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Soft-touch polyurethane coatings offer soft feel to applied surface and are available in the water-based and solvent-based form. They provide excellent resistance to heat, chemicals, and other environmental factors. They are generally used across premium electronics goods such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Soft-touch polyurethane coatings offer primary protection to the body the electronic devices and give a premium feel to the product in order to enhance the handling. Moreover, they are also used across other applications such as automotive and aircraft interior components, furniture, and doors. They are widely used in the automotive industry for coating interior components such as door trims, steering wheels, and airbags compartments.

The global soft-touch polyurethane coatings market was estimated to be valued over US$ 6.0 billion in terms of revenue in 2018 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 7.4% during the forecast period (2019 to 2027)


Strict governmental regulations subjected to the rising environmental concerns are encouraging coating industry players to produced coating with low or no volatile organic content (VOC). Water-based low VOC content coating has low VOC emission than solvent-based coatings as this is produced by using low molecular weight polymers and reactive diluents. Hence, the growing demand for environmental-friendly coatings is expected to augment the market growth of soft-touch polyurethane coatings.

Market Opportunities

Rising demand for the high premium product among consumers due to increasing disposable income is expected to propel the market growth of soft feels PU coatings. Due to this, many manufacturing industries such as electronics, automotive, and packaging among others are focusing on product offerings with enhanced surface properties such as soft touch and rich look. Thus, the growing demand for premium products will favor market growth.

Market Restraints

Complications in the production of water-based soft touch PU coatings are expected to hinder the market growth of soft-touch polyurethane coatings. The production process of water-based soft feel PU coating is very as compared to conventional solvent coating. This is a factor is expected to curb the market growth over the forecast period.

Key Takeaways

On the basis of base type, solvent-based dominated the global soft-touch polyurethane coatings market in 2018 with around 58% of market share in terms of revenue, followed by water-based respectively.

Market Trends

Various manufacturers are developing innovative matting agents for the soft-touch coatings and this is expected to accelerate the market growth of soft feel PU coatings. For instance, in February 2019, Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH has introduced ACEMATT 3400 a new matting agent for high-transparency clear coatings and soft-touch coatings with smooth surfaces. It is surface-treated, thermal silica with a medium-particle size of 7.5 µm and offers a smooth surface finish with outstanding optical and haptic properties.

Growth in the furniture and wood industry is expected to offer significant growth to the market over the forecast period. According to the woodworking network, North America is a largest market for office furniture, with sales recorded at US$ 16.53 billion in 2018. Therefore, growth in the furniture industry is expected to foster the market growth of the soft-touch PU coating over the forecast period.

Competitive Section

Key players operating in the global soft-touch polyurethane coatings market are The Sherwin Williams Company, Akzo Nobel N.V., PPG Industries Ltd Axalta Coatings Systems, Rust-Oleum - RPM International Inc., Aexcel Coatings., Sokan New Materials, and Jotun AS

Few Recent Developments

AkzoNobel N.V.

  • In February 2016, the company announced that it would acquire BASF SE’s industrial coatings business. This acquisition is expected to help the company strengthen its position in the coil coatings market.

Market Taxonomy

By Product Type

  • 2K
  • UV

By Base Type

  • Water-based
  • Solvent-based

By End-use Industry

  • Furniture and Wood 
  • Electrical and Electronics 
  • Transport and Automotive 
  • Others 

By Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia-pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
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