Polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) are high solid dispersions of polyurethane polymers in water. They are used to prepare polyurethane coatings and adhesives containing very low volatile organic compounds that show superior adhesion and coating properties for glass, wood, textiles, plastics, metal, rubber and other high performance substrates. PUDs provide the performance of polyurethane with additional advantages such as elimination of odor, lack of harmful monomers, and absence of toxic volatile organic compounds. They exhibit high toughness and can be used in coatings, sealants, and adhesives.
Environmental regulations such as the amendments U.S. Clean Air Act since 2008 and recent technological innovations have made PUDs an effective substitute for solvent based analogs in the polyurethane coatings and adhesives industry. As a result, the use of solvent based coatings is being reduced in developed nations such as the U.S. and most European countries. They are being replaced by aqueous PUDs which are waterborne systems that combine all the required properties of solvent based systems with the added advantage of being ecofriendly in nature.
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Owing to the changing scenario of growing environmental awareness in developed regions such as Europe and North America, stringent rules are implemented regarding the use of solvent based coatings. They are being replaced by aqueous PUDs which are waterborne systems that combine all the required properties of solvent based systems with the added advantage of being ecofriendly in nature. The value chain of PUDs includes raw material suppliers, PUD manufacturers, applications and end-use industries. Market players such as Dow Chemicals, BASF SE and Bayer MaterialScience are integrated in the industry, producing raw materials required for PUD production as well as manufacturing adhesives and coatings where the PUDs are used.
The global consumption of PUD was 267.1 kilo tons in 2011 which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2012 to 2018 and reach 369.3 kilo tons by 2018. Water-based solvents accounted for the largest share of the polyurethane dispersions market in terms of both volume and revenue in 2011. Developed nations such as North America and Europe have started phasing out solvent based PUDs and are replacing it with water based polyurethane dispersions.
Key applications of PUDs include coatings, adhesives and synthetic leather production along with others such as textile finishing and natural leather production. Adhesives and coatings dominate the global PUD consumption and the positive growth in synthetic leather production and textile finishing industry is driving the global PUD market. Synthetic leather production is expected to be the fastest growing segment in the coming years due to the increase in demand for synthetic leather from automobiles, furniture and the interior industries.
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The global polyurethane dispersions market is segmented into five key regions, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America and RoW (Middle East and South Africa). Asia Pacific was the largest market for polyurethane dispersions, which accounted for 36.6% share followed by Europe that accounted for 28.6% share of the global market in 2012. Asia Pacific is the largest regional segment and is also expected to experience highest growth rate in the PUDs market due to the growing consumption as well as production of PUDs in emerging countries such as India and China. Alberdingk Boley, Bayer MaterialScience AG, BASF SE, Chemtura Corporation, and Hauthaway Corporation are some of the key participants of the PUD market.
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