Formaldehyde-free Resin Market Overview

Formaldehyde-free resin is an excellent replacement of the conventional urea-formaldehyde and phenol-formaldehyde resins used for insulation purpose in furniture, adhesive and construction industry. Formaldehyde-free resins are also used in the textile industry to increase the color retention of various shades of jeans. The phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resin industry is facing an increasing challenge with respect to concerns regarding human health owing to the consumption of carcinogenic formaldehyde. Also inclusion of petroleum-based phenol in PF resin manufacturing poses risk towards sustainability.

Formaldehyde-free resin offer enhanced moisture resistance, excellent adhesion and cure performance when used in wood adhesives for industrial as well as residential applications. This has led to increase in the use of formaldehyde-free resin in the adhesive industry, which has amplified the growth of formaldehyde-free resin market. Formaldehyde-free resins are also used for binding fiberglass filaments in the fabrication of industrial nonwovens, including fiberglass webs used in roofing insulation, flooring, and HVAC filters.

Formaldehyde-free Resin Market Taxonomy

On the basis of product type global market is classified into:

  • Wood Adhesive
  • Fiberglass Adhesive
  • Foil Bonding Adhesive
  • Mineral Fiber Adhesive

On the basis of end use industry, the global market is segmented into:

  • Automobile
  • Textile
  • Chemicals
  • Furniture
  • Construction
  • Adhesive

On the basis of application, the global market is segmented into:

  • Commercial and Industrial insulation
  • Residential Insulation

Wood adhesives are extensively used in the furniture industry and offer enhanced benefits such as excellent adhesion to wood, improved rigidity and flexibility balance, and good resistance to water and fatigue. Fiberglass substrates used in the chemicals, automotive, infrastructure industry are bonded with adhesives which provide corrosion resistance and electrical insulation properties. In chemical industry, formaldehyde-free resins are used as binders in various processes. In textile industry resin finishing offers various advantages such as less tendency to creasing, improved shape retention and dimensional stability, softer and smoother fabric surface, easier to iron, improved wet fastness of dyeing’s and prints, less prone to color loss, better appearance and therefore more durable, less tendency to pilling, greater wash resistance of mechanically produced luster, especially of fiber blends and stiffening embossed finishes, water-repellents and oil-repellents.

Formaldehyde-free Resin Market Outlook – Stringent Regulations on the use of Formaldehyde Expected to Propel Demand

Stringent laws restricting the use of formaldehyde resins have forced the manufacturers and end users to opt for formaldehyde-free alternatives in the resin market. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, in June 2004 categorized formaldehyde as a group l chemical, which indicates it is carcinogenic to humans. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the U.S. regulated the acceptable exposure level of formaldehyde as 1 ppm. This has propelled consumption of formaldehyde-free resins in construction, adhesive and furniture industries, which has augmented growth of formaldehyde-free resin market. Asia Pacific has a major share in volume in the formaldehyde-free resin market. This is mainly attributed to budding urbanization and modern infrastructural needs in the emerging economies of the region.

High price of the formaldehyde-free resin is expected to be one of the restraining factors for the growth of formaldehyde-free resin industry over the forecast period. Research and development related to lowering the cost of the formaldehyde resin in the near future is one of the key strategies implemented by the market players to maintain their position. Some of the companies operating in the global formaldehyde-free resin market are Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC., The Dow Chemical Company, DSM, ARCL Organics Ltd., allnex group, Emerald Performance Materials, BASF SE, and Hexion.

Key Developments

  • In January 2017, Avalon Industries collaborated with Institute for Materials and Wood Technology at Bern University of Applied Sciences, to replace formaldehyde with non-toxic and bio-based 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) in phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resins.
  • In May 2019, Bitrez Ltd., a U.K. based manufacturer of polymers and chemicals announced partnership with as Georgia-Pacific Chemicals for distribution of Curaphen brand which includes low phenol and formaldehyde free phenolic polymer resins in the U.S, Mexico and Canada.
  • In November 2019, Ingevity a specialty chemical and materials manufacturer launched AltaPrint a formaldehyde and phenol free modified rosin resin for sheetfed and heatset inks commercial printing and packaging market.
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