When the pandemic hit, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, lockdowns, curfews and travel restrictions were placed. This has had a major impact on most of industries especially the transportation sector. The movement was restricted with advisories such as, travel only if necessary. In certain places public transport came to a complete standstill and flights were grounded. When lockdown was lifted it was of importance to maintain social distancing by limiting the number of commuters and also keeping the transportation system operational with a skeleton workforce to ensure that the workers risk of infection is reduced. Measures in place such as online classes and work from home have also been a contributing factor in reduced traveling. The freight segment has had a mixed short-term effect in terms of transportation demand. There is a surge in demand for truck drivers in the transportation of essential goods. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there was 40% to 60% increase in products being moved into grocery stores and warehouses and in US since COVID spread started. But travel restrictions, border closures and state of emergencies have affected the supply chain demand allowing only items deemed essential. This has impacted the low VOC adhesives market.
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Low VOC Adhesive Market Segment Analysis By Chemistry
The polyvinyl acetate (PVA) segment held a significant share in the low VOC adhesive market and is expected to rise at a CAGR of 6.6% during 2021-2026. It has wider scope in packaging applications such as bookbinding, paper bags, cartons, labels, foils, film, paperboard decals, wood assembly, automobile upholstery, and leather binding. PVA adhesives are environment friendly and offer properties such as waterborne nature, presence of less VOCs, and superior adhesion to different substrates. PVA adhesives are copolymer-based and solidify by evaporation or by absorption of water by the gluing material. Due to its high performance and versatility, it has become the leading adhesive chemistry used in low VOC adhesive formulations.
Low VOC Adhesive Market Segment Analysis By Adhesion Technology
The water-based adhesives segment held the largest share of 52% in the low VOC adhesive market in 2020. This is mainly due to their excellent shear strength. Water-based adhesives (natural or synthetic) is activated when water evaporates from or is absorbed by a substrate. Hot melt adhesives cure through the dissipation of heat. Reactive adhesives involve the combination of a monomer and an initiator to form an especially permanent bond. Out of these, water based low VOC adhesives are preferred. This is due to their flexibility, low content of VOCs, and better efficiency as compared to other adhesion technologies. Being water-based they do not contain xylene, toluene or mineral spirits. Moreover, water-based adhesives are made from natural or synthetic polymers that are soluble and are absorbed by the substrate. Also, they are easy to handle. Based on all these reasons the water-based segment is set to dominate the market.
Low VOC Adhesive Market Segment Analysis By Form
The liquid form held the largest share in the low VOC adhesive market in 2020. Liquid low VOC adhesives are preferred by the major manufacturers owing to their strong adhesion strength, ability to protect surface from moisture, and corrosion agents, and availability in various fillers, such as epoxies, silicones, and acrylics. For instance, liquid epoxy adhesives are preferred in the electronics industry. They are non-flammable low VOC adhesives and repair printed circuits, fasten down and seal electronic components, replace soft soldering and welding of jewelry, set jewel stones, and repair and bond glass and porcelain. Based on all these reasons, the liquid form is set to grow in demand during the forecast period.
Low VOC Adhesive Market Segment Analysis By Substrate
The wood segment held the largest share in the low VOC adhesive market in 2020. Low VOC wood adhesives are used in more than 70% of wood products in the world. The main reason is their use in gluing furniture joints and wood composite materials. As houses contain a lot of wood in the form of furniture, cupboards, cabinets, flooring etc, it is important to consider what kind of chemicals they give off and the effect on air quality. Currently in the world green living, green thinking is the order. So, there is a need for elimination of VOCs particularly formaldehyde emissions from particleboard adhesive. This is where low VOC adhesives come into play. Low VOC adhesive can be used on wood flooring, outdoor furniture, wood frame construction and various other purposes. They do not contain xylene, toluene, light aliphatic naphtha and N-hexane which means they dont release toxic VOCs into the living space. A June 2020, survey by architecture firm The Farnsworth Group found that more than 70% of American homeowners had started new DIY projects at home, many of them attributing long hours in lockdown to their sudden desire for refurbishments. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the price of lumber rose to 300% above pre-pandemic levels, driven by a surge in demand from Americans undertaking DIY projects during lockdowns. With the boom in demand for wood there has also been an increased demand for low VOC adhesives. Thus, boosting the market growth.
Low VOC Adhesive Market Segment Analysis By End-Use Industry
The transportation segment held the largest share in the low VOC adhesive market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 6.4% during 2021-2026. The transportation industry uses low VOC adhesives in the manufacturing of automotive, aviation, locomotive and marine sectors. Low VOC adhesives in automotive industry are used for- automotive upholstery (leather, fabric, or synthetic), the bonding of composites and other substrates in the automotive cabin, decorative trim, emblems, data labels, stickers, finishing films, and other PSAs that are common throughout the vehicle. Aerospace interior adhesives protect from flame as well as provide strong bonds, ensuring a higher level of safety for passengers and crew in dangerous situations. They are used in marine industry for construction joints, sealing bulkheads, fittings, trims, portholes and various other applications. They find applications in locomotives as well. The growth of electric vehicles (EVs) is also expected to increase the demand for low VOC adhesives. They play a significant role in body construction, paint, and vehicle assembly of EVs. Since reducing the weight of EVs helps extend their range, OEMs put significant effort into reducing the weight of components of the body, interior, and powertrain. Low VOC adhesives play a big role in this because they enable technologies that help EVs charge faster, travel further, and last longer. China is the largest electric vehicle producer in the world. As of December 2020, China had the largest stock of highway-legal plug-in passenger cars with over 4.5 million units, 42% of the global fleet in use. Rising demand for EVs that are lightweight and emit less carbon is expected to drive market growth of low VOC adhesives.
