The global reactive specialty adhesives market size is expected to witness considerable growth in the next few years, and witness significant CAGR over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).

Market Overview

Reactive specialty adhesives, which are adhesives used for commercial purposes, are classified into four sub types, namely water borne, solvent borne, radiation adhesives, and others. Some of the raw materials, on the basis of which reactive specialty adhesives are produced, are melamine formaldehyde, styrene butadiene rubber, and polyvinyl alcohol among others. Reactive specialty adhesives have primary application in the automotive industry for glazing, roof lining, sheet molding, and seat units bonding.

Market Dynamics

Reactive specialty adhesives are majorly used for fastening a variety of materials in the automotive industry, such as steel and aluminum. The most frequently used reactive adhesives are polyurethanes and modified acrylics in assembling vehicles. Among other applications, reactive specialty adhesives can be used for adhesion of gear knobs, insignias, and anchor plates. Compared to conventional bonding techniques, adhesion leads to significant weight reduction of a vehicle, enhances safety and crash performance, escalates body stiffness, and strengthens noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) characteristics of a vehicle. As a result of these advantages, manufacturers are investing in research and development activities in order to introduce more cost effective and performance improving innovations. Such factors are expected to drive growth of the global reactive specialty market in the near future.

Additionally, as a result of a wide application in the winds turbines industries, the global reactive specialty segment is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Key benefits of specialty adhesives in the manufacture of wind turbines is corrosion protection, reduced assembling time, and decreased weight. However, prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight may deteriorate the adhesive, or solvents can weaken it and result into separation of two surfaces. Such factors can hamper demand for specialty adhesives in the coming years.

Market Outlook

The Asia Pacific region is leading the demand for reactive specialty adhesives, and is expected to remain dominant during the forecast period. Countries such as China and India are generating the highest market share owing to a large consumer base and high number of export activities. Increasing gross domestic product and disposable income in emerging economies has resulted in growth of end user industries in the Asia Pacific region. Europe is estimated to emerge as the second largest market for reactive specialty adhesives, however the trend may be overshadowed by increasing demand from markets in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Furthermore, regulations implemented by environmental agencies in Europe and North America are likely to hinder market growth in these regions. Key players are focusing on expanding their footprint to untapped markets, which is expected to result in higher growth opportunities in regions such as Africa and South America.

Key Players

Some of the prominent companies active in the global reactive specialty market include Henkel AG & Company, Bayer MaterialScience, The Dow Chemical Company, and 3M among others.

Key Developments

  • In September 2019, Lanxess developed a low free (LF) isocyanate urethane system for sealants, adhesives and one-component foams. The new system will enhance the manufacturing of reactive adhesives with isocyanate prepolymer technology. New innovations in the reactive adhesives will enhance the performance as well as sales of specialty reactive adhesives.
  • In June 2019, Henkel AG – a global leader in adhesives formulations, opened a new adhesives facility, especially for the aerospace application in Montornès del Vallès, Spain. The total investment of the project is around US$ 39 million and will cater to key development areas of aerospace engineering such as automation, light weighting and fuel efficiency.
  • In September 2019, Bostik (subsidiary of Arkema) and Nitta Corporation formed a Joint venture and inaugurated a new adhesives plant in Nara, Japan. The new adhesives plant will provide adhesive solutions for non-woven, hygiene and industrial applications.
  • In November 2019, Henkel AG, officially started the construction of a new plant in South Korea, catering to the electronics manufacturing sector. The plant will provide adhesives, sealants and thermal technologies for the electronics industry in South Korea.
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