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Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions Market

Market Study on Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions: Wood Coatings to Remain Key Application Area

Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions Market

Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions Market Outlook (2023 to 2033)

The global waterborne polyurethane dispersions market, as reported by Persistence Market Research, was valued at US$ 1.4 billion in 2018. Demand for waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) registered 4.6% year-on-year growth in 2022 and is estimated to amount to US$ 1.59 billion in 2023. Projections indicate that worldwide sales of waterborne polyurethane dispersions will rise at 5.8% CAGR to reach US$ 2.8 billion by the end of 2033.

Due to the rising demand for textile and wood coatings, the global market is expected to expand at a rapid pace throughout the projection period. Wood treatments are necessary for the preservation and enhancement of wood surfaces, including furniture, flooring, and cabinetry, by providing them with a glossy finish. The popularity of PUD-based wood treatments is steadily increasing because of their several advantages.

Waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) are versatile coating materials consisting of polyurethane particles dispersed in water. They offer several advantages over solvent-based coatings, including low VOC emissions, eco-friendliness, and ease of application. Waterborne PUD finds applications in various industries. In the automotive sector, they are used for coating interior and exterior components, providing excellent scratch resistance and enhancing durability.

Since waterborne polyurethane dispersions offer protection, aesthetic appeal, and resistance to chemicals and abrasion, they are used as wood coatings in the furniture industry. In the construction industry, they are used to impart corrosion resistance and weatherproofing properties to concrete and metal surfaces. Waterborne PUDs are used in packaging materials, textiles, paper, and plastic due to their properties such as excellent adhesion, flexibility, water resistance, and printability.

Attribute Key Insights

Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions Market Size (2022A)

US$ 1.52 Billion

Estimated Market Value (2023E)

US$ 1.59 Billion

Market Projections (2033F)

US$ 2.8 Billion

Global Market Growth Rate (2023 to 2033)

5.8% CAGR

Collective Value Share of Top 3 Countries (2023E)


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Sales Analysis of Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions (2018 to 2022) Vs. Market Forecasts (2023 to 2033)

The market advanced at a CAGR of 2% from 2018 to 2022. The market in the historical period exhibited sluggish growth as the global economy was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. End users of waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PUDs), such as the automotive, furniture, and metal industries, were significantly affected by the pandemic. Towards the end of 2021, the market began to recover.

From 2023 to 2033, the market is predicted to expand steadily at a CAGR of 5.8% and offer some promising growth opportunities. Demand for waterborne products from end-use industries such as wood and furniture, automotive, textile, and plastic is projected to grow significantly. Increasing awareness regarding the harmful effects of chemical emissions from the solvents is expected to fuel this demand.

Stringent environmental regulations governing harmful emissions are projected to drive up the demand for water-based coatings and materials. This offers manufacturers significant growth potential to innovate and create less harmful products, thereby giving them a competitive edge over other players in the market.

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What are the Factors Influencing the Demand for Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions?

“Shift toward Safer and Environment-friendly Coatings & Adhesives”

Waterborne polyurethane dispersions are generally regarded as a safer alternative to solvent-based polyurethane coatings and adhesives. Unlike their solvent-based counterparts, waterborne polyurethane dispersions contain lower levels of hazardous chemicals like toluene and xylene, which present health risks to both workers and end users. This reduced content of harmful chemicals in waterborne polyurethane dispersions contributes to enhanced health and safety conditions during handling and use.

Waterborne polyurethane dispersions offer enhanced scratch and abrasion resistance, excellent film formation, and resistance to yellowing. Due to their desirable characteristics, waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) are valuable for a wide range of applications, including paints, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers. In contrast to systems based on solvents, water is used as the primary solvent in the formulation of waterborne polyurethane dispersions, simplifying handling, storage, and cleanup procedures.

To satisfy consumers’ needs and adhere to environmental objectives, sectors such as automotive, construction, textiles, furniture, and packaging are switching to waterborne systems. This has accelerated the transition from solvent-based polyurethanes to aqueous polyurethane dispersions.

“Increasing Emphasis on Sustainable Coatings & Adhesives in Wood Industry”

The market is influenced significantly by the wood sector. Waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) are alternatives to solvent-based paints and adhesives commonly used in the wood industry. These polyurethane dispersions provide several advantages over conventional formulations made using solvents.

PUDs offer excellent adhesion, flexibility, and durability when they are applied to wood surfaces. They create a shield that enhances the durability of wood products against UV rays, chemicals, and abrasion. Waterborne polyurethane dispersions possess fast-drying properties and can be easily customized to meet specific performance requirements.

