Every year more than 19 million tons of adhesives and sealants are consumed across various industries such as construction, automotive and transportation, paper and packaging, furniture, footwear, electronics and amongst others.
The usage of adhesives and sealants in the paper and packaging industry stood at 25% in 2018. Booming packaged food industry in the light of hectic lifestyles leaving little to no room of planning deliberate meals has upped the demand exponentially.Environmental concerns and sustainability remains at the forefront of consumers’ preferences for packaging materials, especially in consumer goods and cosmetics industry. The demand for cosmetics and beauty products will continue to soar with every social media influencer dictating a new trend. Internet savvy Millennial and Generation-Z will continue to be at the frontier of online sales for cosmetics, which will result in a steady demand for adhesives and sealants for packaging.Companies are developing new products with high adhesion and low odor making them ideal material for cosmetic packaging.
The building and construction have been on the forefront of generating a high demand for adhesives and sealants. Rebound in construction activity in Western Europe and the U.S. will underpin advances. Increased urbanization and infrastructure developments in countries/sub-regions such as India, China, Southeast Asia, and Brazil are expected to drive the demand. Consumer spending and growing household income levels will back the purchases for larger houses.
The role of the automotive and transportation industry is an exceptional one too in the larger picture of growing adhesives and sealants market. Adhesives and sealants continue to redefine automotive industry with growing trends for lightweight and fuel efficient cars. OEM’s are looking for effective materials and alternatives to bond the lighter materials such as HSS, magnesium and aluminum effectively. Adhesives and sealants are ideal materials to replace traditional fasteners such as screws, bolt and rivets. Adhesives offers great platform for body weight reduction and aid in sealing gaps to reduce Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) in the vehicle.
Western Europe and U.S. are matured market for adhesive and sealants. The industry has been growing slightly above or in line with GDP rates in the developed economies. However, better growth opportunities lies ahead in Russia, Turkey, and Eastern European countries.Automotive and construction industry has developed dynamically in these countries in past few years, growing 2x faster compared to Western Europe. Consumer in this region are inclining towards ecofriendly solutions in the aforementioned industries, thus driving the need for better quality and sustainable adhesive and sealant solutions.There are myriad of applications in construction industry wherein adhesive and sealants are used including concrete, tiles, flooring underlayment, HVAC, drywall lamination, flooring, roofing, etc.
Asia Pacific was the leading consumer and accounted for more than 45% of the global demand. China’s 13th Five-Year Plan gives priority to environmental protection, innovation and industrialization with construction and engineering at the forefront. Construction spending is expected to reach US$ 13 Trillion by 2030 in China. Key policies are being implemented to scale up zero carbon and energy efficient buildings, this construction boom will certainly spur the demand for adhesives and sealants in the country.
New Chemistries and Versatility at the Forefront
Currently, water-based adhesives are the leading technology segment for adhesives and accounts for more than 50% of the global demand.
Hot melts adhesives are also projected to grow over the coming years primarily due to steadfast growth in packaging and construction industry. Tapes and labels has experienced immense growth in past few years and hot melt adhesives are overtaking solvent borne in this segment as no drying or curing process is required for HMA.
Due to its availability in wide range of chemistries and versatility, reactive adhesives based on epoxies and urethanes are estimated to be the fastest growing technologies over the coming years. There is a growing trend in consumption of specialty adhesives from aerospace and automotive as manufacturers are switching towards composites, plastics and other lightweight materials to reduce the overall weight.
Robust growth in construction industry across all the regions has been key driving factor behind the substantial demand for sealants. There is increasing trend of using the sealants to fill larger gaps without losing adhesion or cracking.There is a growing trend of energy efficient building in Europe and North America and there is a huge demand for sealants from window manufacturers to create these naturally illuminated projects.
Regulatory Authorities Keeping Check on the Product Developments
Adhesives and sealant formations are closely scrutinized owing to the stringent building codes for materials to be used in energy efficient buildings in North America and Europe. As consumer awareness of environment and health is becoming more prominent, the regulations in the industry are changing more frequently and are getting stricter. Manufacturers have to ensure their products are complaint with the registration authority across all the regions. LEED and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) focuses on Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to improve the transparency in the building materials. The entire process of EPDs is very resource intensive and becomes challenging for the manufacturers with limited financial resources.
Ever rising raw materials costs have also forced manufacturers to look for alternatives such as renewable materials; however, achieving the same performance and properties has been the key challenge for the producers in the last few years.
Persistent Innovation and R&D to Give Competitive Edge
Top 10 companies in the adhesive and sealants market accounted just over 50% of the global market in 2018. Leading companies such 3M, Henkel, Bostik, H.B. Fuller, Sika, and Dow maintain their market positions with cost-focused and product-based efforts. Companies are investing hugely to develop new products, nurturing consumer base and brand building. Henkel has invested over US$ 150 Mn to build a technology innovation center inDüsseldorf, Germany. This investment is in line with Henkel’s ambition to offer more innovative and sustainable solutions to the growing adhesive and sealants market.
Mergers and acquisitions synergies have become an integral part of today’s business.Leading manufacturers such as H.B. Fuller, Sika, and 3M are focused on strategic collaboration to gain competitive advantage. In past few years H.B. Fuller have completed couple of mergers and recently integrated and consolidated its operations to achieve planned revenue synergies and procurement savings. This will also help the company to improve its production technology and supply chain efficiencies.