The novolac resins are a type of phenolic resin. The reaction of formaldehyde and phenol in presence on acidic catalyst produces novolac resins. Phenols used in the production process usually include cresol, resorcinol, or bio-based products such as cashew nut shell. Hexamine is usually used in the production process as a formaldehyde source. High strength, high thermal stability, lightweight; are few characteristics of novolac resins that are expected to drive the market. Novolac resins can be molded easily; hence demand in this application area is expected to increase in the forecast period. Increasing demand for laminates and molded materials are expected to drive the market. High growth in demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, in the automotive and transportation sector, has been driving novolac resins demand because of their lightweight characteristic. High economic growth in developing economies is expected to grow the market on a large scale. Increasing research and development activities in niche application areas is also expected to offer high growth opportunities.
By end use; major industries include transportation, construction, furniture, marine, and other industries that require high thermal stability and high strength. Wood adhesives applications have held the largest market share and are expected to continue to hold the highest market share. Physical properties of novolac resins make them suitable for various applications such as laminates and insulation. Novolac resins are also suitable for oil drilling activities; therefore application in oil drilling activity is expected to grow on a large scale.
Asia Pacific has been dominating the novolac resins demand in both, production as well as consumption and is expected to hold maximum market share in the forecast period. India and China are expected to be a high potential market for novolac resins due to high industrial investments, high GDP growth, and increasing disposable income. North America has been the second-largest consumer for novolac resins followed by Europe. Demand in developing economies of Europe and North America has been driven by regulations for promoting fuel-efficient vehicles and energy-efficient structures. Demand for novolac resins in Latin America and Middle-East are expected to increase.
Novolac resins market experiences high competition among the players. Innovation for satisfying application-specific demand of end users is expected to be the basis of competition for the players. Low capital investment and high growth opportunity in the Asia Pacific region is expected to drive demand in this market. Key and niche players in the novolac resins market are Mitsui Chemicals Inc., SumitomoBakelite Co., Ltd., Georgia Pacific Chemicals LLC, and BASF SE.
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