Sealants are largely used in the construction industry to provide water proofing solutions to the built structure. Sealants are often substituted with the term ‘caulking’ in the construction industry. In the construction industry, sealants primarily block dust, sound, heat, and fluid through the openings at the joints. These are used ubiquitously along with adhesives. However, adhesives and sealants are two different compounds used to provide shear and tensile strength and a leak proof barrier, respectively, between parts/structures. Sealants offer lower strength and higher elongation property as compared to adhesives. Sealants contain inert filler material and are usually formulated with an elastomer to give required flexibility and elongation. These are usually present in viscous liquid and semi-liquid state that has little or no-flow characteristics. Insolubility, adhesion, and corrosion resistance are some of the desirable properties of sealants. These properties make it an ideal water proofing solution in the construction industry.
The construction sealants market can be categorized based on resin type into silicone, polyurethane, acrylic, latex, polysulfide, and others. Utility of different types of sealants varies as per application in the construction industry. For instance, silicone sealants are largely used for weather and water resistance due to their high UV stability and resistance to hydraulic oils, fuels, salt, and cleaning solvents. Similarly, urethane sealants are used in joints that typically require abrasion and UV resistance. Several internal and external factors determine the success of the sealing operation. Factors such as chemical exposure, weathering, light, oxidation, moisture, and temperature have an impact on functionalities of construction sealants.
The construction sealants market is significantly expanding in the fields of flooring and expansion jointing for commercial and housing applications. High growth rate of construction of residential buildings, especially in emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia (BRICS), is driving the construction sealants market. However, enactment of several environmental regulations regarding VOC emission is the prime restraining factor for the construction sealants market. Development of biobased and anaerobic sealants is expected to provide a significant opportunity in the construction sealants market.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest growing region in the construction sealants market in the near future. Increasing urbanization and formation of smart cities is boosting the demand for construction sealants in the region. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) is estimated to exhibit significant growth rate during the forecast period due to easing government processes for residential mortgaging, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Latin America is projected to witness moderate growth rate during the forecast period. Brazil and Argentina are likely to drive the construction sealants market in Latin America due to significant public investments in commercial, infrastructural, and industrial construction. Europe held a significant share of the global construction sealants market in 2014. Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, and Turkey have been identified as high growth markets for construction sealants. The construction sealants market in North America is likely to expand at a below average growth rate due to maturity of the construction industry.
Research and development is an important part of the construction sealants market. Suppliers, manufacturers, and construction association invest significantly in product development, support, and technology to meet the needs of the construction industry. Ongoing trend for light and green buildings is anticipated to provide growth opportunities to the construction sealants market. Market leaders are investing continuously to develop innovative materials to provide practical, economical, and performance benefits to customers. For instance, on November 13, 2014, The Dow Chemical Company introduced LIQUIDARMOR - CM Flashing and Sealant, a liquid flashing solution that provides advanced moisture and air sealing protection to commercial buildings. This is an innovative product that can easily substitute flashing tape in the construction industry.
Several players operate in the construction sealants market. These include BASF SE, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, 3M, H.B. Fuller, The Dow Chemical Company, Cytec Industries Inc., Master Bond, General Electric, Sika AG, and PPG Industries, Inc.
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