A polyurea coating is formed by the reaction of a pre-polymer such as methylene diphenyl di-isocyanate (MDI) or hexamethylene di-isocyanate (HDI) with amine-terminated resins. Polyurea was developed in the 1980’s for the automotive industry and was originally used as a truck-bed liner to form a lasting watertight layer. Polyurea coatings are now used for a wide variety of applications in building & construction, infrastructure, automotive, marine, and manufacturing industries. Polyurea coatings are elastomeric in nature. It is a more advanced technology than traditional coating technologies such as epoxy, vinyl ester, PU, and polychloroprene. Polyurea coatings are applied on infrastructure and building components such as tunnels, water reservoir containers, pedestrian footpaths, floor coverings, and sewage pits. Polyurea coatings are widely applied also on bridges, tanks, truck linings, and secondary containments. Due to its excellent resistance to hydrocarbons and corrosive gases, polyurea is employed as an industrial coating for highly demanding applications in oil & gas and chemical industries.
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Depending upon the method of formulation and application of polyurea coatings, different types of polyurea coatings can be formulated to attain an extensive range of properties. These properties vary from high elongation to high tensile strength and from a very hard material to a soft one. Polyurea coatings have superior water resistance, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, durability, resistance to weathering, corrosion resistance, and mechanical strength. These coatings can be applied in a variety of designs and colors and they are available as water-based formulations also. One of the key advantages of polyurea coatings over other competing materials is their fast set characteristics. Cure times for polyurea coatings usually range from a few seconds to a few minutes as opposed to much longer cure times required for traditional coatings. Low set time ensures that a facility can be back in use without suffering revenue loss due to downtime. Polyurea coatings also form strong and durable bonds with different substrates such as metals, concrete, ceramics, and wood. Properties of polyurea coatings sustain over a wide temperature range and a variety of climatic conditions. However, polyurea coatings have some drawbacks with the most significant being higher cost of the material as compared to other substitutes. Also, the application of polyurea coatings requires the use of expensive equipment. However, polyurea coatings last substantially longer than their substitutes and hence, they are more cost-effective throughout the life of the coating.
The global polyurea coatings market has witnessed rapid growth in the last decade and this trend is likely to continue in the near future. The building & construction industry is the leading consumer of polymer coatings. Rapid industrialization and urbanization in several parts of the world is likely to fuel the demand for polyurea coatings in the next few years. Polyurea coatings are also employed extensively in the industrial sector as protective coatings against corrosion. North America is the leading consumer of polyurea coatings accounting for more than 33% share of the global market. The ongoing recovery of the construction sector in the U.S. as well as the renewed focus on manufacturing in the country are factors likely to boost the demand for polyurea coatings in North America. Europe also accounts for a significant share of the plastic coatings market, owing to the rise in demand from automobile manufacturers concentrated in the region. Germany, the U.K., France, and Italy are the key consumers of polyurea coatings in Europe. Demand for polyurea coatings is expected to surge in Asia Pacific and the market in the region is expected to expand rapidly in the near future. Rapid industrial growth and boom in the construction sector in China are factors expected to provide high opportunity to the polyurea coatings market in Asia Pacific in the next few years. The polyurea coatings market in emerging economies such as India, Thailand, and Malaysia is poised to expand at a significant rate during the forecast period.
Despite the slowdown in the oil & gas industry, the outlook of the polyurea market appears positive, due to increasing use of protective coatings in the oil & gas industry; as companies are beginning to prefer condition-based monitoring over the breakdown maintenance approach. Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa are the other major countries for the polyurea market.
Key players operating in the global polyurea market are PPG Industries, Nukote Coating Systems, Sherwin-Williams Company, VIP GmbH, Rhino Linings, Kukdo Chemicals, Versaflex Inc., Specialty Products, Inc., and Wasser Corporation.
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