IAL Consultants has announced the first edition of a new publication for the polyurethane industry, A Global Overview of the Polyurethane Dispersions (PUD) Market.

LONDON – IAL Consultants has announced the first edition of a new publication for the polyurethane industry, A Global Overview of the Polyurethane Dispersions (PUD) Market.

The global market for PUDs in 2009 has been estimated at 227,350 tons and is expected to grow at about 5.2 percent per annum over the coming five years, to reach a market of about 292,300 tons by 2014.

Strongest growth in the application segments is expected to show in the leather and textile industries (6.2 percent per annum), with the slowest growth in the industrial coatings sector (4.5 percent per annum). Market growth in adhesives and fiberglass sizing is expected to fall within this range.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa are the most important regions for the production of PUDs. Output in these regions amounted to about 103,000 tons in 2009. Despite rising competition from Asian and Latin American sources, these are still the leading regions for the production of PUDs for leather and textile applications.

In the Americas, the emphasis on PUD production is very strongly geared towards industrial coatings, which account for 43,300 tons out of a total of 66,900 tons in 2009.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the balance between leather and textile applications and industrial coatings is almost equal. China is the single most important driving force in this region and is currently the source of many PUD manufacturing expansion plans for the region.

Development of the market has been limited mainly by the fact that PUDs are high-end products, and price has had a prohibitive effect on consumption. This is especially true in sectors such as the coatings industry where there are many cheaper alternatives still available. However, the constant emphasis on the need for water-based products and the continued refinement and enhancement of the product qualities generated through the use of PUDs almost guarantee strong growth throughout the coming years.

Europe has the largest market for UV-curable PUDs at about 6,500 tons. Until the economic crisis, it was a market growing at 20 percent per annum. Growth is expected to resume at this level before long, driven by wood and PVC flooring applications.

In the United States less legislation is in place to generate the impetus necessary for conversion to water-based coatings. However, hotspots of environmental regulation, such as California, may yet lead the way in the greater acceptance of such products in the coming years.