Tackifiers Market: Overview
Tackifiers are low-molecular-weight compounds which are used as additives for adhesive formulations in order to enhance the tack and peel adhesion. They disperse in the polymer matrix as their structure disintegrates. Due to this, they help in improving the tack and mobility of the base polymer.
Tackifiers possess exceptional viscoelastic properties as they possess high glass transition temperature, high softening temperature, and low molecular weight. They assist in specific adhesion and bridging of base polymers. They also reduce molecular cohesion. These properties of tackifiers result in lowering the melt viscosity of the polymer system.
Tackifiers can generally be resins such as aliphatic and aromatic resins, rosins and their derivatives, terpenes, terpene-phenol resins and modified terpenes, and hydrocarbon resins. The solubility of tackifier resins in the base polymer is determined based on factors such as their polarity and molecular distribution. If the resin is not compatible with the base polymer, it does not affect properties of the polymer. This may result in ineffective tack and adhesion for the base polymer.
Selection of tackifier resin depends on the base polymer being used. For instance, resins with high aromaticity are favored to be used with polar polymers such as acrylics and urethanes. Similarly, aliphatic resins are typically preferred for use with non-polar polymers such as chloroprene and natural rubber.
Tackifiers Market: Key Segments
Based on resin, the market for tackifiers can be segmented into rosin resins, terpene resins, and hydrocarbon resins.
- Rosin ester resins are obtained from pine trees. They are one of the most commonly used, conventional tackifier resins. There are three types of rosin resins: tall oil resin, wood rosin, and gum rosin. Rosin resins are typically compatible with a majority of base polymers and they offer exceptional tack. They are inexpensive compared to terpene resins.
- Hydrocarbon resins are derived from petroleum feedstocks. They are generally synthesized from petroleum-based byproducts of naphtha crackers. There are three key classes of hydrocarbon resins: C5 aliphatic resins, C9 aromatic resins, and DCPD cycloaliphatic resins. Sometimes, hydrogenation of hydrocarbon resins is carried out in order to lower discoloration or yellowing of the resin. The hydrogenation also results in enhanced stability of resins against heat and UV rays. Hydrocarbon resins are inexpensive compared to rosin resins.
- Terpene resins are derivatives of turpentine oil, which is obtained from citrus fruits or pine wood. Different types of terpene resins are available in the market. Key grades comprise phenol-modified terpenes, styrene-modified terpenes, and pinene-based polyterpenes. Terpene resins are compatible with a wide variety of base polymers. They offer exceptional heat resistance along with peel adhesion to pressure-sensitive adhesive formulations and hot melt adhesive formulations. However, they are highly expensive compared to hydrocarbon resins and rosin resins.
Tackifiers are primarily applied in sealants, pressure–sensitive adhesives, contact adhesives, and assembly adhesives. Formulations of these adhesives and sealants wherein tackifiers are used can be solvent-borne, waterborne, hot-melt, or reactive. Key end-user industry segments of the market for tackifiers are packaging, building & construction, transportation, electrical & electronics, footwear & leather, road marking, and others.
Tackifiers Market: Regional Outlook
Based on geography, the global market for tackifiers can be divided into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. The Asia Pacific tackifiers market is anticipated to expand at a significant growth rate during the forecast period. Growth of the market in Asia Pacific can be attributed to development of manufacturing infrastructure, easy availability of raw materials, and technological advancements in the region. Additionally, countries such as China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan are projected to contribute to the market in the region in the near future. Moreover, Asia Pacific is projected to dominate the global market during the forecast period. The market in the region is likely to expand at a significant growth rate from 2018 to 2026.
Furthermore, the market in North America is also projected to expand at a significant rate in the near future. Rapid growth of sectors such as automotive, aerospace, and construction and increase in the demand for adhesives and sealants in diverse manufacturing industries are estimated to propel the tackifiers market in North America between 2018 and 2026.
Tackifiers Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global tackifiers market include Exxon Mobil Corporation, Kraton Polymers, Eastman Chemical Company, and SI Group Inc.
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