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Polyurethanes: New Technologies and Applications Drive Global Market Growth

Polyurethanes: New Technologies and Applications Drive Global Market Growth

  • June 2017
  • 124 pages
  • ID: 4959560
  • Format: PDF
  • BCC Research


Table of Contents

- The global polyurethane market should reach $68 billion by 2021 from $49.8 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4%, from 2016 to 2021.
- Furniture and bedding is the largest market segment. The market is expected to grow from $18.5 billion in 2016 to $24.6 billion in 2021 at a CAGR of 5.9% for the period 2016-2021.
- The building and construction segment of the polyurethanes market is expected to grow from $10.9 billion in 2016 to $15.5 billion in 2021 at a CAGR of 7.4% for the period 2016-2021.

This report provides an in-depth analysis of the various end-user industries and manufacturers operating in the polyurethane space, including automobile, construction and building, furniture and bedding, electronics and footwear.

Polyurethane, which is increasingly used in 3D printing, textiles and other industries, is still in its nascent stage. However, the market is expected to achieve significant demand in the coming years. Contributions from key players such as BASF, Bayer, Dow Chemical and Huntsman through innovative new technologies and applications will boost the global polyurethane market.

Companies in the polyurethane market are focused on developing new technologies and applications through various new launches, R&D and products, while partnerships and expansion among market players has increased over the years.

This report will be a significant tool to all the above-mentioned industries as well as companies that want to penetrate the polyurethane market. As the report also covers various geographies in detail, companies that are interested in investments overseas can also find the report useful.

Study Goals and Objectives
The objective of the report is to identify new technologies and applications in the global polyurethane market. The market is segmented by end users, application/products, type and geography. This report analyzes the global growth potential of the polyurethane market with 2015 as the base year and gives estimates for 2016 to 2021.

The report focuses on new technology and application of polyurethanes in automobile, health care, construction and building, furniture and bedding, footwear, etc. This report also focuses on identifying key end users and industries which will affect the major market trends.

The report covers key trends in the North America and Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, which are expected to contribute more than 60% of total market share due to huge demand created by end users, technological advancement and easy availability of raw materials for polyurethanes manufacture. This means that the market will show a significant growth during the forecast period.

Reasons for Doing This Study
Polyurethane is a versatile material that can be converted into various forms such as thermosetting plastics, thermoplastics and synthetic rubber (elastomers) to produce a wide range of products and applications in many industries. New technologies and applications in automobile, health care, electronics, footwear, furniture and bedding are underpinning growth for polyurethane products and are attracting many market players and stake holders.

The presence of global giants such as BASF SE, Bayer AG, Dow Chemicals, DuPont, Huntsman Corporation and Wanhua Chemical are creating significant scope in the polyurethane market. Various strategies such as innovation, product launches, research and development (R&D) and expansions have increased significantly.

New technology and applications through flexible foam, rigid foam, coating, adhesive, sealant, elastomers and chemicals are expected to boost polyurethane demand in sectors like automobile, health care, construction, furniture and bedding. In the near future, various 3D printing companies will adopt polyurethane materials to produce vital products in health care, automobile, textile and other sectors.

Moreover, the flexible rubbery polyurethane material is strong and has potential to serve multiple sectors through innovative products and applications. Polyurethane is mostly prepared from isocyanates such as toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), which are easily available raw materials. Polyurethane is a versatile chemical that is prepared by blending TDI and MDI with polyol, additives and other raw materials.

This report aims to give an in-depth view of the key trends in the polyurethane market. The analysis includes an overview of the various end-user industries as well as investigate the market’s motivating and restraining factors. The report aims to be a key decision-making tool for the intended audience.

Scope of the Report
Polyurethane is the most commonly used material in various applications for the automotive, furniture and bedding, electronics, construction and building, and footwear industries. Major players like BASF, Dow Chemical, Bayer and Huntsman are expected to provide revolutionary polyurethane-based products and technologies in the near future.