As there are a variety of formulations of waterborne PUDs, manufacturers can obtain a range of finishes such as matte, matte, satin, or glossy. The wood industry favors water-based PUDs due to their adaptability and aesthetic appeal.

Waterborne PUDs do not require harsh solvents for application, lowering the possibility of worker exposure to hazardous substances. In the woodworking sector, where employees may have prolonged direct contact with lacquer and glue materials, this factor is especially crucial. These considerations have led to an increase in the use of waterborne PUDs in the wood industry, which has pushed the demand for these products.

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What are the Hindrances to the Growth of the Waterborne PUD Market?

“Volatility in Raw Material Prices Impeding Waterborne PUD Demand Growth”

Waterborne polyurethane dispersion manufacturing costs are heavily influenced by raw materials. The cost of production is directly impacted by the price volatility for these raw materials. Due to unforeseen increases in raw material costs, manufacturers may face challenges in maintaining profitability, potentially leading to reduced profit margins.

Raw materials such as polyols, isocyanates, chain extenders, polystyrene, and other substances are used to make waterborne polyurethane. Due to market variables, the prices of these commodities, which are predominantly made from crude oil, are prone to fluctuations.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has significantly impacted crude oil prices, as Brent Crude crossed US$ 100 per barrel in 2022. This marks the highest level reached since 2013, exhibiting a significant increase of over 40% when compared to the previous year, 2021.

The cost of ethylene carbonate, a key raw material, is prone to fluctuations. Volatile raw material prices lead to pricing uncertainties in the market. Manufacturers find it challenging to offer competitive prices for their waterborne polyurethane dispersion products, which can impact demand and hinder market growth.

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Country-wise Insights

What is the Demand Outlook for Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions in China?

“Rapid Industrialization and Regulations Promoting Use of Solvent-free Coatings”

The market in China is anticipated to reach US$ 746 million by the end of 2033.

The automotive, construction, textiles, and furniture manufacturing industries in China are growing. Waterborne PUDs find wide applications in these sectors, including automotive coatings, adhesives, sealants, and textile coatings. The expanding industrial base drives the demand for waterborne PUDs in China.

China is a major manufacturing hub. The country’s robust automotive, textile, and furniture industries are prominent end users for waterborne PUDs. The growth of these industries is expected to benefit the waterborne polyurethane dispersions market. The market in the country is poised for growth due to rapid industrialization, establishment of new manufacturing units, expansion of end-use industries, regulatory measures promoting the use of solvent-free coatings, and more. Presence of numerous small- and medium-sized manufacturers, supported by a robust supply chain, is also playing a significant role in influencing the market's trajectory.

How is the Demand for Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions Shaping Up in the United States?

“Stringent Regulations on VOC Emissions Drive Demand for Water-Based Coatings”

The market in the United States is predicted to expand at a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period.

The United States market is expected to exhibit substantial growth throughout the projected period. Several factors contribute to this growth, including strict regulations governing VOC emissions, increased demand for water-based coatings, expansion of end-use industries, and a growing preference for sustainable solutions.

The country prioritizes sustainability and the adoption of environmentally friendly alternatives. Water-based polyurethane dispersions align with these goals and promote safer practices. Presence of a robust automotive industry further contributes to market growth.

Category-wise Insights

Why is the Textile Coatings Segment Generating High Demand for Waterborne PUDs?

“High Demand for Waterborne PUDs Due to Their Enhanced Adhesion, Toughness, and Durability”

The textile industry is playing a significant role in driving the demand for waterborne polyurethane dispersions. Textile products such as apparel, footwear, and upholstery often require protective coatings for enhanced performance and aesthetics. Waterborne polyurethane dispersions fulfill these requirements and offer a safer alternative to traditional solvent-based coatings.

In the textile sector, waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) are being widely used as versatile coating materials. These dispersions are created by mixing polyurethane particles with water, which makes them easy to handle and environmentally friendly. Waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) provide excellent adhesion, durability, toughness, and flexibility across a wide range of textile substrates, including fabrics, fibers, and nonwovens.

Waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) are widely used in various applications, including waterproofing, stain resistance, abrasion resistance, and flame retardancy. They enable the creation of porous coatings that allow moisture vapor transmission while maintaining water repellency. With their versatility and environmentally friendly characteristics, waterborne PUDs are preferred for textile coatings in industries such as garments, home textiles, and technical textiles.

Demand for waterborne polyurethane dispersions is growing as the textile industry prioritizes sustainability, superior performance, and regulatory compliance.

