The Low Profile Additives Market size was valued at US$ 760.3 Million in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 1,247.9 Million by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% from 2024 to 2031. Low profile additives are chemical compounds that are added to polyester, alkyd, acrylic or epoxy paints and coatings to reduce brush strokes and lap marks. There are mainly two types of low profile additives used in the market - urethane and non-urethane. Urethane low profile additives work by increasing the thixotropy or viscosity of the paint which allows the brush strokes to level out more easily before the paint dries. The advantage of urethane additives is that they are more efficient in reducing lap marks compared to non-urethane types. However, they tend to increase the viscosity of paint more which affects its application.
Non-urethane low profile additives mostly contain fumed silica, which physical adsorbs onto the pigment particles within the paint. This increases the viscosity of the wet paint but does not significantly increase the dry film thickness. While non-urethane additives are better for application due to minimal effect on viscosity, they are less effective in eliminating lap marks and brush strokes. The selection of the type of low profile additive depends on the end-use of paint, substrate, and desired balance between ease of application and leveling properties. In general, urethane additives perform better for surfaces requiring a smooth finish with minimal imperfections.
Low Profile Additives Market Regional Insights:
- North America: North America continues to be the dominant region in the global low profile additives market. The wide presence of 48% key manufacturers along with a strong automotive and construction industry has helped North America establish its leadership position.
- Asia Pacific: The Asia Pacific region, on the other hand, has emerged as the fastest growing market for low profile additives globally of 25% Rapid industrialization and infrastructure development across China, India, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries is fueling the market growth.
- Europe: The Low Profile Additives Market in Europe holds 9% in the market.
Figure 1. Global Low Profile Additives Market Share (%), by Region, 2024
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Low Profile Additives Market Analyst Viewpoint:
The low profile additives market is expected to see steady growth in the coming years. The automotive and construction industries remain the key end-users driving demand. In the automotive industry, the need for lightweight vehicles to improve fuel efficiency will support usage of low profile additives in sheet molding compounds and bulk molding compounds used in auto parts. The construction industry is also shifting toward lightweight materials for building components, offering opportunities for low profile additives market players.
However, regulations around VOCs could act as a restraint. Strict norms regarding VOC emissions during production may lead to compliance issues for some manufacturers. Alternative green additives are a challenge as well. Ongoing R&D into bio-based additives may eat into the market share of conventional low profile additive types over time.
The Asia Pacific region currently dominates due to the size of the construction and automotive industries in China and India. Government initiatives aiding infrastructure growth and automotive manufacturing expansion will propel the APAC low profile additives market. Meanwhile, North America and Western Europe are mature markets but maintain significant demand given the widespread use of composites in these regions. Key players should also focus on emerging economies in Latin America and Middle East & Africa as opportunities for future expansion.
Low Profile Additives Market Drivers:
- Expansion of End-Use Industries: The low profile additives market is witnessing widespread opportunities with the rising expansion of end-use industries where these additives find large-scale application. Low profile additives are primarily used in polyester and vinyl ester based formulations that are further utilized in producing varied surface coatings, adhesives, and plastic & composites molding applications. The automotive industry constitutes one of the major end-users of low profile additives wherein these are added to body fillers and primers employed in vehicle production. With relentless growth of the global automotive sector in recent years, demand for low profile additives from automotive OEMs and refinish markets has surged tremendously. Growing vehicle ownership, rising disposable incomes, and intensive R&D towards developing lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles act as key growth propellers for the automotive industry. This in turn is favorably impacting the sales of low profile additives. Apart from automotive, the demand is also witnessing a sharp increase from industries such as marine, wind energy, construction, and aerospace & defense. Within the construction industry, low profile additives play a critical role in formulating polymer-based mortars, floor levelers, and screeds. The thriving growth in infrastructure development projects across both developing and developed economies has augmented the consumption of various construction materials incorporating low profile additives. Similarly, increasing investments towards renewable energy especially wind power plants augmented the usage of composites and adhesives based on low profile additives in turbine blade manufacturing. Rising expenditure on military & defense equipment along with expansion of commercial aircraft fleet size is positively influencing the aerospace industry, thereby driving the sales of low profile additives. In essence, widespread growth of major end-use industries is emerging as one of the key drivers for low profile additives market over the coming years.
