Waterborne Adhesives Market Headed for Growth and Global Expansion by 2025

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Waterborne or water-based adhesives utilize water as a solvent and are classified as low volatile organic compounds (VOC) compounds. The properties of waterborne adhesive product is dependent upon its chemical composition. Resins, fillers, and antifoams are common constituents of waterborne adhesive products. The advantages associated with waterborne adhesives include low toxicity, high solid content, low VOC content, and high initial adhesion. These properties have led to increased adoption of waterborne adhesives in the recent past. These can be used on various substances such as wood, metal, plaster, concrete, plastic, and bricks, which has led to its utilization in applications such as packaging, automotive, and construction.

Market Dynamics

Major drivers for growth of the market are increasing use of waterborne adhesives in packaging and automotive applications, which is primarily due to strict environmental regulation pertaining to VOC content in adhesive products. Government bodies such as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), International Maritime Organization, European Union and Health Canada are among those enforcing regulations against high VOC content products.

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Major challenges for the growth of the market include fluctuating raw material prices and availability of these materials. Also, complex formulation and high cost compared to solvent borne adhesives may result in slow market growth in countries where VOC related regulations are lax or absent.

Market Outlook

Increased demand from packaging application is projected to drive growth of the market. Waterborne adhesive products are used in tapes, labels, and lamination application in food and consumer goods packaging. Waterborne adhesives exhibit high resistance to heat, chemicals, and are non-reactive in nature. Moreover, increasing demand from growing automotive industry in emerging economies of India, China, and Brazil is expected to bolster the market growth. According to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), sales of cars in China stood at 28.87 million in 2017 and 24.97 million in India, respectively. Waterborne adhesives are used in automotive interior applications such as headliners, panels, flooring, and consoles.

Asia Pacific is projected to be the largest market for waterborne adhesives over the forecast period. This can be attributed to high growth potential of emerging economies of China and India. According to the Institution of Civil Engineers, China and India were the largest and fourth largest markets for construction, in 2017. India is projected to overtake Japan and become the third largest construction market by 2025. Waterborne adhesives are commonly employed in construction applications such as roofing, flooring, and binding of wood components in buildings among others. This coupled with a growing retail industry has bolstered use of waterborne adhesives in packaging applications.

North America is expected to be the second largest market for waterborne adhesives over the forecast period. This is primarily due to high demand in the U.S., which is the world’s second largest construction market. According to U.S. Department of Commerce, the construction market in the U.S. grew by 2.4% in 2017 over the previous year. This growth trend is expected to continue over the forecast period, due to high government infrastructure spending policies. The redevelopment and/or development of public infrastructure such as airports, rail stations, pipelines among others across the country will boost growth of the market for waterborne adhesives. Also, strict regulations and recommendations by the government regulatory authority, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has boosted the utilization of waterborne adhesives in the country. VOC content in adhesives, in most applications must be below 850g/liter according to EPA regulations. Also, imported products, which utilize adhesives also have to comply with the local regulations. Hence, strict regulations in the U.S. has led to exporting countries adopting waterborne adhesives in favor of solvent borne adhesives.

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Technological advancements in waterborne adhesive products will bolster the market growth. For example, two-component waterborne adhesives are common amongst all applications, which results in complications such as high costs, low efficiency, and increased waste generation. Increasing adoption of one component systems will lead to increased cost efficiency and solutions to aforementioned complications. Several companies are adopting various organic and inorganic growth strategies in order to sustain their market position. Mergers & acquisitions and expansions in various geographies are some of key strategies followed by the major players in the waterborne adhesives market. For instance, Henkel AG acquired Novamelt GmbH in June 2015 to further consolidate its position in the market. Moreover, a France-based company, Arkema S.A. acquired Bostik Inc. in February 2015, to enter the Indian waterborne adhesives market.

Major players operating in the waterborne adhesives market include BASF SE, Sika AG, Henkel AG, The 3M Company, Evonik Industries, DowDuPont Inc., Ashland Inc., Arkema S.A., Avery Dennison Corporation, and Bayer AG.

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