Low VOC Adhesive Market Segment Analysis By Geography
Asia-Pacific region held the largest share in the low VOC adhesive market in 2020 up to 42.6%, owing to the rise in e-commerce platforms. The scale and growth rate of ecommerce in Asia really sets it apart from other parts of the globe. Asia accounts for nearly 60% of the world’s online retail sale. According to Digital Commerce 360 estimates, Asian consumers in 2020 purchased $2.525 trillion worth of goods on retail websites and multi-merchant marketplaces, an increase of 19.2% from $2.118 trillion in 2019. China alone is the largest ecommerce market in the world. Thanks to digital transformation, ecommerce in other Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam is also growing exponentially. Packaging is a crucial element of ecommerce. Some manufacturers use personalized packaging for creating their brand image among the consumers. In the food packaging industry, adhesives play an important role. They are used in folding boxes, small paper bags, trays, cases, beverage cartons, labelling stickers, to name a few. Agencies such as the United States FDA and the European Commission impose stringent regulations regarding the use of food packaging. Low VOC adhesives are accepted widely in this industry due to FDA clearance.
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Low VOC Adhesive Market Drivers
Health and Environmental Effects
If a person is exposed to a high concentration of VOCs in the air, they may experience breathing difficulties, eye, nose or throat irritation, or even headaches. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory problems, such as asthma, may be more sensitive to these volatile compounds. The effects of long-term exposure to VOCs can be more devastating. In fact, there is a known link between exposure of industrial workers to high levels of benzene and formaldehyde and increased cancer rates. VOCs are responsible for numerous problems of pollution and global warming. VOCs evaporate on a near-constant basis, both when actively used and when stored. This evaporation contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone or smog that is extremely irritating and aggressive to living things. In addition to the health problems mentioned above, ground-level ozone also has a strong negative impact on plants, biodiversity and ecosystems. In addition, VOCs are one of the causes of acid rain, which is responsible for damaging lakes, rivers, forests, soils, fish and wildlife populations and buildings. Hence, switching to low VOC products is good for human health as well as environment. This is the main driver behind the growth of the low VOC adhesives market.
With increased interest in green living, it is essential to use materials that have a little or no effect on the environment. Low VOC adhesives are approved in the construction of green buildings. They are also approved for use in environments with people suffering from allergies or asthma as they do not affect the indoor air quality. Low VOC adhesives are developed to comply with stringent and evolving green building standards. This includes bio-based raw materials within the adhesive, solvent free products and a large, concentrated emphasis on indoor air quality and lower VOCs during and after installation. Thus, interest in green buildings are also a driver for the low VOC adhesive market.
Low VOC Adhesive Market Challenges
Volatile Price of Raw Materials
The endeavor of producing low VOC adhesive is challenging. The cost of low VOC adhesive is much higher than the standard adhesives. The reason behind this is the growing demand for ecofriendly compounds is increasing the cost of raw materials. The cost of manufacturing low VOC adhesives is inherently higher than standard adhesives that offers less restrictions on which raw materials can be utilized. As government regulations favor ecofriendly compounds, cost of manufacturing rises. The additional R&D and product engineering required to meet the ever-evolving environmental stands carries an additional cost. This is expected to act as a restraint for the low VOC adhesives market over the coming years.
Low VOC Adhesive Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the Low VOC adhesive market. Low VOC adhesive market top companies are:
1. Akzo Nobel N.V.
2. LORD Corporation
3. Wacker Chemie
5. Pidilite Industries Ltd.
6. Franklin International
7 ARDEX Group
8. Permabond LLC
9. Sika AG
10. H.B. Fuller
11. Arkema Group
12. Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
13. Jowat SE
14. Ashland Global Holdings.
In May 2021, Sika has agreed to acquire Hamatite, the adhesives business of The Yokohama Rubber Co Ltd., that offers adhesives to the automotive and construction industries in Japan.
Asia-Pacific dominates the low VOC adhesive market, owing to the growth in the EV industry in the region. China is the largest EV producer in the world. According to the Global EV Outlook by International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2020 the global electric car stock hit the 10 million marks, a 43% increase over 2019, and representing a 1% stock share. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for two-thirds of new electric car registrations and two-thirds of the stock in 2020. China, with 4.5 million electric cars, has the largest fleet.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), commonly off-gassed by thermoplastics, adhesives, sealants paints, and more substances, are known to have serious consequences for health and lead to respiratory problems. Hence there is a need for low VOC products.
Low VOC adhesives are eco-friendly. They have high strength and bonding capabilities. So, they are sought-after in a wide range of industries, especially in paper & packaging and transportation industries.
The major opportunity for this market is the growing awareness in society to go green. Furthermore, it is also an opportunity for this market to develop products that are of superior quality but with reduced prices.
A. Adhesives and Sealants Market
B. Industrial Adhesives Market
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