Polyurethane Dispersion: a sustainable problem solver for today’s challenge

Published On: March 2018

Polyurethane Dispersion: Market Introduction

Polyurethane dispersion or PUD is an aqueous and anionic dispersion having high molecular weight and can be derived from either aromatic or aliphatic isocyanate that can be produced with or without emulsifiers. It possesses excellent properties such as extreme temperature durability, superior tensile strength, high abrasion resistance, and high elasticity, which can be used in leather and wood finishes, PVC and concrete floor coverings, and textile coatings. This material is widely used in the coatings as film formers or binders, and also for developing other technical products. Generally, polyurethane dispersion can be synthesized by reacting any polyester, polyether or polycarbonate diol is reacted with a hydrophilising diol and a diisocyanate. On the basis of the ratio between the diols and the diisocyanate, the polyurethane derived can either be isocyanate (NCO) or hydroxyl functional. Moreover, demand in this market is growing year by year due to robust growth in numerous end-use industries. The overall polyurethane dispersion market projects significant gains in the demand for the coatings as well as leather finishing industry. However, the fluctuation in crude oil prices resulted in the high price of raw materials used for the manufacturing of polyurethane dispersion, which is further expected to hamper the growth of the market over the estimated period. Growing maturity of established markets such as Germany, U.K, Canada, and the U.S. is predicted to provide average growth on account of shifting production facilities to Asia Pacific region.

Growing demand for water-based polyurethane dispersion

Water-based polyurethane dispersions are a kind of dispersion in which urethane polymer particles disperse in water. Moreover, It is considered as a rapidly growing segment in the polyurethane coating industry on account of environmental legislation such as the clean air act and also due to technological advances, which has made them an effective substitute for the solvent based products. They possess a broad range of excellent properties, such as impact strength, abrasion resistance, and low-temperature flexibility, which are the driving forces to their continuously expanding usage in many applications. They exhibit no free isocyanates residuals and contain high blocking resistance, long-term flexibility, UV and weather resistance, and high abrasion resistance. With all the desirable characteristics of coating materials, water-based PUDs are considered to be a rapidly growing segment of the polyurethane coating industry. In addition, they are applied to flexible films and cellulosic substrates which are utilized in the manufacturing of industrial laminates. With their growing usage in the end use application is estimated to propel the market growth. Moreover, hybrid coatings comprise of blends of polyacrylic polymer dispersions with various types of polycondensation polymers (epoxies, polyesters, alkyds, and polyurethanes) is predicted to play a prominent role in the next generation of water-based coatings. However, it may be emphasized that the success of hybrid water-based coatings depend on the cost of production of these coatings along with the frequency of adoption rate among the end-use industries.

The Asia Pacific end-use industries current scenario and their impact on polyurethane dispersion market

Growth in the Asia Pacific is gaining momentum due to the strong presence of various end-use industries such as automotive, building & construction, furniture, textile, and leather among others. In 2016, China emerged as the global leader in the automotive production and manufactured around 28 million vehicles with an excellent growth rate of 14.5%. Increasing demand for polyurethane based coating in the automotive sector is predicted to propel the global polyurethane dispersion market. Moreover, favorable government policies in developing countries such as India where government allocates 100% FDI in the automotive sector is expected to drive the demand for PUD. Furthermore, China and India together accounted for the largest leather goods export market and is estimated to retain their dominance over the forecast period, which is likely to fuel the polyurethane dispersion market growth. Many developing countries of Asia Pacific attracted foreign direct investment, which is estimated to drive the domestic textile industry which is likely to propel the growth of the market. Rising branding on E-commerce portals coupled with ease of availability of products is expected to propel the sale of textile and leather products which in turn is estimated to fuel the polyurethane dispersion market.

Competition scenario:-Firms from advanced economies capture more than half of the global profit pool

According to the analysis, PUD market comprises of numerous leading players, which holds a maximum share of the market and achieving significant revenue each year in this particular product segment. The prominent manufacturers that are operating in the market are the Lubrizol Corporation, Michelman, Inc., Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Perstorp Holding AB, Lamberti S.p.A., LANXESS AG, Alberdingk Boley GmbH, Hauthaway Corporation, Chase Corporation, VCM Polyurethanes PVT. Ltd., allnex, Covestro AG, DowDuPont, Inc., BASF SE, and 3M.These companies are increasingly pursuing merger & acquisition business strategies to capture new markets and add new business lines. Developing market companies proved as major players in this trend as they seek to expand globally. For example, in July 2013, Michelman, Inc. acquired Germany-based Ecronova Polymer GmbH, a manufacturer of pure acrylic emulsions, vinyl acetate copolymers, and polyurethane dispersions. This acquisition helped Michelman to gain a physical presence in Germany and increase their European footprint.