Ealing, UK - Information Research (IRL) has published a second edition of its study, 'The Western European Market for Coatings for Plastics,' which reveals that urethane coatings dominate this market, forming 43 percent of the business. IRL's analysis in this new edition, covering 16 countries in western Europe, shows that about 144 kilotonnes of materials were used in the plastics coating business in 2006. The sector is also expected to grow to about 163.7 kt by 2011- a rate which IRL says is equivalent to 2.5 percent growth a year. The top four national markets comprise nearly 80 percent of the total volume of west Europe's market for coatings for plastics, are as follows:Germany.............50 kt (35%) Iberia .............30 kt (21%)France..............19.5 kt (14%) UK & Ireland........12.7 k (8%)Others..............32.2 kt (22%)Most regions are expected to grow, with the exception of the UK and Ireland which is expected to contract. This is thought to be a result of the reduction in manufacturing, as a result of relocation of production to the Far East, China and eastern Europe, IRL comments. The report gives a detailed account of this highly fragmented industry in terms of market share by sector and by technology as well as analysing the information from both sectoral and national perspectives.The breakdown of usage across Western Europe for coatings for plastics, according to IRL, is as follows: Urethane..........43%Acrylic...........30%UV-Curable.........7%Others............20%IRL adds that legislation will play a key role in affecting the direction in which coatings will be developed. Chemicals regulations and specific waste directives in automotive and electrical products - REACH, SED, WEEE and ELV - have all developed further since IRL's first edition of this report in 2004 and further serve to shape the decisions of research and development departments across Western Europe."The market is set for growth in the coming years, primarily due to the increasing use of plastics in the automotive and electronic sectors, and the increasing demand from the buying public for personalisation of these products in terms of touch and appearance," comments Andrew Jackson, analyst at IRL and author of the report. He particularly highlights UV-curable coatings as "an area that shows signs of a promising future." As yet UV curable coatings have "not been widely embraced, but this should change in the future," Jackson adds, as these coatings begin to be preferred to other technologies. "Once the range of colour additives and effects are broadened, then there should be rapid growth in the uptake of this coating method," the IRL analyst adds. The 80-page report, with 41 tables, includes directories of manufacturers, national plastics associations and coatings associations, and costs €2200. Individually priced sections will soon be available to purchase online at IRL's website: www.informationresearch.co.uk"