Increasing environmental regulations and norms, especially in Europe and North America, have resulted in the growing popularity of green coatings in the coating industry. However, owing to COVID-19, sales from the electronics and industrial coatings industries have declined, resulting in reduced demand for UV curable coatings.
UV curable coatings are used across the industrial, electronics, and graphics art sectors, where the impact of COVID-19 has been high.
Lockdowns imposed in various countries have impacted various sectors, which has played a major role in the decline of the UV coatings market.
Delayed upcoming projects have also affected the growth of the UV coatings market in 2020. Most advertising has switched to a digital mode; thus, UV coatings would take some time to regain their market.
However, it is expected that the market will start recovering from 2021 due to the increasing demand from end-use industries. The lockdown delayed upcoming projects, which also affected the growth of the UV curable coatings market in 2020.
Green coatings are the new riding wave in the coating industry. The coatings that are environmentally friendly and help reduce pollution during any of its stages are known as green coatings.
These coatings are usually expensive in comparison to the other paints and coatings available in the market; however, at the same time, they are advantageous and show higher/comparable performance properties than conventional toxic paints.
Increasing environmental regulations and norms, especially in Europe and North America, have resulted in the growing popularity of green coatings in the coating industry. This has resulted in an increasing demand for UV curable coatings.
In a competitive market, it is difficult to reach out with a new product with its market price higher than the existing ones.
A similar market scenario persists for UV curable coatings market, as UV curable coatings are very expensive as compared to others that are already available in the market.
Due to the stringent emission rules and regulations, UV curable coatings have gained wide acceptance in regions, such as Europe and North America, but it is still struggling in various countries in the APAC and MEA regions, which is majorly due to non-compliance of emission standards and lack of awareness.
This has led to the holding back of investments by major market players due to poor anticipated demand, and the local manufacturers are restricted by high CAPEX involved in changing the equipment. These factors may impact the UV curable coatings market, eventually.
UV curable coatings are also being utilized out of the factories and in the field applications that are a direct result of numerous improvements in UV curing equipment and technological transformations in the industry.
In field curing, the major applications are concrete floor coating, wood floor coating, vinyl floor coating, countertops coating, tubs, and coating. All of these applications are in the phase of development, with effective commercialization expected in the coming years.
Additionally, UV technology is also expected to be recognized as one of the leading technologies for metal coatings application in the future, from its current limited footprint in this segment.
The metal coatings market includes several industries, including automotive, protective, coil, and can.
Hence, a significant demand for UV curable coatings is expected, as a direct result of increased applications and also because of awareness in developing economies.
UV coatings render a glossy finish, provide high clarity, and are abrasion-resistant, environment-friendly, quick-dry, versatile, and inexpensive.
These properties have increased their demand in the market. The major challenge with UV-coated paper, however, is the cracking that usually occurs when the paper is folded or scored.
Due to the glossy and silky nature of the printed paper, it becomes difficult to apply other treatments. For instance, ink application in the form of writing or rubber stamping can be difficult. Such surfaces do not allow adhesives or any other forms of imprinting.
If a particular section of the paper needs to be written on, it must be ensured that it is not UV-coated. Else, the section could form cracks when folded or scored.
Monomers account for the largest share of the overall market.
The monomers are non-flammable materials with low volatility and also have low odor.
Monomers generally can have one to as many as six UV curable groups, and the number of functional groups will determine the properties the monomer will bring to the UV formulation.
These monomers are low viscous materials, most commonly esters of acrylic acid, and simple multifunctional or monofunctional polyols.
Monomers are usually selected based on acrylic functional groups attached to them.
However, due to pandemic COVID-19, the sales of UV curable coatings decreased due to disturbance in the supply chain.
This demand would surge with recovery in the electronics, industrial coatings, and graphic arts industries.
The wood coatings-based UV curable coatings accounted for 43%, in terms of volume, of the overall market in 2019.
Wood coatings type is the largest segment in the UV curable coatings market since coated wood enhances the aesthetic appeal and also provides surface protection.
Wood coatings find extensive use in residential and non-residential applications. However, because of COVID-19, the demand for UV curable coatings is reduced from wood coatings.
The wood coatings segment is at the forefront with the highest consumption of UV curable coatings globally owing to the rapidly increasing applications of these coatings in the wood & furniture industry. China is the largest consumer of wood coatings.
Subsequently, certain European countries such as Germany and Sweden consumed a considerable share of UV wood coatings in 2019. There is a huge decline in demand in the APAC region due to a complete and partial lockdown in the region.
The APAC is the biggest and the fastest-growing market for UV curable coatings, consuming almost half of the total global volume in 2019. Electronics and industrial coatings end-use segments are driving the demand for high-performance coatings, which in turn is pushing the demand for UV curable coatings within the region.
APAC is the most promising market for coatings and is anticipated to be the same shortly.
The significance of APAC in the chemical industry cannot be undervalued. Its large developing middle-class population derives the demand for the industry and has led to continued industrialization and a rise in the manufacturing sector of the region.
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