Materials Science

Driving the growth of adhesives and sealants

By Vikash Kumar and Annirban Bhattacharya from MarketsandMarkets

In the automotive industry, adhesives and sealants are fast replacing mechanical fasteners, while in the construction industry the

In the automotive industry, adhesives and sealants are fast replacing mechanical fasteners, while in the construction industry they are increasingly used for flooring, waterproofing and plumbing. Such changes are driving the growth of the adhesives and sealants market, say Vikash Kumar and Annirban Bhattacharya from MarketsandMarkets.
Adhesives form an integral part of many fabricated products. Adhesives are used for the manufacturing of motor vehicles, aircraft, appliances, electrical and electronic components, houses, bonded wood, furniture, carpets, books, shoes and baby diapers. Historically, most of the production volume has been devoted to the bonding of three porous substrates: wood, paper and textiles. Future growth opportunities, however, are in bonding non-porous substrates such as plastic, metal, rubber and glass.
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The adhesives and sealants market size was $56.5 billion in 2018 and is projected to register a CAGR of 4.93% over the next 5 years, reaching $ 75.5 billion by 2024.1 Growth opportunities for adhesives and sealants are increasing due to the growing high-performance requirements such as bonding dissimilar materials and substitution of synthetic substrates for traditional material.
The growth of the market can be primarily attributed to the growing trend of lightweight and low carbon emitting vehicles and increasing demand from the building and construction industry. In the automotive industry, adhesives and sealants are fast replacing mechanical fasteners such as welds, screws, rivets, gaskets, and fasteners, allowing automakers to produce lightweight and compact vehicles at lower costs. In the construction industry, they are being increasingly used for flooring, waterproofing and plumbing.
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Markets in most of developed economies, including the US, Germany, UK, France and Japan, have reached maturity stage. As a result, most market players are turning to countries that offer sustained demand to avoid a decline in sales. The Asia Pacific region has emerged as one of the leading producers, as well as consumers, of adhesives and sealants due to increasing domestic demand, rising income levels and easy access to resources (Figure 2). The automotive industry is one of the major applications of adhesives and sealants in this region. Meanwhile, economic growth, particularly in emerging markets such as India, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, is contributing to an increase in the number of infrastructure projects, which is expected to drive demand in construction applications.

The major challenges for global adhesives manufacturers include economic uncertainty, rising prices of raw materials, the volatile US dollar, slow economic growth, a decline in automotive production, shortage of raw materials, and reduction in consumer expenditure. In addition, stringent environmental regulations in Europe and North America are restraining market growth. On the other hand, increasing demand for green adhesives offers opportunities to manufacturers as environmental regulations compel a shift in focus to producing more eco-friendly adhesives (e.g. water-based adhesives) (Figure 3; bubble size indicates predicted market size in kilotons by 2024).

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Moreover, the adhesives and sealants market undergoes frequent changes in terms of standards and rules. The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) implemented new regulations such as regulation (EU) No 305/2011 for the marketing of construction products in the EU. With the new regulation, manufacturers must bear the additional burden, in terms of labeling and paperwork, to demonstrate compliance and additional external test costs. There are additional substance alerts occurring on a regular basis focusing on biocides and waste packaging, which lead to changes in regulatory standards. The adhesives & sealants manufacturers have to abide by the rules and changing standards for commercializing their products, thus posing a big challenge for them.
Finally, the adhesives and sealants market is likely to witness a shift from the consumption of conventional resin adhesives to hybrid polymer adhesives and sealants. Hybrid adhesives and sealants, which are mainly silylated urethane and silylated polyether (MS polymer)-based products are also being replaced with the development of newer hybrids such as epoxy-polyurethane, epoxy-cyanoacrylate, hybrid acrylated urethane, methacrylate hybrid, ethyl hybrid cyanoacrylate and epoxy hybrids. These hybrid adhesives and sealants can overcome the limitations of individual resins by combining critical properties of each resin to form high performance and improved products. A wide range of solutions will be provided by these next-generation adhesives and sealants with some degree of customization to meet the needs of the customers.

1. Markets and Markets. Adhesives & Sealants Market by Adhesive Formulating Technology, September 2019 (

Vikash Kumar and Annirban Bhattacharya of MarketsandMarkets Research Private Ltd