- Growing Use of Composites: Another important driver for low profile additives market expansion is the rising utilization of composite materials across an array of application sectors. Lightweighting has become a central focus area for industries aiming to improve fuel efficiency without compromising on performance. Polymer composites reinforced with fibers such as glass, carbon and aramid offer high strength to weight ratio and are therefore increasingly replacing metals in end-use sectors such as transportation, construction and aerospace & defense. Low profile additives play a vital role in developing composites with desired mechanical and physical characteristics. They are commonly blended into polyester and vinyl ester based composites to impart properties like low shrinking, good sandability and easy surfacing. With strong emphasis on R&D and manufacturing of lightweight and high-performance composites, the demand for additives like low profile agents has witnessed a prominent rise. Specifically, composite materials have emerged as the primary material of choice in manufacturing various high-tech components for aerospace, automotive as well as renewable energy industries. Aircraft manufacturers are widely incorporating composites in aircraft structures and engines with a goal to decrease aircraft weight. Similarly, automakers are using composites in hoods, body panels and other auto parts to improve fuel efficiency while meeting stringent emission regulations. Wind turbine blades are also predominantly made from polymer composites doped with low profile additives. Rising environmental awareness and developing technologies have augmented the employment of composites in marine vessels, pipes, tanks and construction sections as well. This growing shift towards advanced composite solutions across major markets creates high demand for specialized additives like low profile agents.
Low Profile Additives Market Opportunities:
- Emerging applications in wind energy industry: Emerging applications of wind energy present a promising opportunity for the low profile additives market. With worldwide efforts to increase renewable energy production and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, wind power is growing rapidly. Low profile additives play a key role in enabling new wind turbine designs. These specialized additives are used to modify resins and composites that are then used to manufacture enormously large turbine blades, often well over 100 meters in length. The lightweight and flexible qualities imparted by low profile additives allow for the structural strength needed for blades of such great scale, while minimizing weight and optimizing aerodynamic lift. Their inclusion is critical to the technical and economic feasibility of the largest modern wind turbines. For Instances, According to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency, global wind power capacity increased over 60% from 2018 to 2021.
- Growth potential in developing economies: Growth potential in developing economies could be a significant opportunity in the Low Profile Additives market. Countries like India, China, Brazil, and others in Asia Pacific and Latin America are experiencing strong economic growth. As the income levels and standards of living rise in these emerging markets, there is a growing demand for consumer goods, electronics, automobiles, and construction activities. Low profile additives play an important role in many manufacturing and industrial applications where light weight and thin materials are required. They help in reducing the thickness and density of end products without compromising on their mechanical strength. Given the rising manufacturing activities and infrastructure development projects in developing nations, the usage of low profile additives is expected to steadily grow in these regions. For Instances, according to data from the World Bank, on 2021, the construction sector in India grew by 3.2% in 2021 compared to 2020 despite the ongoing pandemic challenges.
Low Profile Additives Market Report Coverage
|Market Size in 2023:
|US$ 760.3 Mn
|Historical Data for:
|2019 to 2023
|2024 – 2031
|Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR:
|2031 Value Projection:
|US$ 1,247.9 Mn
- North America: U.S. and Canada
- Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
- Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East: GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East
- Africa: South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa
- By Product: Polyvinyl Acetate (PVAc), Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA), Polystyrene (PS), Polyurethane (PU), High-density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- By Function: Anti-shrinkage, Pigmentation
- By Application: Shrink & Bulk Molding Compounds (SMC/BMC), Pultrusion, Resin Transfer Molding, Others
Wacker Chemie AG, INEOS AG, Polynt S.p.A., Vin Industries, BASF SE, Altana, Polychem Ltd., Swancor, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., Aromax Technology Corp., Interplastic Corp., Synthomer PLC, AOC, LLC, Mechemco, Taak Resin Co., NOF Corporation.
- Expansion of End-Use Industries
- Growing Use of Composites
|Restraints & Challenges:
- Availability of substitutes
- Volatility in raw material prices
Low Profile Additives Market Trends:
- Rising demand for powder coatings: The rising demand for powder coatings globally has significantly influenced the low profile additives market in recent years. Powder coatings have gained widespread preference over wet paints owing to their various advantages such as zero volatile organic compound emissions, ability to coat intricate components with uniform thickness and texture and increased durability. As powder coating production and use has ramped up significantly, the need for effective low profile additives to ensure a smooth appearance of the finished coating has also rose markedly. Low profile additives are additives that are added to powder coatings to minimize or hide minor surface imperfections and create a smooth appearance in the final cured powder coating film. They essentially help reduce the coating's visibility making any minor surface defects or irregularities much less noticeable to the human eye. With powder coatings being increasingly used across several end-use industries like automotive, appliances, furniture etc. to coat a variety of interior and exterior parts, the demand for effective low profile additives from powder coating manufacturers has also increased considerably. For Instances, According to the statistics by European Automobile Manufacturers Association, on 2021, the production and sales of electric as well as conventional vehicles across major European markets grew by 25% year-over-year in 2021.
