An adhesive is a substance that holds materials together by surface attachment. It is used for the joining of two substrates. Adhesives are made up of raw materials such as fillers, softeners, tackifiers, cross-linking agents, and antioxidants. Acrylic, natural rubber, silicone, and polyurethane are the different types of adhesives depending upon the degree of their composition.
Polyurethane adhesives offer flexible curing time at room and extreme temperature. This is the major advantage of polyurethane adhesives. They can be applied either manually or with the help of dispensing equipment. Polyurethane adhesives offer excellent bonding characteristics for surfaces such as ceramics, rubber, plastic, glass, and wood. Polyurethane adhesives are widely employed in applications where higher efficiency is required at lower operating cost. Fast curing time, excellent strength, good abrasion & chemical resistance, good optical clarity, and good strength & impact resistance are some of the key characteristics of polyurethane adhesives. These adhesives are employed in industries such as automobile, building & construction, packaging, aerospace, electrical & electronics, locomotives, and optical due to their versatility in operations.
Based on technology, the polyurethane adhesive market can be segmented into solvent borne, reactive, dispersion, and hot melt. Solvent borne accounts for the dominant share of the polyurethane adhesive market, as these provide instant bonding with good adhesion characteristics. In terms of type, the market for polyurethane adhesive can be segmented into thermoplastic and thermoset. Thermoplastic polyurethane adhesives are comparatively expensive; however, these are widely used in structural and load bearing applications due to their properties such as adjustable sealing temperature, high tack, and ability to adhere to different surfaces such as metal, PVC, rubber, wood, and leather. Thus, the segment is expected to witness significant growth rate in the near future.
Growth in the construction industry, proliferating use of adhesive in automotive applications to reduce the weight of vehicles, and rise in demand in emerging countries of Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa are driving the market for polyurethane adhesives. Increase in middle class population and accelerated rate of urbanization in developing countries such as India, China, and Brazil is also propelling the construction industry and hence the demand for polyurethane adhesive.
The building & construction industry dominates the polyurethane adhesive market. Expansion in the building & construction industry in countries such as the U.S., China, Germany, India, Japan, and South Korea is expected to boost the demand for polyurethane adhesives in the next few years. Polyurethane adhesives are increasingly used in place of traditional fasteners for joining and sealing applications. The need to reduce the overall weight of vehicles in order to achieve better fuel efficiency and curb exhaust emission is also propelling the demand for polyurethane adhesives in countries such as India, China, Brazil, and Mexico. Footwear is also a lucrative segment of the polyurethane adhesive market, led by the rising demand for innovative footwear design, particularly in countries in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia and Vietnam. Increase in usage of polyurethane adhesive in various end-user industries is likely to drive the demand for these adhesives; however, fluctuation in prices of crude oil, which is a basic raw material, may hamper market growth in the near future.
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Major players operating in the polyurethane adhesive market are 3M, BASF AG, Avery Dennison Corporation, Arkema S.A., Ashland Inc., H.B. Fuller, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Huntsman Corporation, Illinois Tool Works Inc., Scott Bader Company Ltd., Sika AG, and The Dow Chemical Company.