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The main driver for the global PU coatings market is huge automotive industry. PU coatings are majorly consumed in automotive and transportation industry especially, ships and automobile. PU coatings offer various characteristics to the surfaces such as anti-corrosion and anti-abrasion along with durability and higher performance. In addition, PU coatings make the texture glossier, easy-to-clean and soft-touch. Other major outlets for the PU coatings market are wood furniture, construction, electronics, textile and industrial applications among others. Wood furniture and construction industry are likely to be the emerging markets for PU coatings over the forecast period. Technological advancements and capacity expansions are likely to offer major opportunities for the PU coatings market in upcoming years. Although, stringent environmental regulations and fluctuating prices associated with the use of raw materials can act as a major restraint for the PU coatings market in next few years to come.
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In terms of demand, Asia Pacific was the leading region for the PU coatings market and accounted for more than half the global demand for PU coatings. The demand in this region was mainly driven by automotive and transportation industry. Increasing standard of living and rise in per capita incomes of the consumers is likely to be major factor for driving automotive industry indirectly helping the PU coatings market to grow in this region. China was the major consumer for PU coatings in this region owing to huge demand from manufacturing sector. Other major countries such as India and Japan are likely to exhibit higher demand for PU coatings in few years. Asia Pacific was followed by Europe. Increasing demand from automotive and wood furniture industry were the major drivers for PU coatings in this region. Germany and the UK had the largest demand for PU coatings in this region. Automotive refinishes have been the major application for PU coatings in these regions. Europe was closely followed by North America which has huge demand for PU coatings, especially PU powder coatings from various end-user industries such as wood furniture and construction industry. The U.S. dominated the PU coatings market in this region. The Rest of the World is anticipated to show potential growth for the PU coatings market in upcoming years. The market share for PU coatings is least in The Rest of the World region due to lack of penetration in major manufacturing industries.
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The market for PU coatings is concentrated and is dominated by global manufacturers in various regions. Some of the major manufacturers in the PU coatings market are Akzo Nobel N.V., Axalta Coatings Systems, BASFSE, PPG Industries and Sherwin-Williams among others.