The global polyurethane prepolymer market was valued at US$ 388.5 Mn in 2018, according to Polyurethane Prepolymer Market Report, by Product Type (MDI-Based, TDI-Based, and Others), by Application (Coatings, Adhesives & Binders, Sealants, and Elastomers), and by Region (North America, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa) published by Coherent Market Insights.
The global polyurethane prepolymer market is projected to reach US$ 605.2 Mn by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period (2019-2027). The market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period, attributing to increasing demand from end-user applications worldwide. Furthermore, advantages offered by prepolymer process of polyurethane synthesis is expected to drive the market demand in the near future.
Polyurethane is conventionally synthesized by a one-step process, wherein raw materials such as isocynates and polyols are added along with other additives in one single system and polyurethane is produced. However, polyurethane production by two-step prepolymer technology has proved to be more beneficial over one-step process, which in turn is increasing demand for PU prepolymers. In two-step process, a prepolymer of polyurethane is first synthesized and then in the second step, final polyurethane polymer is produced where prepolymer are used as raw material.
Prepolymer synthesis offers various advantages to the final product. For instance, as per the research article, ‘Tailoring properties of polymeric biomedical foams’ published by journal of ‘Biomedical Foams for Tissue Engineering Applications’ in 2014, two-step prepolymerization process offers various advantages including increased PU viscosity (which favors better mixing of foam components), lower vapor hazard due to higher molecular weight, and reduction of undesired side reactions.
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