What is the Demand Projection for Self-crosslinking PUDs?

“Improved Hardness, Abrasion Resistance, and Chemical Resistance of Self-crosslinking PUDs Fueling Their Widespread Adoption”

Self-crosslinking waterborne polyurethane dispersions (PUDs), a particular class of coating material, can crosslink and create a three-dimensional network structure without the aid of additional cross-linkers or curing chemicals.

The benefits of this self-crosslinking method include improved film characteristics, increased chemical resistance, and limited environmental impact. Self-crosslinking PUDs make the formulation process easier and need fewer ingredients by doing away with the requirement for external cross-linkers or curing agents.

The three-dimensional network structure of coating films produced by the self-crosslinking technique improves the mechanical qualities of the material, such as its hardness, abrasion resistance, and chemical resistance. This results in coatings with enhanced performance and durability. The self-crosslinking PUDs segment is gaining traction. Key manufacturers are targeting the segment to boost their profit margins.

Competitive Landscape

The waterborne polyurethane dispersions market is undergoing consolidation due to mergers and acquisitions. Large multinational companies are acquiring smaller players to expand their product portfolios and geographical presence. This trend is expected to continue, leading to increased market consolidation. Significant advancements in manufacturing technology for waterborne polyurethane dispersions have propelled market growth. Manufacturers are investing in research and development efforts to enhance the performance properties of these dispersions, including adhesion, durability, and flexibility.

Key market participants are primarily focusing on expanding their production capacities and introducing new products to cater to various sectors in the global market. Covestro, BASF SE, and Lubrizol, among others, are actively announcing their expansion plans and launching new products. For Instance:

  • On July 8, 2022, Covestro AG initiated the construction of two state-of-the-art production facilities in Shanghai to address the increasing need for polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) and elastomers. These upcoming facilities were to be set up at the Covestro Integrated Site in Shanghai and involve a substantial mid-double-digit million-euro investment.
  • On June 22, 2021, Lubrizol Performance Coatings introduced Aptalon M8120 Polyurethane Dispersion (PUD) commercially. This innovative product utilizes patented Aptalon Polyamide Polyurethane chemistry, enabling formulators to create high-performance, waterborne coating systems for direct-to-metal (DTM) applications.

Waterborne Polyurethane Dispersions Industry Report Scope

Attribute Details

Forecast Period

2023 to 2033

Historical Data Available for

2018 to 2022

Industry Analysis

  • US$ Billion for Value
  • Tons for Volume

Key Countries Covered

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Spain
  • Benelux
  • Russia
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Gulf Cooperation Council Countries
  • Türkiye
  • South Africa

Key Market Segments Covered

  • Product Type
  • Application
  • Region

Key Companies Profiled

  • Covestro AG
  • Lubrizol Corp.
  • Dow Inc.
  • Wanhua Chemical Group Ltd.
  • Mitsui Chemicals
  • DIC Corp.
  • Lanxess AG
  • Songwon Industrial Co. Ltd.
  • Allnex GmbH
  • Stahl Holdings BV

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecast
  • Company Share Analysis
  • Competition Intelligence
  • Drivers
  • Restraints
  • Opportunities
  • Trends Analysis
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives

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Waterborne PUD Industry Research Segmentation

By Product Type:

  • Anionic PUD
  • Cationic PUD
  • Nonionic PUD
  • Self-Crosslinking PUD
  • Hybrid PUD

By Application:

  • Wood Coatings
    • Furniture
    • Floor
    • Others
  • Metal Coatings
    • Automotive Parts
    • Appliances
    • Equipment & Machinery
  • Textile Coatings
  • Paper Coatings
  • Plastic Coatings
  • Others

By Region:

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia and Pacific
  • Middle East and Africa

- Companies Covered in This Report -

  • Lubrizol Corp.
  • Covestro AG
  • Dow Inc.
  • Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd.
  • Mitsui Chemicals
  • DIC Corporation
  • Lanxess AG
  • Songwon Industrial Co., Ltd.
  • Allnex GmbH
  • Stahl Holdings BV

- Frequently Asked Questions -

The global waterborne polyurethane dispersions market reached US$ 1.52 billion in 2022.

The market for waterborne PUDs is forecasted to expand at a CAGR of 5.8% through 2033.

Worldwide sales of waterborne PUDs are expected to reach US$ 2.8 billion by the end of 2033.

Covestro AG, BASF SE, Dow Inc., DIC Corporation, and Lubrizol Corporation account for 55% to 60% market share.

China, the U.S., Germany, India, and Japan are key consumers of waterborne PUDs.

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