The adhesive films market is set to attain nearly USD 17 billion by 2024, at a CAGR over 6% during the forecast period (2016-2024). Market drivers are development of compact electronic devices, lightweight automobiles, & flexible packaging. Water-based films face high demand due to their fast drying rates.
Adhesive films refer to materials coated with adhesives. They can join two surfaces and are easy to use & versatile in applications based on their end-users. These films are used in automotive electronics, consumer electronics, handheld computing, construction, aerospace electronics, LED lighting, and RFID (radio frequency identification).
Expansion in vehicular production along with demand for fuel-effective automobiles can drive market sales. Moreover, tight regulatory norms to lower carbon emissions by decreasing the weight of automobiles are likely to propel the market. The Adhesive Films market has challenges in the form of product customization and high manufacturing costs. Strict regulations regarding VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions can hamper future opportunities. Production of bioadhesive films should provide new avenues for exploration.
The adhesive films market is fragmented according to products, technologies, applications, end-users, and regions. Products comprise acrylic, polyurethane (PU), polyvinyl acetate (PVAc), polyvinyl butyral (PVB), epoxy, and others. ‘Others’ includes EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), SBC (styrenic block copolymers), polypropylene, polyesters, and silicone.
Acrylic films led the market with more than 25% demand shares in 2014. They are projected to fetch successful returns till 2024. PVAc was the second largest product with 20% demand shares the same year. PVB films are prominently used in the automobile industry. They are used to bind automobiles with glass sheets. PVB is also widely used in paints & coatings due to its strong-bonding ability with metals.
Polypropylene acts as a support for box sealing tapes. It is also used in non-woven fabrics. Automotives, construction, and geotextiles are its major end-users. Demand for polypropylene is expected to be over 12 million metric tons by 2018, spurring global demand. EVA provides elasticity, good adhesive strength, and flexibility. It is resistant to environmental pressure and UV radiations. EVA is also used in the automotives and construction industries.
Market technologies include hot melt, light cured, pressure-sensitive, self cured, and chemical cured. Pressure-sensitive reigned in 2014. Its demand is anticipated to reach 4 kilotons (KT) of volumes by 2024. RFID labels for inventory-tracking & monitoring will facilitate its growth.
Light cured films are generally used in electronics due to their durability at high temperatures. They would display a CAGR of nearly 6% in the forecast period. Hot melt is mainly used in the construction industry on account of its high bonding strength. Its demand can be propelled by the textile & fabrics industry in China, Vietnam, and India. This segment will produce nearly 146 KT by 2024.
Applications encompass graphics, labels, tapes, tinting, glazing, protective films, and specialty films. Adhesive film tapes dominated in terms of demand in 2015 due to immense use of one-sided and double-sided tapes across electronics and automotive sectors. They can stick to any surface without completely relying on water or heat solvents and are expected to achieve USD 72 billion by 2024. These tapes are also used to join advanced metals and high-modulus composites.
Labels, on the other hand, could experience a CAGR above 6% over the next eight years. This will be attributed to growth in the industries of packages and food & beverages. Pressure-sensitive labels have found a huge consumer base in India. With high ‘car & bike purchase’ volumes, they may eventually include helmets, accessories, and even home décor. These labels also have other uses depending on the influence of digital revolution.
Specialty films witness high demand from cosmetics and premium food sectors. The same is credited to their high resistance. They can be used on windows, dashboards, windshields, and sunroofs. This segment also finds use in packing agricultural, frozen, & confectionery foods.
Consumer electronics, packaging, aerospace, automotives, medical, construction, footwear, and furniture constitute the end-users. Packaging should lead with respect to demand in the forecast period. It is used for sealing and labeling purposes to ensure safe shipments of products. Frozen food was the largest end-user, primarily driven by hectic lifestyles and rising consumer disposable incomes. Adhesive films were used in the frozen food industry to stick the paper with cardboard or plastic containing ‘food content’ information.
Consumer electronics would also contribute to the global demand for adhesive films by making components for lid sealing and other purposes. Major electronic companies are shifting their manufacturing base to China or India due to their cheap labor and supportive governmental policies. Automotives require these films for reinforcement plates and bracket attachments. Medical films & tapes, which can treat injuries, can benefit the market in the years ahead. The medical segment could benefit from broad usage of adhesive films in wound care.
North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and RoW (Rest of the World) are the market regions. Asia Pacific dominated in 2014 due to high demand from its end-user industries. Within this region; South Korea, India, and China are anticipated to exhibit high growth rates over the forecast period. Europe will witness modest growth till 2024. Similarly, North America can grow at a CAGR above 6%.
Some of the key participants within the worldwide adhesive films market comprise BASF SE, 3M Company, Henkel Adhesive Technologies, Avery Dennison Corporation, and Eastman Chemical Company. Mergers and alliances are a common strategy employed by them to stay afloat in terms of competition and gain a better market hold. For instance, BASF collaborated with Avantium Technologies to produce furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). FDCA is used as a base for producing adhesives in lubricants and personal care products.
Avery Dennison has expanded its product portfolio by introducing labels which change color on contact with adhesive tapes. This can provide an additional layer of security to boxes & cartons and support the e-retailing market. The Japanese branch of 3M Company has managed to introduce a pressure-sensitive film which enables a ‘3D printing’ output. The film is treated with a special coating to ensure no damages to the final product.
Research Support Specialist, USA