Global adhesives and sealants market sizes were 9.39 million tons and 1.84 million tons in 2014 respectively. The growth of major end use industries such as packaging, construction and automotive is expected to be a major driving factor for the global industry. Increasing penetration across insulation, facades, panel lamenting, flooring, lamination, and coating have also generated high product demand.
Sealants are available in a viscous form with little or no flow and are increasingly being preferred in applications that require easy substrate penetration, resistance to corrosion and material insolubility. Increasing adhesives demand in pressure sensitive applications, packaging, construction, furniture and automotive applications are also expected to fuel industry growth.
Increasing regulatory intervention from environmental bodies along with federal agencies is a key challenge to the industry. These factors have prompted R&D initiatives to develop bio-based adhesives & sealants, in lieu with consumer preferences. Bio-based products additionally reduce carbon footprints, thus presenting a major competitive advantage over their synthetic counterparts.
Major bio-based products include soybean-derived polyols, vegetable-based polyamides, epoxies, and polyisoprenes. Green additives such as bio-solvents, non-hazardous plasticizers, and vegetable-based waxes, are increasingly being developed to replace synthetic raw materials.
These bio-based products are rapidly gaining higher market share owing to their eco-friendly, low-cost and similar substitution properties as compared to conventional counterparts. Bio-based products currently comprise around 1-2% of overall industry share, which is expected to rise exponentially over the forecast period.
Global adhesives market has been classified into water-based, solvent-based, hot melt, and reactive on the basis of technology. Water-based formulations were the most dominant technology with over 45% of the total demand in 2014. One major factor contributing to their higher demand is their eco-friendly nature with zero VOC emission. They are expected to completely replace solvent-based counterparts over the forecast period owing to stringent environmental regulations aimed at the latter.
Reactive technology is utilized on a smaller scale compared to others; however products based on this technology have the longest-lasting bond strength and relatively higher temperature resistance. These are widely used in the electronics and electrical industries. Water-based formulations are expected to be the fastest growing technology at an estimated CAGR of 5.4% from 2014 to 2020. Hot melt technology usually caters to niche applications (substrates and specific end-uses such as book binding, packaging, labeling, and textiles) owing to their broad formulation latitudes. Hot melt adhesives consumption is rapidly increasing in developed and developing countries, with its global revenue expected to exceed USD 7 billion by 2020.
Major adhesives products include acrylic, PVA, polyurethanes, styrenic block, epoxy, and EVA among others such as silicones and polyisobutylene. Acrylic emerged as the leading product segment, accounting for over 35% of overall demand in 2014. This is also anticipated to be the fastest growing product at an estimated CAGR of 5.3% from 2014 to 2020. Polyurethane-based product demand is expected to reach USD 4.35 billion by 2020, rising at estimated CAGR of 6.1% over the forecast period.
Key sealants products analyzed in this report include silicones, polyurethane, acrylic and polyvinyl acetate (PVA) among other sealants such as polysulphide and EVA. Silicones emerged as the leading product segment and accounted for over 30% of global industry revenue in 2014.
Key applications for adhesives include pressure sensitive applications, packaging, construction, furniture, footwear and automotive. Pressure sensitive emerged as the largest application segment and accounted for over 29% of overall share in 2014. This segment was followed by furniture, which is expected to witness the fastest growth, at an estimated CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period.
Key applications for sealants include construction, automotive, packaging, assembly, pressure sensitive tapes and consumer applications among others. Construction was the largest application segment and accounted for 27% of overall demand in 2014. Increasing residential and industrial construction, particularly in emerging economies such as China, India and Mexico are expected to drive the aforementioned application segment growth. Automotive is projected to witness the fastest growth at an estimated CAGR of 5.2% over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific adhesives and sealants market accounted for over 40% the global demand in 2014. Growing end-use industries such as automotive, construction and packaging are expected to drive APAC growth. North America is characterized by high demand for water-based adhesives formulations along with increasing scope in furniture, footwear, and pressure sensitive applications.
Technological advancements and huge manufacturer presence are expected to drive North America market over the forecast period. Silicone sealants are expected to register the highest demand in Europe and account for over 30% of the regional demand by 2020.
Significant consolidation via M&A at all levels of the value chain has affected the global industry over the recent past. Dow Chemical Co., Henkel, 3M and HB Fuller, which account for around 48% of the overall adhesives and sealants market share.
Further strategic initiatives such as the recent acquisition of Novamelt GmbH, a German company, have only strengthened Henkel’s position as one of the top players in the industry. Several companies such as Avery Dennison and BASF have also increased their presence by actively implementing sustainable processes to focus on the development of bio-based products, in line with global trend.
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