BEIJING-The total output of finished polyurethane products in China reached 293,000 metric tons in 1994, according to statistics reported at the PU China '95 conference, held Nov. 8-11 in the Beijing International Convention Centre.
China's urethane market was estimated to be worth $840 million in sales revenue. By the year 2000, Chinese demand for PU products is expected to more than double to up to 672,000 tons.
Local production amounted to about 106,000 tons in 1994, and 100,000 tons of isocyanates and 80,000 tons of polyether polyol were imported.
Outside of the major applications for PUs (flexible and rigid foams), growth particularly has been strong in two sectors-adhesives and construction sealants.
About 200,000 tons of PU-based foams were produced in 1993 and 1994, of which 120,000 tons was flexible foams for furniture and bedding with the balance being rigid foams for appliance and other insulation applications.
Automotive applications are expected to show rapid growth following the recently launched policy for the auto-
motive industry-which plans to grow to become one of the four pillars of China's national economy. This policy aims for passenger car production to reach 1.1 million units by the turn of the century, up from the 300,000 units made last year. This could lead to a PU demand of more than 110,00 tons for cars alone.
Production in China of PU-based adhesives also is growing-at about 30 percent per year. In 1984 China produced 1,250 tons, which rose to 4,000 tons by 1988 and was between 14,000 and 16,000 tons in '93.
Demand for PU-based adhesives could reach 75,000 tons by the turn of the century.
China has about 70 adhesive manufacturers of significance, making around 100 different products.
In addition, China's building boom is set to continue, which will boost demand for polyurethane-based sealants.
The building industry's demand for sealants is expected to reach 120,000 tons by the year 2000 and developments are needed to provide higher quality silicone, urethane and acrylic acid products in place of those currently used in asphalt, rubber and low-quality polyurethane and acrylic-based sealants.
The PU-based elastomers sector also is poised for strong growth.
About 50,000 tons of products was made in 1992, according to incomplete statistics, and capacity now is over 68,000 tons.
Efforts are being made to bring the locally made products up to international standards alongside efforts to promote their use in industry.