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How many of us can imagine life without a little glue or an adhesive stick? Be it some official paperwork, a little arts and crafts or the manufacturing of furniture, adhesive and gums are an essential part of it all. An adhesive is basically a mixture, in a liquid or a semi solid state, which can help us in holding two or more materials together. Adhesives can be naturally, or synthetically made.

This industry, along with many others, has been steadily growing. A large number of adhesive brands are available In the market today.  The quality of an adhesive strongly depends upon their resistant to their environment. For instance, a glue that is supposed to hold two items together, gives it up to moisture in the air and breaks, you entire attachment falls apart. This can cause huge losses, or even injuries in the case of furniture. Hence, the quality of an adhesive is important to be kept in mind. If the processes of their production and the raw material used in their making are carefully done up, the business is sure to flourish, as today, quality is everything. Talking about industrial adhesives for a moment, these are expected to be even stronger and resistant. These can be:

  1. Primers and activators
  2. Hot melt adhesives
  3. Adhesives based in water
  4. Ultra violet curing adhesives

Adhesives haven’t just entered our lives, they have been around for a long time. Even in the ancient world, adhesives were used in many diverse ways. Innovation is never ending and so is the imagination of human beings. The smart minds of the world are coming up with new ideas and ways to use adhesives every day. The evolution of adhesives has been very sophisticated. Once upon a time, gum closed two pieces of paper together. On this day, it is holding up serious machineries together. It will be put to even more mysterious ways in the near future. The industrial demand for adhesives is on a rise and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Most especially, the synthetic resin group of adhesives is climbing ladders of demand like nothing else. It is extremely pressure-sensitive and hence proves to be very helpful in the packaging of things. This might be the fasting growing segment of the entire adhesive industry.

The world of customization

If nothing else, the customer’s preferences and needs have most definitely gone up. Every customer’s needs are very distinct and need to be catered to in a very individual manner. One size will not fit all. In situations like these, let us suppose a certain customer needs a machinery, but on his own terms. He needs  a few more attachments than what is presently produced by the machinery’s manufacturer. In this do it yourself situation, the seller will have to make strong use of industrial adhesives. As everything has become customized today, adhesives are in strong demand everywhere you go.

The room for innovation is huge and so it the potential for money making in this industry.

Adhesive may be used interchangeably with glue, cement, mucilage, or paste, and is any substance applied to one surface, or both surfaces, of two separate items that binds them together and resists their separation. There are basically two types of adhesives: resin-based and gum-based. The main application areas of the product are furniture, construction, paints and stationery. In between the two types, there are various categories of adhesives sold in the market place. These include:

Natural adhesives: From inorganic mineral or biological sources such as vegetable matter, starch or dextrin, natural resins; animal skin, and bio-adhesives;

Synthetic adhesives: Based on elastomers and thermosetting adhesives;

Drying adhesives: A mixture of ingredients (typically polymers) dissolved in a solvent with the solvent evaporating and the adhesive hardens;

Contact adhesives: Applied to both surfaces and allowed some time to dry before the two surface are pushed together. Contact adhesives find use in laminates, such as bonding Formica to a wooden counter, and in footwear;

Hot adhesives: Thermoplastic adhesives, also known as “hot melt” adhesives, applied hot and simply allowed to harden. These adhesives have become popular for crafts because of their ease of use and the wide range of common materials to which they can adhere;

Reactive adhesives: A reactive adhesive works either by chemical bonding with the surface material or by in-situ hardening as two reactant chemicals complete a polymerization reaction, usually applied in thin films;

Pressure sensitive adhesives: Which form a bond by the application of light pressure to marry the adhesive with the adherant, designed with a balance between flow and resistance.

The market size of all types of adhesives is very large and growing. Of this, the premium products account for some 45%. Quantitatively, the overall market size is growing annually at 11%.

Over the last few years, the adhesive business has seen global players setting up new capacities in India. With customs duty nearing ASEAN levels, competition will further intensify from imports as well as the low cost local players.

Industrial adhesives are fluids or gels, which help in holding two surfaces together by sticking to both of them and preventing their joint movement. They include glues and adhesives.

The market for adhesives and sealants is comprised of thousands of end uses. The realm of market applications expands as new end uses keep developing, driven by the need for new and innovative attachment solutions. Adhesives and sealants market is expected to reach USD 18.79 billion by 2020. Positive demand outlook from key end use industries including automotive and construction, mainly in India, is expected to be a key driving force for the market over the next six years. The growth of the emerging markets has not only a positive impact on the volumes of adhesives and sealants consumed (especially in the construction and industrial sectors) but also on the level of technological demand.

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 head linings and others. Automotive industry is driven by demand from middle class consumer groups from developing countries such as Brazil, India and China.

Gums and Resins

True gums are formed from the disintegration of internal plant tissues, mostly from the decomposition of cellulose in a process called gummosis.  Gums contain high amounts of sugar and are closely allied to the pectins. Gums are especially common in plants of dry regions.  They are used primarily as adhesives, and are also used in printing and finishing textiles, as a sizing for paper, in the paint and candy industries and as drugs.

Resins are formed as oxidation products of various essential oils and are very complex and varied in chemical composition.  The resin is usually secreted in definite cavities or passages. Resins are also used in medicine; for sizing paper; as a stiffening material for mats; in the preparation of sealing wax, incense and perfumes; and for many other purposes as well.

Resins, gums and latex are almost ubiquitous in the plant kingdom and many of them continue to play an important role in our daily lives. Numerous plants produce some kind of resin, latex or gum, but only a few are commercially important today, even though their uses and applications are truly manifold. They have been used as adhesives, emulsifiers, thickening agents, they are added to varnishes, paints and ink; they lend their aromas to perfumes and cosmetics and even play a role in pharmacy and medicine.