The worldwide adhesive and sealant market is estimated close to USD 52 billion by 2024. Adhesives are substances which can permanently join two surfaces or materials. Sealants, conversely, are used to bind the gaps between two materials. They block liquids from escaping through openings. Both these substances are made by mixing base materials with stabilizers, plasticizers, pigments, & other additives to manufacture affordable products.
The industry produced about 11.7 million tons in 2015. Expanding automotives, packaging, and construction industries are anticipated to fuel market volumes till 2024. Low-to-medium performance products are made from natural substances, like starch. High-performance products use polymers for better bonding strength & resistance.
Rising infrastructural projects and reduction in overall automobile weights for lowering the carbon emissions can drive the global market. The Indian and Chinese construction industries spent USD 426 billion and USD 1 trillion respectively on development projects in 2013. This was likely to positively impact the industry in the eight years ahead.
Strict policies prompting the use of bio-based products should hinder the market. These bio-products contain additives; such as vegetable waxes, non-hazardous plasticizers, and bio-solvents. They are gaining significance due to their low-costs and eco-friendly nature.
The adhesive and sealant market is categorized into technologies, products, applications, and geographies. Water-based, solvent-based, reactive & others, and hot melt are the different technologies. Water-based reigned with over 40% shares in 2015. It stood over USD 8 billion the same year. The segment is projected to dominate in the forecast period. This would be ascribed to its ability to decrease VoC (volatile organic content) emissions.
Hot melt holds about 1.5% of the global demand. It will reach a total volume of around 2.6 million tons by 2024. This technology does not require drying, like water-based and emit low VoC. The reactive segment displays the highest temperature resistance & bonding strength. It is used in electronics & electrical industries.
Adhesive products comprise acrylic, polyvinyl acetate (PVA), polyurethanes, styrenic block, epoxy, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), and others. Sealants encompass polyurethanes, silicones, acrylic, PVA, and others. Acrylic adhesives earned almost USD 5 billion in 2015. They are used in developing UV light curing and waterborne & heat resistant technologies.
EVA accounted for over 400 kilotons (KT) in 2015. It is predicted to retain its popularity in the near future. Silicone sealants were reported worth over USD 2 billion in 2015. They should grow owing to demand from automotives and construction industries. Polyurethane sealants could display above average growth till 2024.
Automotives, pressure sensitive, automotives, furniture, footwear, construction, medical, packaging, and others constitute adhesive applications. Consumers, pressure sensitive tapes, medical, assemblies, packaging, automotives, construction, and others are sealant applications.
Pressure sensitive adhesive applications stood over USD 6 billion in 2015. They are estimated over 4 KT by 2024, at 4.8% CAGR from 2016 to 2024. The segment is used in pressure sensitive tapes, note pads, labels, and automobile trims. Packaging accounted for around 21% of the total demand in 2015. It includes specialty, flexible, bags & disposables, carton boxes, carton closures, and boxes.
Construction sealants generated over 500 KT in 2015. This was attributed to rise in infrastructure projects in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations. Their main applications encompass flooring, insulation, facades, coating, lamination, and panel lamenting.
Flooring systems can be bonded to supporting joints to boost the former’s strength & rigidity. Interior wallboards & panels are attached to studs without wall damages. Structural sealants can hold wall panels and glass units without the help of mechanical fasteners. Moreover, the adoption of polymer composites should solve corrosion problems and vibration noises associated with mechanical fasteners.
Automotive sealants produced over 18% of the global demand in 2015. They may exhibit 5.4% CAGR till 2024. These applications are expected to generate 595 KT by 2024. Automotive adhesives can display 5% CAGR during 2016 to 2024. Their key applications are carpeting, sealing doors & windows, and bonding decorative trims, side moldings, & vinyl roofs.
Broader Production of automobiles in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand will prove vital for the global industry. Medical adhesives and sealants are primarily adopted in catheters, therapeutic devices, drug-delivery systems, and implants. These are mainly driven by the escalating geriatric populace, importance of healthcare, and development of healthcare devices & infrastructure. Over the years, these products have improved in terms of their bonding strength, tissue biocompatibility, & durability.
Regenerative medicines are projected to widen the application scope of the worldwide market. They can be utilized as biomaterials in the forthcoming years. Other factors encouraging industry growth are replacement of intracutaneous sutures with adhesives, importance of adhesive dentistry, and multiple surgeries performed worldwide.
The company, 3M has donated 3, 000 sealant kits to the ‘American Dental Association’ to provide oral healthcare to underprivileged kids. Market geographies consist of North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Latin America (LATAM), and Middle East & Africa (MEA). APAC led in 2015, with over USD 11 billion. It was propelled by demand from China and India. Rising budget for developments across India, China, and Indonesia would raise regional demand.
North America occupied more than 20% of the global shares (with respect to demand) in 2015. It can however witness sluggish expansion in the forecast period. Construction adhesives in North America had a demand of 345 KT in 2015. The demand for European silicone sealants stood about 150 KT in 2015. It is expected to increase significantly by 2024.
The LATAM region is dominated by Brazil, followed by Argentina and Mexico. Water-based adhesives are the leading regional technology, followed by hot melt and solvent-based. Key products in this region are acrylic adhesives, PVA adhesives, and silicone sealants. LATAM’s major end-users include furniture, construction, and packaging.
Prominent players operating in the worldwide adhesive and sealant market are The 3M Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, and H. B. Fuller. Jointly, they capture over 45% shares. Other companies include Avery Dennison Corporation, Ashland Inc., and Bostik SA.
These companies heavily focus on acquisitions & mergers for enhancing their market presence. For instance, ‘Henkel Adhesive Technologies’ acquired ‘Novamelt GmbH,’ a hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive company in 2015 to attain the same. This stood to benefit Henkel’s extensive product portfolio.
Research Support Specialist, USA