Dow Chemical is expected to provide reactive PU plasticizers, which are considered to be useful for polyurethane moisture curing adhesives used in automotive glass bonding. BASF will boost polyurethane market through new generation vehicles made from PU material.

Various 3D printing start-ups and intermediate players are exploring the polyurethane market and offering innovative solutions, from artificial organs to fabric or complex 3D models of machines. In addition, increased adoption of biodegradable polyurethane material is also creating buzz in the health care sector. For example, biodegradable polyurethane elastomers are expected to contribute to cartilage tissue engineering applications in the near future.

Moreover, significant expansion from Bayer and Dow Chemical in APAC will help expand the scope for polyurethanes. APAC is the largest consumer and producer of polyurethanes, and holds 36% of the global polyurethane market. It is also the biggest exporter of polyurethanes. North America is the second-largest global market for polyurethanes, with the U.S. as the dominant market followed by Canada. The U.S. and E.U. regions are projected to increasingly consume polyurethane applications in the construction and building sector for energy-efficient insulation in residential buildings.

Moreover, adoption of new technologies and applications in the global furniture and bedding, building and construction and automobile markets are expected to boost polyurethane demand in the near future. The major geographic regions covered in the report are North America, Europe, APAC and the Rest of World (RoW). In addition, this report provides a country-specific breakdown of polyurethane consumption based on total revenue generated. Major countries included the U.S., Canada, Germany, U.K., Spain, Italy, France, China, Japan and India.

The information and analysis presented in the report are based on extensive first-hand interviews with primary research sources, including executives, product managers, and specialists in the market for polyurethanes. Secondary information was obtained from government agencies, business and trade magazines, official websites of key manufacturers and key end users.

Annual revenues of major polyurethanes market players, their annual reports and forward looking statements as well as industry end users were analyzed to derive the size of the market. Similarly, data were obtained for key applications, end-user markets, recent activities, the technological advancement and innovation from different polyurethanes market players. Recent activities were tracked for the major companies involved in the polyurethanes market in order to understand the market trends.

The forecast market size was based on these trends. The estimation of the market was calculated using the base year 2016, with historical data provided for 2015 and forecast data provided for 2021. The market estimations and market shares are provided for each market segment for 2016 as the base year.

Estimated values used are based on manufacturers’ total revenues and forecast revenue values are in constant U.S. dollars, unadjusted for inflation. Unit volume of polyurethane as well as consumption of polyurethane material in varied sectors was used to estimate the total market. Many manufacturers as well as end users are profiled in the report. This report includes company profiles with detailed introductions, product portfolios and recent developments.

Information Sources
Key information was derived from various government sources like the U.S., China, India, U.K., Canada and other major governments. Data from various international organizations were used to provide final estimates. Such organizations include the American Chemistry Council, International Organization for Chemical Science in Development, American Chemical Society, The Royal Society of Chemistry, International Council for Chemical Association, NACE international, Mining Association of Canada, the European Union, Bureau of Indian Standards and the World Bank.

Secondary data were also collected from official websites of manufacturers and distributors in the polyurethane market. Data were also collected from key end users such as the automobile, furniture and bedding, footwear, building and construction, and electronics sectors.

Derived data were further validated by various industry players over phone calls, emails and Skype interviews. All the collected information was utilized to derive the forecast numbers.

Geographic Breakdown
The geographic regions considered in this report are:

North America
- United States
- Canada

- U.K.
- France
- Germany
- Italy

- China
- India
- Japan

Summary and Highlights
Polyurethanes are one of the most versatile polymers. It is widely used in a variety of applications such as footwear, furniture, bedding, textiles, coatings, electrical and electronics, synthetic leather, adhesives and others. Polyurethane has gained significant popularity due to its inherent properties such as strength, hydrolysis resistance, adhesion, elasticity, hardness and others, which make it a highly useful material. The global polyurethane market was valued at around $46.5 billion in 2015, while consumption volumes totaled 28,600 kilotons.

