The number of coatings options available to end users may appear boundless, but it pales in comparison to the factors that suppliers and manufacturers must consider when developing goods including performance, appearance, protection, cost-effectiveness, and environmental compliance.

Polyurethane technology is one coating option that meets all of these requirements and is quickly becoming the technology of choice for a variety of end applications.

According to Reports and Data, the polyurethane (PU) market is expected to reach $USD 116.27 Billion by 2027.


Significant Advantages

What are the benefits of polyurethanes? Every coatings manufacturer and raw materials supplier gives various answers. However, one word sums up all of their responses: adaptability. Polyurethane technology, according to industry insiders, can be used in practically any formulation.

Polyurethanes are one of the most versatile polymers in coatings formulations because of their low temperature and fast curing properties, physical properties, and ease of application. 

Polyurethane coatings contain no VOCs or CFs, don't require a complicated system to apply, and have excellent elastomer qualities. Polyurethane products can be made to have a wide range of qualities, giving the formulator a lot of flexibility. Compared to other generic classes like epoxies and alkyds, polyurethane coatings have a broader window of choice     .

Polyurethane products can be utilized in a variety of applications, including winter cure primers, high-build 100%-solids elastomeric secondary containment linings, high-build industrial finishes, satin finish to high-gloss finishes, and high-solids/low-VOC finishes. 

The term ”high-performance” is also used frequently when discussing polyurethane coatings. Polyurethanes are generally regarded as high- performance coatings, giving great color and gloss retention, as well as outstanding resistance to abrasion and chemicals. Polyurethanes tend to retain color and shine better than other coating types.

Polyurethane-based coatings formulations yield high-performance coatings systems with excellent chemical resistance, solvent resistance, and outstanding durability, among other properties. A polyurethane coating system, whether solvent- or water-based, has always been thought of as a premium coating system. This chemical is one of the most widely utilized premium coating systems accessible because of its mix of resistant qualities and exceptionally durable films.

One of the main selling features of polyurethane coatings is their endurance. Using polyurethane dispersions in coatings improves performance attributes by providing greater durability, abrasion resistance, scrubbability, and other strengthening properties to the coatings client.

Outstanding weathering characteristics, great UV and acid-etch resistance, and good chemical resistance and beauty are just a few of the enduring properties of polyurethane finishes. It is because of their longevity that they are suited for end markets where security is vital. It's no surprise, then, that polyurethane technologies are most widely used in the building and transportation industries.


Markets in Development

These solutions provide a lot of power for organizations trying to expand outside established polyurethane markets and into new ones. Spray polyurea coatings are one of the fastest growing polyurethane technologies. With this technology, a user can apply a coating and have the region back in use in a few hours rather than a day. The application of 100%-solids elastomeric urethanes for secondary containment is a very new niche industry.

Polyurethanes are also being employed in radiation- and UV-curable coatings. Market requirements are constantly being solved by employing polyurethane coatings.

Polyurethanes in soft-feel coatings are another hot topic, according to industry insiders. The market for soft-feel coatings is beginning to grow, notably in the automobile sector.

Soft-feel coatings are a great place for polyurethane dispersions to expand. Manufacturers have incorporated soft-feeling properties into resins, reducing the need for additives. This lowers the cost of soft-feel coatings and expands the range of applications beyond traditional automotive coatings.

Extending beyond typical markets is a crucial approach. Manufacturers are continually working to promote polyurethanes as a substitute or property enhancer for markets dominated by acrylics, epoxies, or other polymers. Nonetheless, according to some industry insiders, several markets are still underutilizing polyurethane technology.


Battle of the VOC

Another issue in the coatings industry is the impact on the environment. One of the industry's most well-known acronyms, VOC, continues to plague suppliers and manufacturers. The polyurethane industry is no different.

Tighter VOC restrictions are affecting coating formulations across the board, and polyurethanes are no exception. The need to reduce VOCs is critical. Market insiders anticipate a significant growth in the use of polyurethane powder coatings to meet the ever-increasing demands for higher performance, more durable products, as well as the need to reduce VOCs.

Quality, efficiency, and ecology are the three important variables that have and will continue to influence polyurethane coatings development. The desire for improved quality and cost effectiveness is relentless, and understanding these market realities is essential for staying competitive. The polyurethanes business will be driven by the development of higher solids, low-viscosity resins and curing agents, as well as improved performance attributes.


Growing Continually

For both suppliers and manufacturers, the polyurethane technology industry is big business, and it's reasonable to predict that a number of variables will continue to drive growth in the future. Despite the slowing economy, the key markets of building and transportation continue to grow, and new markets can still profit from polyurethanes, implying new areas of expansion.

Market consolidation of customers, suppliers, and manufacturers, as well as requirements for VOC reduction, fast cure, and fast return to service time, will continue to drive advances in the polyurethane coatings market.