The global PU microsphere market is witnessing growth, due to the increasing demand of PU microspheres for plastics coatings in automotive underbody and its application in architectural and wood coatings. Moreover, the advanced technologies for drug delivery, increasing demand for repositionable adhesives, high demand of PU microsphere for encapsulation application in crop protection are fueling the growth of the global PU microsphere market. PU microspheres have several advantages, such as narrow particle size distribution, better appearance and smoothness, uniform thickness of coatings and films without fat edges or defects. All these advantages of PU microsphere are attracting major players from end-use industries to utilize PU microsphere. Among the various applications of PU microsphere, the encapsulation segment held the largest share in the global PU microsphere market in 2015, and it is anticipated to retain its dominance during 2016 -2022. The consumption of PU microsphere was highest for encapsulation application, due to the huge consumption from pharmaceutical, chemical, and paints and coatings industries.
The growing demand in the emerging economies and increasing compliance for PU microsphere in automotive and cosmetics industries are creating ample growth opportunities for the global PU microsphere market during the forecast period. The key trend witnessed in the global PU microsphere market is the backward integration by major players in encapsulation industry i.e., most of these companies are manufacturing PU microspheres on their own. The major reasons behind the backward integration by these companies are the feasibility issues especially in case of drug delivery. However, the high cost of PU microsphere, in comparison to other microspheres and requirement of huge capital investment for research and development are anticipated to hinder the growth of the global market to some extent during the forecast period.
Microspheres are the small spherical particles with diameter ranging from 1 μm to 1000 μm. These could be made from synthetic or natural materials. Some of the commercially available microspheres are glass microspheres, ceramic microspheres, and polymer microspheres. PU microsphere is a type of polymer microsphere and is used in obtaining uniform thickness of coatings or films without any defects. PU microspheres find applications in paints and coatings, encapsulation, adhesives, agrochemicals, drugs, curing agents and others.
Geographically, Europe held the largest share in the global market in 2015, owing to the high consumption of PU microsphere in architectural coatings, wood coatings, and plastic coatings. The increasing demand of PU sphere for manufacturing of the automotive interiors is driving the European PU microsphere market. Similarly, the North American PU microsphere market is also driven by the increasing applications of PU microsphere in electronics and automotive industries. Asia-Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest growing market during 2016 -2022, due to the high growth in the major end-use industries of PU microsphere such as electronics, automotive, and construction. The fastest growth in the region is also attributed to the economic reforms and high demand for PU microsphere in China.
The key players operating in the global PU microsphere market include Microchem, Supercolori S.p.A., Chase Corporation, Covestro AG, HEYO ENTERPRISES CO. LTD., and Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd.