Soft touch polyurethane coatings are coatings manufactured using polyurethane dispersions that provide high soft feel to the coating surface. These coatings provide excellent scratch resistance, chemical resistance and heat resistance. They also provide excellent durability coupled with fast dry time. Soft touch polyurethane coatings find a wide range of applications in automotive and aircraft interior components, interior wood surfaces (furniture, trim, and doors) and consumer electronic devices such as mobile phones, TV, laptop and computer cases. These coatings also find applications in cosmetic cases and kitchenware.
Soft touch polyurethane coatings are available in two forms, water-based and solvent-based. The solvent-based soft touch polyurethane coatings are gaining traction worldwide, due to stringent environmental regulations pertaining to limit the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
Consumers are increasingly inclined towards adoption of premium electronics products such as smartphones and laptops. In order to give these devices a rich feel, manufacturers are laying emphasis on adoption of soft touch polyurethane coatings for the body of such devices that helps give it a premium feel, while enhancing its handling. Also, these coatings help provide primary protection to the body of the device from accidental drops and scratches.
Plastics are widely used as raw material in various end-use industries, such as automotive, electronics and packaging, as it is lightweight, low cost and durable. However, plastic loses its characteristics on exposure to extreme heat and on exposure to certain chemicals. Researchers have developed UV soft touch coating that get cured on exposure to ultraviolet light and imparts resistance to chemicals, insects and abrasion. UV curable soft touch coating is a new technology and is gaining application across various industries.
Various government regulations regarding the same is influencing players in the coating industry to focus on formulation of water-based coatings. Formulation of water-based soft feel polyurethane coating is complicated as compared to conventional solvent coating, due to presence of water in the former. Polymer containing hydroxyl functional group i.e. polyols and polyisocyanate are used to formulate polyurethane.
Water reacts with isocyanate and release carbon dioxide gas. However, it also results in side reactions where primary amines are formed and react with isocyanate to form urea linkage. There is a need to control these side reaction in order to achieve desired properties. The challenge for coating formulators is to measure haptic perception, there is no standard measurement method to evaluate desired properties of soft feel coatings.
Product Type Analysis:
global soft touch polyurethane coatings market is segmented into 2K and UV coating systems. The 2K soft touch polyurethane coating system is estimated to account for largest market share of 66% in 2014 and is expected to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. Revenue contribution of UV soft touch polyurethane coating segment is anticipated to increase at highest CAGR of 8.1% over the forecast period.
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Base Type Analysis:
On the basis of base type, the global soft touch polyurethane coatings market is segmented into water-based soft touch polyurethane coatings and solvent-based polyurethane coatings. The solvent-based segment accounted for the largest market value share in 2014 and is expected to remain the most dominant segment in the market till the end of forecast period. Revenue contribution of the water-based segment is anticipated to increase at a sluggish growth rate of 7.5% over the forecast period.
End-use Industry Analysis:
On the basis of end-use industry, the global soft touch polyurethane coatings market is segmented into transport and automotive, electrical and electronics, wood and furniture and others (packaging, measuring devices). In 2014, the transport and automotive segment accounted for largest market share and is expected to remain dominant throughout the forecast period.
This increased use of plastics in automobile interiors has led to increase in demand for soft touch PU coatings as a suitable option, owing to properties such as resistance to yellowing, scratching, abrasion and chemicals. Soft feel polyurethane coatings are widely used in the automobile industry to coat interior components such as arm rest, door trims, airbags compartments, steering wheel and front panels. It helps automakers offer customers durable and aesthetically pleasing automobile interiors.
On the basis of geography, the global soft touch polyurethane coatings market is segmented into Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ), North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa and Japan. In 2014, Western Europe, followed by North America, were the largest markets for soft touch polyurethane coatings. In terms of growth rate, APEJ and Latin America is anticipated to be the most lucrative market over the forecast period.
Key players profiled in this study on the global soft touch polyurethane coatings market include RPM International Inc., The Sherwin Williams Company, PPG Industries Inc., Axalta Coating Systems Ltd., Jotun AS, AkzoNobel N.V., Aexcel Corporation and Sokan New Materials.
Base types assessed in the report are as follows:
Product types accessed in the report are as follows:
- UV (Ultra Violet)
End-use industry assessed in the report are as follows:
- Transport and automotive
- Electrical and electronics
- Wood and furniture
- Others (packaging, measuring devices)
Regions assessed in the report are as follows:
- North America
- Latin America
- Western Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Asia Pacific excluding Japan
- Middle East & Africa