A material used to hold two surfaces together is called an adhesive. An adhesive functions by wetting the two surfaces, adhering to them, developing and maintaining strength after application, and remaining stable. Engineering adhesives are a type of adhesives that are widely used to bond and seal parts of automobiles, electric appliances, electronics, office machines, medical equipment, building materials, furniture, rolling stocks, optical equipment, and glass ceramics. These adhesives are mostly made up of acrylics, epoxies, and urethanes. Based on epoxy, polyurethane, acrylic, and other technologies, engineering adhesives are used to bond materials such as steel, aluminum, engineering plastics, and composites as a substitution for traditional joining techniques. Major types of engineering adhesives are epoxy (one part, two part, and films), acrylic, anaerobic, cyanoacrylate, urethane, and silicone.
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Engineering adhesives contribute to approximately 30% of the global market for adhesives. The segment is expected to expand at a rate significantly above the average growth rate of the adhesives industry. The market is characterized by technology formulations that provide high-value solutions to meet specific customer requirements. These adhesives are used in diverse industries such as automobiles, aerospace, rail transport, electronics and communication, electric appliances, construction, telecom, consumer goods, marine and off-shore operations, and furniture. Engineering adhesives mostly compete with traditional joining techniques such as fasteners and welding. These adhesives provide uniform distribution of weight as compared to fasteners or welded joints.
Non-metal substrates that are light in weight and cost less are increasingly used in the construction industry. This is expected to act as a major driver for the engineering adhesives market in the next few years. Major end-user industries such as aerospace, road transport, marine, rail, electronics and communication, and sports and leisure are continuously upgrading their engineering activities to make components lightweight and cost-effective, providing more opportunities for engineering adhesives. Currently, steel and wood substrates are increasingly replaced with lightweight components such as aluminum, engineering plastics, and composites. This, in turn, boosts demand for high-performance adhesives, which are replacing traditional metal joining techniques.
Presently, engineering adhesives is valued at approximately US$ 13 Bn and is likely to expand at a CAGR of approximately 4% from 2015 to 2023. This estimated growth rate is more than the average growth rate of the global adhesives and sealants market. Growth is primarily driven by the ever-advancing industries and technologies and increasing need for well-engineered and sophisticated bonded parts.
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The market for engineering adhesives is dominated by major players that include large corporations such as Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Huntsman Advanced Materials, Dow Corning Corporation, Permabond, PPG Industries, 3M Company, H. B. Fuller, Evonik Industries, Sika AG, Royal Adhesives & Sealants, RPM International, Inc., Ashland Inc., Illinois Tool Works Inc., MACtac, MAPEI, LORD Corporation, Jowat Corporation, and Arkema S. A.
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