- Focus on product innovation with enhanced properties: Focus on product innovation with enhanced properties has been a major trend influencing the low profile additives market. Manufacturers in this space have been devoting significant resources to research and development to discover new formulations that can deliver superior performance characteristics. A prime example is the development of low viscosity additives combining reactive monomers and functional polymers. These innovative solutions help achieve excellent leveling and sag resistance along with outstanding dry hide capabilities. They allow paints and coatings to be applied more thinly and smoothly while maintaining an even appearance. This fits well with the practical needs of both industrial and do-it-yourself users who want maximum coverage from less material. New bio-based options utilizing renewable plant-derived components have also gained traction in sustainability-conscious markets. Notable here is a European supplier's line of low-odor, low-VOC rheology modifiers created from annually replenished vegetable oil feed stocks rather than traditional petrochemicals. Independent assessments by a UN environmental program found the bio-additives significantly reduced fossil resource usage and carbon footprint over conventional formulations in several applications tested.
Low Profile Additives Market Restraints:
- Availability of substitutes: The availability of substitutes is significantly restraining the growth of the Low Profile Additives market. There are several substitute products available that can accomplish the same purposes as low profile additives but may be more cost effective or convenient to use. Some common substitutes for low profile additives include epoxy resins and polyurethane resins. These resins can be used to make composite materials that require low viscosity and good slump resistance like many applications that use low profile additives. Epoxy and polyurethane resins are versatile and can achieve strong bonds and mechanical properties similar to materials made with low profile additives. However, they do not require specialized rheology modifiers or precise formulation to achieve the low viscosity characteristics. This makes substitutes like epoxy and polyurethane resins more attractive options for composite manufacturers looking to reduce costs. Another major substitute is filler-enhanced polyester and vinyl ester resins. Adding fillers such as clays or talc to standard unsaturated polyester or vinyl ester resins can improve slump resistance and mechanical properties to be on par with low profile additive formulations. The advantage of filler-enhanced resins is that they maintain the processing simplicity of standard polyester/vinyl ester systems but without needing to source and handle specialized low profile additive chemistries. For Instances, According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), global production of talc increased from 8.3 million metric tons in 2020 to 8.7 million metric tons in 2021.
- Volatility in raw material prices: The growth of the Low Profile Additives Market has been negatively impacted by the significant volatility seen in the prices of key raw materials used for manufacturing these additives. The raw materials like styrene, methyl methacrylate (MMA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) which are derived from petroleum-based feed stocks have witnessed major fluctuations in their prices over the past couple of years. The frequent increases in raw material costs have significantly squeezed the margins of players operating in the low profile additives market. As passing on the entire cost burden to customers is not a viable option, manufacturers end up having to absorb a part of these additional costs, reducing their profits. This poses challenges for their long-term expansion plans and new investments. For Instances, according to data from the International Energy Agency, the prices of crude oil underwent drastic changes ranging from $19 per barrel in 2020 to over $120 per barrel in 2022.
- In August 2023, an alliance was forged between Dublin City Council and INEOS Composites, renowned for crafting an array of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins, gel coats, as well as low-profile additives essential for the plastics sector. Dublin City Council Culture Company is an organization that focuses on cultural initiatives and buildings in Dublin, aiming to connect artists, groups, and communities with libraries, museums, and creative spaces across the city. INEOS Composites, a part of INEOS Enterprises, is a global leader in the manufacture and sale of unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins, gelcoats, and low-profile additives for the plastics industry. The company's materials are utilized in various global markets, including building materials, corrosion-resistant FRP, recreation, transportation, and wind energy.
- In July 2023, INEOS AG unveiled its strategic initiative to streamline its operations within North America. This involved consolidating several of its North American corporate divisions into a singular hub situated in Ohio, thereby enhancing collaborative efforts and operational efficiency.
Figure 2. Global Low Profile Additives Market Share (%), by Application, 2024
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Top Key Players:
- Wacker Chemie AG,
- INEOS AG,
- Polynt S.p.A.,
- Vin Industries,
- BASF SE,
- Altana, Polychem Ltd.,
- Swancor, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V.,
- Aromax Technology Corp.,
- Interplastic Corp.,
- Synthomer PLC,
- AOC, LLC,
- Mechemco, Taak Resin Co.,
- NOF Corporation.
Definition: Low profile additives are materials used in composite manufacturing, particularly in polyester resin systems, to decrease surface roughness and improve surface smoothness or "profile" by reducing shrinkage. These additives are often thermoplastic materials, such as polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA), polyvinyl-acetate (PVAc), and polystyrene (PS), which are added to the resin to control cure shrinkage and enhance the cosmetic surface quality of the final product.