The global polyurethane adhesive market was valued at USD 8.58 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 14.42 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.94% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The expansion of the polyurethane adhesive market has been driven by the rising utilization of packaging adhesives in various applications, such as folding cartons, cases and cartons, and labeling, observed across multiple countries.
Polyurethane adhesives are thermoplastic glues or polymers comprised of replicas of organic chain units connected by urethane links. The adhesive is produced when the polymers undergo a chemical reaction. This adhesive is extremely durable and resistant to most forms of degradation. Typically, polyurethane adhesives are brown or transparent in color. Pigments such as green and red can be added in applications such as spraying, where visibility on the application area is essential.
Polyurethane adhesives are commonly used in applications where greater efficiency at a reduced operating cost is required. Some important qualities of polyurethane adhesives include their quick drying time, outstanding strength, exceptional optical clarity, strong abrasion and chemical resistance, and good strength and impact resistance. Due to their versatility, these adhesives are utilized in automotive, packaging, aerospace, building and construction, electrical and electronics, locomotives, and optical industries.
|Market Size||USD 14.42 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||Asia Pacific|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Polyurethane pressure-sensitive adhesives are extensively used in consumer industries as they are environment-friendly, can be easily applied, and offer good performance. They have better hydrophilic properties than acrylic or rubber and have superior resistance to solvents and heat under low temperatures. Polyurethane adhesives are now being used as pressure-sensitive adhesives in wearable devices as they offer moisture permeability on surfaces.
Medical wearable devices have seen an increase in adoption due to the rising use of self-monitoring devices and several global technology companies entering the market. Wearable device manufacturers face challenges in maintaining adhesion and using moisture-resistant adhesives in wearable devices. The user's skin generates moisture while wearing medical devices. Therefore, it is important to use adhesives that reduce moisture and ensure user safety. Polyurethane adhesives also provide high moisture permeability and good adhesion. Such factors boost the market growth.
The adhesives industry is heavily relied upon by the paper and packaging sector. Adhesives are used in this industry as a water-based system, such as dextrin, emulsion adhesive, or a hot melt. Similarly, the paper and packaging business provides a wide range of products, necessitating a wide range of adhesives. Several factors, such as rising incomes, the increasing pace of urbanization and infrastructure development, and the expanding population in various developing regions, are driving the growth of the packaging industry.
One of the main packaging industry subsectors is transit packaging, which involves using corrugated boxes to carry various goods. Due to the expanding e-commerce trend, the need for transit packing solutions will increase significantly over the next five years. The increasing use of packaging adhesives for folding cartons, cases and cartons, and labeling across countries has boosted the growth of the polyurethane adhesive market.
Polyurethane adhesives are made of polyols and isocyanates. The price of polyols has been increasing exponentially due to an increase in feedstock prices, such as diethylene glycol, and its availability around the world. In North America, the shortage of polyol supply has resulted in the rise of polyol prices with rising demand from the industrial sector.
Polyol prices have witnessed a significant increase in the Middle East region, which has dampened the demand for toluene diisocyanate in the region. Both toluene diisocyanate and polyols are used in the formulation of polyurethane adhesive. Increasing polyol prices have affected manufacturers' profit margins, making it difficult to ramp up production. Such factors restrict market growth.
Manufacturers are moving towards bio-based coatings, sealants, and adhesives for better durability and reducing dependency on scarce raw materials. Bio-based raw materials not only reduce the carbon footprint of the product but also improve the performance and versatility of the product. In addition, polyurethane adhesives are formulated through the combination of isocyanates and polyols. The composition of the polyol employed significantly influences the characteristics of adhesives. The susceptibility of polyether polyurethane glue to UV radiation and the susceptibility of polyester polyurethane adhesives to hydrolysis have been observed.
Bio-based priplast polyols are carbon polyols that are highly renewable and hydrophobic. These polyols are used extensively in moisture-curing adhesives, hot-melts, and thermoplastic polyurethane adhesives. Priplast technology in polyurethane adhesives provides efficient substrate wetting and good adhesion properties. Croda developed Priplast 3238 and Priplast 3294, 100% bio-based polyols polyurethane adhesives. Priplast technology offers unique benefits to polyurethane adhesives, such as sustainability and product innovation. Thus, such developments are expected to create opportunities for market growth.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global polyurethane adhesive market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global polyurethane adhesive market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.17% during the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific region's construction, automobile, and packaging industries are major market growth drivers. Asia-Pacific is an emerging market since nearly half the world's urban population resides in Asian cities, accounting for two-thirds of the world's urban population growth. Major factors driving the growth of polyurethane adhesives include the increasing demand for residential and commercial buildings and government incentives to boost the country's economy and automobile sector.
In Asia-Pacific, China is the major consumer of polyurethane adhesives, followed by Japan, India, South Korea, and Indonesia. The packaging industry plays an important role in China's economy. China witnessed a 200% increase in online food sales in 2020, driving the packaging market. The surging demand for flexible packaging in the e-commerce industry is expected to fuel the growth of the polyurethane adhesive market in the Asia-Pacific region.
Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.03% over the forecast period. Europe is the second largest market for polyurethane adhesives, behind Asia-Pacific. Germany, France, and the UK are the early adopters of automation, packaging, and construction technology, making them high-demand adhesive generators. The automotive, aerospace, and construction industries are expected to boost the growth of the polyurethane adhesive market. According to the FEICA, in the European region, COVID-19 will foster the growth of the paper, board and packaging, healthcare, and medical technology industries while negatively impacting the building and construction, transportation, and automotive industries. This will significantly affect the global polyurethane adhesive market.
