Ultraviolet light is a portion of the light spectrum with the wavelength ranging from 200 nm to 400 nm (nanometers). Curing is cross-linking of polymer chains for hardening and toughening of the polymer material by activation of additives. Thermally cured materials use high energy and emit VOCs. UV-cured resins are polymerized materials that are cured in an exceptionally short time by the energy radiated from ultraviolet irradiation devices. Oligomers and liquid monomers are blended with a minimal amount of photo-initiators and then subjected to the ultraviolet energy. This cures/dries the product quickly. In UV curing, there are no environmental pollutants and there is no solvent to evaporate. Hence, there is no air pollution, no loss of volume, and no loss of coating thickness. The properties of UV-cured resins include excellent curing speed, high adhesiveness, resistance to moisture, good elasticity, resistance to heat, and good surface curing property. Also, they require low temperature. The UV curing process has advantages such as energy saving, need for less space, reduced amount of waste, and high productivity. These are the key factors anticipated to drive the UV-cured resins market during the forecast period.
The market for UV-cured resins can be segmented in terms of application, chemical, geography, and end-user industry. Based on chemical, the UV-cured resins market has been divided into polyester, epoxy, and acrylic/alkydic resins. Polyester resins are commonly available and inexpensive. Epoxy resins are slightly costlier than polyesters but they have better curing property, less shrinkage, and good adhesion. Acrylic/alkydic resins are of varied compositions. Not all acrylic resins are used as UV-cured resins. The epoxy resins segment is expected to hold a major share of the market during the forecast period, due to better features of these resins.
Based on application, the UV-cured resins market has been segregated into coatings, inks, and adhesives. UV-cured adhesives are resistant to heat and corrosion and they are crucial to the automotive industry. Based on end-user, the UV-cured resins market has been divided into automotive, electronics, graphic arts, glass, and plastic decorating. Growth in the automotive industry is expected to drive the UV-cured resins market in the near future. Based on geography, the UV-cured resins market has been divided into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Latin America. Strict environmental regulations imposed on the conventional methods emitting greenhouse gases is the key driving factor for the markets in North America and Europe. Growth of the automotive industry in Asia Pacific is anticipated to fuel the market in the region in the near future. Rapid industrialization, technological advancements, and growth of the electronics industry in the region are other factors likely to augment the market in Asia Pacific during the forecast period.
Key players operating in the global UV-cured resins market are Allnex, Royal DSM N.V., Alberdingk Boley GmbH, Covestro AG, BASF SE, Nippon Gohsei, Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd., Jiangsu Sanmu Group Corporation, Dymax Corporation, Eternal Chemical Co., Hitachi Chemical Company Ltd., IGM Resins, Miwon Specialty Chemical Co. Ltd., and Sartomer Arkema Group.
Resins provided by Allnex are marketed in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. The company has more than 10 research centers operating throughout the world for finding coatings solutions for industries such as automotive, packaging, inks, and industrial plastics. NIPPON GOHSEI sells the UV-cured resins by the trade name SHIKOHTM. It has developed various types of resins that can be used for inks, coatings, and adhesives.
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Investments in research and development, mergers and acquisitions, and aggressive marketing are strategies implemented by companies to increase their share in the global UV-cured resins market. High cost of initial investment, limited usage, and unappealing price in the competitive market are likely to be barriers for growth of the global UV-cured resins market in the next few years.