The global pressure-sensitive adhesives market size was valued at USD 12.89 billion in 2023. It is estimated to reach USD 21.85 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 6.04% during the forecast period (2024–2032). Biodegradable polymers, known as pressure-sensitive adhesives, find application in various industries, such as flexible food packaging, cosmetic glues, and seed coatings. This has contributed to the growth and expansion of the market.
"Adhesive" is any substance capable of forming a releasable surface bond between two or more materials. Pressure-sensitive adhesives are a subcategory made from a mixture of high and low polyols and isocyanates used to bond two surfaces. Pressure-sensitive adhesives, also referred to as self-adhesive adhesives, cling without any external adhesion mechanism, including heat, water, solvent, or any other agent. The pressure required to apply these adhesives to a surface determines the degree of bonding.
Pressure-sensitive adhesives have become an integral part of daily life, as they are used in everything from pharmaceutical labels and packaging to bandages, wound dressings, and electronic devices. Multiple substrates, including paper, plastic, metal, wood, and glass, can be adhered to with pressure-sensitive adhesives. These adhesives bind a variety of removable, semi-permanent, and permanent substrates with minimal force.
|Market Size||USD 21.85 billion by 2032|
|Fastest Growing Market||North America|
|Largest Market||Asia pacific|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
One of the largest users of pressure-sensitive adhesives is the packaging industry. Factors like the surge in disposable income, faster urbanization, infrastructure development, and the rise in populations across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa are propelling the development of the global packaging industry. Thus, pressure-sensitive adhesives are gaining popularity in the packaging industry.
One of the most important parts of the packaging business is transit packaging, which involves using corrugated boxes to transport a wide range of items. Due to the expanding trend of e-commerce, the demand for transit packaging solutions is predicted to rise significantly over the next five years. Pressure-sensitive adhesives are extensively used for e-commerce and food packaging due to their high durability and non-toxic effects on food products. All such factors boost market growth.
Green adhesives, or those with low VOCs, are in high demand because of the growing trend of employing eco-friendly or green materials in many applications. Manufacturers of adhesives are continuing to fulfill market needs, and many have switched to safer, low-emitting formulas. There has also been a prominent movement away from petroleum-based formulations, which emit styrene, naphthalene, and vinyl cyclohexene, and toward water-based formulations, which emit glycols and alcohols, further substituting hydrocarbons. Formaldehyde, once widely used as a biocide, is being phased out.
Biodegradable polymers are increasingly replacing crude-derived polymers in various applications and industries. Biodegradable polymers are gaining popularity as binders, sealants, and adhesives, with Pressure-sensitive adhesives being a particularly current trend. The main areas of interest for pressure-sensitive adhesives adoption include healthcare, FMCG, and packaging. Pressure-sensitive adhesives are biodegradable polymers used in flexible food packaging, cosmetic glues, and seed coatings, fueling market expansion.
Polyurethanes, acrylics, rubber, and silicones are widely used as raw materials for pressure-sensitive adhesives. Polyurethane is derived from polyols and isocyanates. The price of polyols has been increasing exponentially due to an increase in feedstock prices, such as diethylene glycol, and its limited availability worldwide. In addition, polyols offer hydrolytic stability and are suitable for polyurethane synthesis. The two types of polyols that are widely used include ester polyols and polyether polyols. Ester polyols offer better adhesion and abrasion, while polyether polyols provide low viscosity and better flexibility.
Additionally, polyol prices have witnessed a significant increase in the Middle East region, which has dampened the demand for toluene diisocyanate in the region. Both toluene diisocyanate and polyols are used in the formulation of polyurethane adhesives. Increasing polyol prices have affected manufacturers' profit margins, making it difficult for them to ramp up production. All such factors restrict market growth.