In North America, the construction industry's recovery after the economic slowdown is enhancing opportunities for polyurethane adhesives. An increase in the demand for non-residential construction and the surge in consumer spending for furnishing homes has hiked the demand for polyurethane adhesives in building and construction applications. Construction spending is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period significantly. Similarly, the country leads manufacturing innovations, reinforced by comprehensive product development emphasizing energy efficiency, weight reduction, reduced lifecycle costs, and sustainability. The US is a world leader in EV production, which will amplify the growth of the polyurethane adhesive market in the region as polyurethane adhesives are extensively used in EVs.
Latin America is an emerging market with rapidly expanding economies such as Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Mexico. The automotive and construction sectors are fueling the growth of adhesives in the region. Due to various environmental concerns, several bio-based adhesives will find a substantial share in the market during the forecast period. In addition, the availability of raw materials, inexpensive labor, and easy access to two of the largest consumer markets in the United States and Canada have accelerated the development of manufacturing output with added value. The high popularity of bio-based adhesives has led to innovations and the development of green adhesives in the region. Strong growth in Brazil's packaging and furniture industry will likely boost the consumption of polyurethane adhesives.
In the Middle East and Africa, the demand for new buildings and construction projects is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period as these projects are mainly time-bound. The African market is more subdued and offsets the fast growth of the Middle East market. The construction industry will amplify the growth of the polyurethane adhesive market in the Middle East region. Electronics is another segment that will foster the consumption of adhesives and sealants during the forecast period. The UAE is one of the largest consumers of electronics and appliances.
The global polyurethane adhesive market is bifurcated into components, resin types, distribution channels, applications, and technology.
Based on components, the global polyurethane adhesive market is divided into one-part and two-part polyurethane adhesives.
The one-part polyurethane adhesive segment is the most significant contributor to the market share and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.14% over the forecast period. The combination of polyols and isocyanates in producing polyurethane adhesives results in a single-component polyurethane adhesive. In one-part adhesives, raw materials are premixed in their final proportions. The adhesive bonds with the substrate when the prescribed conditions are satisfied.
One-part polyurethane adhesives have a higher impact and vibration resistance than two-part polyurethane adhesives due to their high elasticity and mechanical strength. Despite being stored together, the components of one-part polyurethane adhesive are physically segregated into two distinct layers. The curing process is impeded in the absence of proper temperature storage conditions for adhesives.
Based on resin type, the global polyurethane adhesive market is segmented into thermoset and thermoplastic resins.
The thermoset segment is the largest revenue contributor to the market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.96% over the forecast period. Thermoset polyurethane adhesives are thermosetting polymers that are used in the bonding of non-metallic and metallic substrates. They need heat or pressure at the time of curing. They are classified based on their polymer system or chemical composition. In addition, polyurethane thermosetting adhesives are formed by a reaction between polyol and isocyanate and are composed of urethane links. With changes in composition, flexibility and adhesion properties can be changed. They can bond in high moisture conditions and easily withstand temperatures as high as 284° F.
Based on the distribution channel, the global polyurethane adhesive market is bifurcated into offline and online channels.
The offline segment owns the highest market share and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 5.82% over the forecast period. Hot-melt adhesives, solvent-based adhesives, water-based adhesives, pressure-sensitive adhesives, and adhesives that are 100% solid can all be obtained through wholesalers, retail stores, and specialist shops within the offline section. On the other hand, glue sticks are available in super and small retail stores. The adhesive industry is an offline-intensive market, which accounts for a significant share of the distribution network and product price. Under offline distribution channels, transportation permits need to be taken from government bodies as certain adhesives might be labeled as hazardous. Therefore, it is important to get a permit beforehand to avoid product delivery delays.
Based on application, the global polyurethane adhesive market is bifurcated into the automobile industry, building and construction, packaging, footwear, DIY, aerospace, wind turbine, and others.
The automobile industry segment dominates the global market and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.23% over the forecast period. The automotive and transportation industry uses adhesives extensively. Adhesives bind automotive components and provide adhesion between two substrates, hence minimizing the need for welding. Polyurethane adhesives are now widely utilized in electric vehicle production as manufacturers produce more lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles. In addition, adhesives are used in electric vehicles, including battery cells, packs, modules, and battery management systems (BMS). As per IEA, the number of electric cars on the road will reach 146 million by 2030. Therefore, the electronic vehicle market is expected to boost the growth potential of polyurethane adhesives during the forecast period.
Based on technology, the global polyurethane adhesive market is bifurcated into solvent-based, water-based, hot-melt, pressure-sensitive, and others.
The water-based segment is the highest contributor to the market and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.51% over the forecast period. Adhesives formulated on water-based technology are based on environment-friendly solutions. Typically, these products exhibit minimal volatile organic compounds (VOCs), rendering them compatible with prevailing norms and standards. A bond is established between two surfaces through the process of water evaporation or absorption by one of the substrates, resulting in the sole presence of adhesive.
Water-based polyurethane adhesives are aqueous, anionic dispersions of high molecular weight polyurethanes that produce heat-activated adhesives. They are high-performance adhesives and provide an excellent initial bond strength for increased production efficiency. The bond line does not discolor over time and is ideal for flexible packaging, automobiles, furniture, footwear, and textiles.