Countless polyurethane products made possible with aliphatic diisocyanates (ADI) chemistry are important to America’s economy, particularly for paint and coatings used in the construction and transportation sectors. ADI chemistry can help save consumers and businesses money through improved durability in a wide range of products that use polyurethane-based coatings and sealants, such as automobiles and homes.  

  • ADIs are typically used in many types of coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomer (CASE) applications.
  • Production of ADIs and their end-use products employ thousands of workers in facilities across the nation. For example, the U.S. paint and coatings industry employed 311,800 workers in 2018, adding 9,000 jobs from the previous year.1 Considering that many paint and coating products rely on ADI chemistry, their economic impact is significant. 
  • The United States exported $2.4 billion in paint and coatings products in 2018.1
  • Automotive clearcoats are usually acrylic urethane-based formulations that use ADIs to offer a wide range of performance benefits such as aesthetics, gloss, weather, UV and impact resistance, and durability. 
  • The majority of automotive refinish coatings are two-component systems, based upon ADIs and acrylic polyols. Using these raw materials provides certain qualities in the end-product, including high shine, high UV resistance and durability, and also relatively fast cure speeds. Traditionally, auto refinishing has been a major market segment for two-component polyurethane solvent-borne coatings based on ADIs and acrylic polyols.
  • ADIs are also used in construction sealants. For exterior applications, they help provide durability, weather resistance and stability. They are also used in high performance polyurethane elastomers.
  • Small volumes are used in specialty applications including leather finishing formulations, textile and fiber treatments, inks, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) sheets used in glazing applications. For these and other specialty applications, ADIs provide UV protection and durability.
  • ADIs are considered specialty materials. They are used in smaller quantities than their aromatic counterparts and are estimated to represent less than 5% of overall isocyanate consumption in the North American polyurethane industry.2

These are just a few of the many ways that aliphatic diisocyanates are making a positive contribution to the U.S. economy. ADIs are important chemical building blocks in the production of products we count on every day and improve our quality life. For more information, visit the Consumer Safety and Aliphatic Diisocyanates page.

1 American Coatings Association: Source: Trade statistics were derived from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Trade statistics were derived from U.S. Bureau of the Census data and are reported on a Census or Customs basis. 
2 2014 End-Use market Survey on the Polyurethanes Industry, Center for the Polyurethanes Industry, American Chemistry Council.