The production of adhesives has used petrochemicals as a key raw material for a long time. The growing demand for adhesives derived from petrochemical derivatives will impact the environment in terms of sustainability and a green future. The need for environment-friendly alternatives will fuel the demand for bio-based adhesives in the coming future. Numerous pressure-sensitive adhesives manufacturers have been formulating bio-based holt-melt pressure-sensitive adhesives. Based on the usage and formulation, they generally contain around 20% to 50% renewable raw materials.
Additionally, various stringent regulations by regulatory bodies such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the United States Environmental Protection Association (USEPA) have compelled vendors in the market to explore new growth opportunities in bio-based adhesives. Therefore, bio-based pressure-sensitive adhesives are recognized worldwide as the need of the hour and are predicted to demonstrate tremendous potential.
Based on region, the global pressure-sensitive adhesives market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global pressure-sensitive adhesives market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.18% during the forecast period. Asia-Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing market for pressure-sensitive adhesives during the forecast period. Factors such as high local demand and the availability of low-cost labor have encouraged several global vendors to establish their regional manufacturing units. Such initiatives have enabled these players to expand their market share and profits. In addition, several companies have employed various tactics such as alliances, product launches, expansions and investments, and acquisitions to fortify their market position in the Asia-Pacific region.
The packaging industry also offers a lucrative opportunity for the growth of the Asia-Pacific pressure-sensitive adhesives industry. The rising demand for packaged foods, healthcare packaging, and flexible packaging are key growth drivers for the market. As per the Indian Economic Survey 2021, the domestic pharmaceutical market was valued at USD 42 billion, reaching USD 65 billion by 2024 and expanding to USD 120 - USD 130 billion by 2030. Therefore, such opportunities in the packaging sector represent strong growth opportunities for the Asia-Pacific pressure-sensitive adhesive market.
North America is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.01% over the forecast period. The US is the largest user of pressure-sensitive adhesives in North America and will continue to dominate the industry. The strict restrictions governing the use of harmful chemical compositions in chemically curing adhesives are driving the demand for low-VOC adhesives, such as pressure-sensitive adhesives. Furthermore, the exponential growth across the construction, automotive, and packaging sectors is expected to drive the demand for pressure-sensitive adhesives. The surge in non-residential construction projects and consumer spending on home furnishings has triggered the demand for pressure-sensitive adhesives in building and construction applications. Further, North America has the most airports, valued at over USD 120 billion, which are now undergoing infrastructure development and modernization. The market could grow only from the potential in this industry.
Europe is expected to emerge as the third-largest market for pressure-sensitive adhesives. Germany, France, and the UK are the early adopters of automation, packaging, and construction technologies, making them high-demand generators for pressure-sensitive adhesives. The automotive, aerospace, and construction sectors are expected to accelerate the demand for pressure-sensitive adhesives. In addition, recent improvements in the production of lightweight and fuel-efficient cars and strict EU regulations on VOC emissions have increased the use of pressure-sensitive adhesives. Thus, solvent-borne adhesives are being phased out in favor of water-based and pressure-sensitive adhesives throughout Europe. These rules and regulations will support the demand for pressure-sensitive adhesives in the region.
Latin America is an emerging market with rapidly developing economies such as Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Mexico. In recent years, low labor costs and readily available infrastructure have enabled Mexico to emerge as a manufacturing hotspot. Political tensions between the US and China have also encouraged several US manufacturers to shift their manufacturing base to Mexico as the country offers relatively lower shipping costs to the US. The popularity of pressure-sensitive adhesives in the region is attributable to the considerable presence of the automotive and construction industries. Brazil has also witnessed significant developments in its residential housing sector. Therefore, the country's building and construction sector is expected to drive the growth of its pressure-sensitive adhesives market.
The Middle East and Africa market is dominated by countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and South Africa. The region's high demand for bio-based adhesives, innovative technologies, and EVs will drive market growth during the forecast period. The construction industry is one of the largest and fastest-expanding sectors, which has also contributed to the growth of the pressure-sensitive adhesives market in the region. In addition, various high-profile construction projects have recently contributed to GCC's overall economic success. The majority of the construction investment in the region is being done to construct buildings, followed by energy and infrastructure projects. With over USD 82 billion in construction projects, Saudi Arabia is amongst the leading investors in the construction sector in the region, thereby fueling regional market growth.
