The recessionary trends in the pressure sensitive adhesive industry have been relegated to the past, with the rebound now auguring good growth for the future. Tapes constitute the largest end-user products of pressure sensitive adhesives, cornering a healthy 70% share, followed by labels with 20% share and graphics with 10% share. Utilization of pressure sensitive tapes in specialty and medical applications promise enormous growth opportunities, with protective films and paper, in addition to electronic applications, also sharing in the limelight. Of particular mention is the widespread penetration of electronic devices in all facets in the current scenario, as well as the robust growth prospects offered by medical tapes, graphics, foam tapes and double-sided tapes.
On a regional basis, Asia-Pacific was and would continue to be the largest consumer of pressure sensitive adhesive products, with Europe and North America standing at second and third positions. Developing regions Asia-Pacific is also slated to emerge as the fastest growing region for pressure sensitive adhesive products, while the mature European and North American markets would exhibit restricted growths due to competitive dynamics at the macro level.
Pressure sensitive adhesives based on solvent chemistries would continue to dominate, when compared to water-based and hot melt chemistries, within which acrylics would account for the largest share. In terms of substrates used for pressure sensitive materials, films are the largest with a share of nearly 60%, followed by paper with 30% primarily because of its extensive utilization in the label industry. Application of foams has enhanced to account for 6% of the market and foils are expected to maintain a relatively low profile with a 4% share.
Pressure sensitive adhesives are positioned nicely to regain the considerable ground they lost due to the economic downturn, and given time, the liquid adhesive market would be surpassed by the resilience of pressure sensitive adhesives in terms of clean and easy-to-use technologies.