The market has been on a rise due to high demand from various regions and industries. In addition, demand is forecast to increase by 6.4% during the reporting period of 2016 to 2021. The market is driven by high demand and high growth rates in key segments such as the building and construction, and automobile sectors. The market is expected to make significant gains due to continuing high demand in Asia-Pacific.

Furniture and bedding is the largest market segment for polyurethanes and accounted for 33.6% market share in 2015. However, building and construction is the fastest-growing segment, and is expected to increase at a CAGR of 10% between 2016 and 2021.

This growth is based on various key factors such as technological advancement, innovation, availability of wide-ranging polyurethane products for automotive, furniture, electronics, biomedical, footwear and construction applications. Further, new market entrants, product launches, innovation and technological advancement will boost growth in the coming years.

Other key factors contributing to the growth of the polyurethanes market include favorable government regulations, rising demand from emerging economies and huge economic growth in major end-user industries such as health care, construction, automobiles, etc.

Polyurethane is a versatile material that can be converted into various forms such as thermosetting plastics, thermoplastics and synthetic rubber (elastomers). These are made from monomer units of urethane (carbamate). Polyurethanes are typically produced by the reaction of polyol and poly- isocyanates.

Commercially, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) are used for the production of polyurethanes. This material has a wide range of applications such as flexible foam, rigid foam, coating, adhesive, sealant, elastomer, etc. Polyurethanes are used by various end-user industries such as automotive, building and construction, footwear, furniture and bedding, and electronics. Polyurethanes are also essential in building materials.

There are various stakeholders that contribute to the growth of polyurethanes. The value chain of the polyurethane market consists of a large number of players including raw material suppliers, polyurethane manufacturers, distributors, end-user industries, distributors of finished goods, and consumers. Manufacturers are the main players in this value chain and control the market.

Major players from the chemical industry include BASF, Bayer, Wanhua Chemical, Huntsman, Dow Chemical, and Mitsui Chemical. BASF is the largest manufacturer of polyurethane with a global market share of 20% in 2015. The top five companies in the market control over 50% of total global market. Joint venture and innovations are key strategies of leading players in the industry.

Recent activities from BASF, DuPont and Dow Chemical have already created huge scope for the polyurethanes market. Dow Chemical is expected to highlight the polyurethanes market following its patent registration of a reactive polyurethane plasticizer. The innovation concerns a reactive PU plasticizer, which is considered to be useful for polyurethane moisture curing adhesives and can be used in automotive glass bonding. The polyurethanes market is expected to provide revolutionary products in new generation vehicles.

In July 2016, Yamaha introduced a three-wheel concept vehicle for short- distance travel. The material consists of highly blended plastics obtained from BASF. Considering the emerging demand for polyurethanes materials, it is expected that the trend of new applications for the automotive sector will continue to attract investors from across the globe in the near future. The interior and exterior parts of automobiles are produced from polyurethane, which affords durability, comfort and easy availability.

The use of polyurethane in 3D printing is still in a nascent stage; however, in the near future the 3D printing market is forecast to increase significantly due to investment and R&D exploration across the globe. 3D printing for artificial heart and vital organs are part of R&D projects which will be revolutionary if these products are commercialized. Further, polyurethane consumption for 3D printing applications is expected to increase in several industries including health care, automotive, decoration, etc.

The regional paradigm of the polyurethane market is shifting toward the APAC region, which depicts the growth trend in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia-Pacific, the home to numerous developing economies, is viewed as a great opportunity for the polyurethane market during the forecast period.

In addition, growing major end-user industries in emerging economies such as China, India and Indonesia are driving the polyurethanes market in the region. Urbanization of developing economies is anticipated to boost demand for polyurethanes in the coming years. APAC is the largest consumer of polyurethanes, accounting for 35% market share of the overall market. The region is also the largest producer and net exporter of polyurethanes. The APAC market is primarily driven by the growth of key end-user industries such as electronics, construction and automotive. North America is the second-largest polyurethanes market, of which the U.S. is the top consumer in the region.

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