The global pressure-sensitive adhesives market is bifurcated into technology, formulation, application, and end-user.
Based on technology, the global pressure-sensitive adhesives market is bifurcated into solvent-based, water-based, hot-melt, reactive, and radiation-cured.
The water-based segment is the highest contributor to the market and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.49% over the forecast period. Water-based pressure-sensitive adhesives are aqueous, anionic dispersions of high molecular weight adhesives that produce heat-activated adhesives. They are high-performance adhesives and provide an excellent initial bond strength for increased production efficiency. Their bond line does not discolor over time and is an ideal solution for flexible packaging, automobiles, furniture, footwear, and textiles.
Pressure-sensitive adhesives are organic adhesives that have minimal VOC emissions and toxic ingredients in the formulation and can be manufactured using various resins such as polyvinyl acetate emulsion, acrylic polymer emulsion, ethylene vinyl acetate, styrene-butadiene latex, and polyurethane dispersions. These adhesives are strong and flexible when used in multiple automotive, building, and construction applications and other industries.
Based on formulation, the global pressure-sensitive adhesives market is segmented into acrylic, polyurethane, rubber, silicone, ethylene vinyl acetate, and others.
The acrylic segment is the largest revenue contributor to the market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.67% over the forecast period. Acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesives are among the most widely used adhesives owing to their versatility and impressive performance attributes, such as non-yellowing, corrosion resistance, and high adhesion. These adhesives are available in the market at a low cost. Therefore, pressure-sensitive acrylic adhesives are being widely used across labeling and packaging applications due to various benefits. Over the last few decades, the market for low VOC acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesives has grown tremendously due to the stringent government regulation to control volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
Furthermore, acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesives possess a wide range of applications. Depending on the formulation, these adhesives are inexpensive and have various performance capabilities, ranging from ultra-removable to ultra-high adhesion. Due to such benefits, pressure-sensitive adhesives based on acrylics are increasingly being used in a range of label and packaging applications.
Based on application, the global pressure-sensitive adhesives market is bifurcated into tapes, labels, graphics, and others.
The tapes segment dominates the global market and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 6.18% over the forecast period. Pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes can be used as both double or single-sided tapes. A pressure-sensitive adhesive is applied onto a backing material such as paper, plastic film, fabric, or metal foil to create the tape. The pressure-sensitive adhesive will adhere to numerous substrates when placed on most clean and dry surfaces with pressure. There is no need for a solvent, water, or heat to activate pressure-sensitive adhesives.
The amount of pressure used to apply these adhesives to a surface affects the binding. A detachable release liner protects the adhesive until it is sometimes removed. Some adhesive tapes have adhesives, primers, release agents, filaments, printing, and other layers designed for specific use. These adhesive tapes also do not stick until water or heat is used to activate them. Therefore, water-based adhesive tapes require warm water to activate, while "heat-activated" adhesive tapes require heat.
Based on end-users, the global pressure-sensitive adhesives market is bifurcated into packaging, automotive and transportation, electrical and electronics, building and construction, medical and healthcare, and others.
The packaging segment owns the highest market share and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.38% over the forecast period. Case and carton sealing, labeling, and dealing with low surface energy materials such as polyethylene and polypropylene are all part of the packaging business. Adhesives are used to manage and improve all of these applications. In addition, pressure-sensitive adhesives, common in the form of tapes, are extensively used in the industry since they are easy to apply and do not need expensive equipment. These adhesives also provide distinct advantages over other bonding options. Pressure-sensitive adhesives offer a timely way to make products compliant and shelf-ready. Pressure-sensitive adhesives are safer than glue sticks and more discrete than traditional tape.