Rigid Colored PU Foam Market to be at Forefront by 2027
Rigid colored PU (polyurethane) foams are polyurethanes with closed cell structures. PU foams are manufactured by reacting isocyanates such as methylene diisocyanate (MDI) with polyols in presence of surfactants, blowing agents and several other chemicals such as amines acting as catalysts. The PU foam thus produced is treated with pigments and other coloring agents in order to produce rigid colored PU foams.
The closed cell structure of rigid colored PU foams imparts high strength, stability, energy efficiency and high thermal resistance to the foams. The physical characteristics of these foams make them suitable for several energy efficient applications including wall insulation, roof insulation, and also for insulating machineries. Major end user industries for rigid colored PU foams include construction, electronics and other niche applications such as geothermal applications among others. Construction application segment dominates the global demand for rigid colored PU foam in terms of market share and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Demand in niche application segments is primarily driven by innovation and research and development activities to produce customized rigid colored PU foams.
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Increasing threat of energy crisis leading to a surge in demand for energy efficient structures has been a major factor driving demand for rigid colored PU foams. Rigid colored PU foams pose no harm to environment and human health post installation and can be recycled and reused. Unlike the traditional substitutes such as glass and carbon fibers used for insulation, rigid colored PU foam are easier to install and can be used for specific purposes such as filling cracks. Higher degree of customization of these PU foams also has been a major factor fuelling growth for rigid colored PU foam market.
Certain isocyanates employed in the production of these PU foams are derived from crude oil hence volatile raw material price has been a major restraining factor for market growth. Moreover certain isocyanates cause severe occupational health hazards such as asthma which also has been a major restraint for market growth. The occupational health hazards have led to a surge in demand for bio based alternatives. Increasing research and development activities in the market also have increased the application scope of these rigid colored PU foams. Research and development activities are expected to offer huge growth opportunity for the market during the forecast period.
North America dominates the global demand for rigid colored PU foams and the trend is expected to continue in the near future. In 2012, Europe was the second largest consumer of rigid colored PU foams. Demand in North America and Europe is primarily driven by increasing number of government regulations to increase energy efficiency. Increasing industrial investments and high economic growth rate in major developing economies such as India, China has led to growth in several end user industries such as construction and electronics in these regions. On account of which, developing economies in BRIC countries are anticipated to offer huge growth opportunity for market growth during the forecast period.
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Rigid colored PU foam market is concentrated and dominated by few major players. The industry is characterized by high degree of competition and raw material procurement is among critical success factor for the industry. Major players in the rigid colored PU foam market include BASF SE, Bayer MaterialScience, The Dow Chemical Company and Huntsman Corporation among others.
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