Adhesives and sealants are the most versatile bonding agents available today and are used by automakers to make cars lighter and tougher. Adhesives are made from precise blends of synthetic rubber elastomers, resins and agents or additives used to enhance certain characteristics, depending on the end use. Automakers today use aluminum and composites that cannot be welded together but have to be glued to hold the body parts together even at top speed and high pressure. Adhesives do not lose strength and hence are used for these applications. Adhesives bonding renders the vehicles quieter, more durable and safer and are replacing conventional joining techniques such as welding, riveting and bolting.
Adhesives find numerous applications in the automobile industry and have revolutionized the way automobiles have been designed and built. Adhesives are used to assemble rubber, metal, glass, plastics and numerous other materials during the manufacture of automobiles. Adhesives help prevent the ingress of salt, dirt and water in the car body shell. Adhesives help in improving body stiffness and durability and provide improved crash performance. Every stage of production of an automobile, whether for non-load-bearing body components or structural parts, uses adhesives in one form or other. Adhesives are used in manufacture of engines, body components, gear boxes and mounted parts such as wing mirrors, seats and steering wheels. Interior applications include tray systems, safety systems, seating systems, as well as sub assembly and acoustical material assembly. In addition, adhesives are used for direct glazing, where they contribute to an increased rigidity of the car body.
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Adhesives can be applied with high speed on the production line, which results in cost reduction and savings. Hence, adhesive consumption per vehicle is expected to increase, as automotive designers continue to exploit the cost saving potential of adhesives. In addition, adhesives help to cut down on noise, vibration and harshness characteristics. Adhesives improve fuel efficiency of automobiles and provide enhanced performance which is a key driving factor behind the advancement of adhesives in the automotive industry.
Consistent growth and presence of wide range of suppliers, distributors and manufacturers are the some of the characteristics of the adhesives market. Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Latin America hold potential for growth. Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region for the adhesives industry due to growing demand for adhesives in South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Australia and India.
North America and Europe are saturated markets and will grow with a low compound annual growth rate in the near future. The adhesive market in the U.S. has lost ground to China due to migration of manufacturing facilities to China but the country continues to play a significant role in the adhesives market.
The industry remains fragmented, with numerous medium-sized companies with a high level of customization, particularly in the highest-value adhesive segments. The cost of producing adhesives is attributable to the cost of the raw materials along with the requisite service component of training customers and helping them resolve manufacturing issues. Some of the key players in this market are Sika AG (Switzerland), The Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), Bayer (Germany), Henkel (Germany), BASF (Germany), 3M Company (U.S.), Ashland Specialty Chemical Company (U.S.), H.B. Fuller Company(U.S.), Hindustan Adhesives Limited (India), ExxonMobil Chemical Company (U.S) , Dynea International Oy (Finland) , Forbo Adhesives Switzerland (Switzerland), Hexion Specialty Chemicals (U.S) and Covalence Adhesives (U.S.) among others.
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