Waterborne adhesive are manufactured from natural polymers and soluble synthetic polymers. Natural polymers include starch, dextrins, casein, proteins, bones and hides. Soluble synthetic polymers include cellulose ethers, methyl cellulose, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinylpyrrolidone and carboxy methylcellulose. These adhesives are supplied as formulated dry powders or as solution that are mixed with water just prior to application. The strength is attained when water is either evaporated or absorbed by substrate. As the polymers used in the waterborne adhesives are soluble they offer limited moisture resistance.
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Some of plant polymers that are not soluble in water at room temperature can offer extended moisture resistance. The applications of waterborne adhesives include automotive & transportation, packaging, building & construction, assembly, wood & furniture, footwear, pressure sensitive tapes and others. The advantages waterborne adhesive offers include high initial adhesion, high solid content, low/ no solvent content and therefore eco-friendly nature.
Growing demand from packaging industry is expected to drive the market for waterborne adhesives. These are used in label applications, packaging tapes, office tapes, flexible laminations and food packaging as they offer improved chemical and heat resistance. Due to advantages waterborne adhesive it offers and non reactive nature they are proffered in food packaging applications. Further growing demand from automotive industry is expected to drive the market for waterborne adhesives. These are used in interior structures such as dashboards headlinings and others. Automotive industry is driven by demand from middle class consumer groups from developing countries such as Brazil, India and China.
However, complex formulation of waterborne adhesives is expected to hamper the market growth. As compared to solvent based adhesives the formulation process for waterborne adhesives is highly complex. And end properties depend upon the chemical composition of polymer base used in the formulation. Technological advancement in production process and bio-based waterborne adhesive are expected to provide immense opportunities for the players in this market. Waterborne adhesives those have limited moisture resistance can be improved through addition of substrates or curing agents. Research & development in this field and introduction of new product can provide opportunity for new entrants in this market.
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Asia Pacific is the largest market for waterborne adhesives due to demand from automotive packaging and building & construction applications. Rising disposable income of middle class consumer groups is one of the major driving factors for demand in this region. Asia Pacific was also largest producer of the waterborne adhesive with majority of production plants concentrated in China due to availability of raw materials and lower production cost. Asia Pacific was followed by North America in terms of consumption. Demand from packaging and automotive industry is expected to boost the demand for waterborne adhesives in this region. Packaging industry is driven by applications such as food packaging and packaging tapes. North America was followed by Europe in terms of consumption however; in production capacity it is second to Asia Pacific. The production of waterborne adhesives in Europe is supported by environmental agencies due to low hazards caused during production process.