The global structural adhesives market size was valued at USD 15.42 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 26.92 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.39% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
The demand for structural adhesives is being driven by the growth observed in the aircraft industry. Structural adhesives or load-bearing adhesives are a material that provides a dependable and durable bond for a variety of assembly processes. Compared to other adhesives, structural adhesives have the highest load-bearing capacity, exhibit outstanding chemical and environmental resistance, and can adhere to dissimilar substrates. Structural adhesives can also withstand extreme temperatures, join dissimilar substrates without causing corrosion, and—most importantly—preserve the aesthetic appearance of the substrates by eradicating holes and heat distortion caused by metal welding.
Structural adhesives find extensive application in several industries, such as automotive and transportation, aircraft, electronics, engineered wood, construction, and consumer products, due to their ability to effectively bond with diverse materials, including wood, plastic, metal, stone, and glass. Resins such as polyurethane, epoxy, reinforced acrylic, anaerobic, vinyl acetate polymers, and urethane formulate structural adhesives.
|Market Size||USD 26.92 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Green adhesives, or those with low VOCs, are in high demand because of the growing trend of employing ecologically friendly or green materials in many applications. Manufacturers have been forced to produce environmentally friendly adhesives with low VOC levels due to stringent regulations implemented by several regional regulatory authorities. The sector has a substantial growth opportunity as it moves toward a more sustainable product line.
Adhesives based on cellulose, lignin, starch, vegetable oil, and protein-based silanes are classified as renewable/bio-derived adhesives. These eco-friendly adhesive solutions are from renewable, recycled, remanufactured, or biodegradable materials. Furthermore, potato starch can be used in transesterification reactions with natural oils to formulate polyester polyols for manufacturing polyurethane adhesives. Therefore, the emergence of green adhesives is driving structural adhesives market growth.
Growth in the aerospace industry is boosting the demand for structural adhesives. Aircraft manufacturers primarily rely on structural adhesives to lower the weight and production cost and impart strength, stiffness, and high-performance temperature resistance to aircraft. Structural adhesives play a vital role in the aerospace industry by replacing heavier bonding techniques and mechanical fasteners, lowering the aircraft's weight. Structural adhesives are also used in connecting the blades of the aircraft and reducing the number of pins required to attach aerospace skin components. This reduces the stress on components by allowing a strong adhesion to several materials.
Additionally, honeycomb structures can be observed in spoilers, flaps, ailerons, and rudders. The primary purpose of this structure is to minimize weight while enhancing strength. These components use epoxy adhesives to fill gaps between the edges, especially the exposed edges. The fuselage interior is another major area where epoxy adhesives are used. They also coat interior panels as chemical-resistant structural adhesives can be easily cleaned.
An economic breakdown was witnessed across all countries due to COVID-19, particularly in Europe and North America. Restrictions adopted to control the spread of the virus have alleviated the strain on overburdened and fragile health systems and profoundly affected economic growth. This global health crisis led to a global recession in several regions. Industrial development is bound to the economic growth of a country or region. Therefore, the recession has led to a decline in industrial and commercial development and has impacted the structural adhesives market.
Emerging economies accounted for almost 60% of annual global growth, with China and India being the leading countries in emerging economies. Emerging economies, especially India, China, and Brazil, represent lucrative opportunities for adhesive vendors owing to urbanization over the past five years, government policies to attract foreign participants to set up their manufacturing base, and, most importantly, the surging purchasing power of consumers, resulting in increased demand for goods, along with the quality aspect. Footwear and leather, vehicle, and pharmaceutical industries have been the major demand generators in the emerging economy.
Foreign investments in emerging markets are a feasible choice due to the favorable demographic factors and increasing affluence within these economies. Asia-Pacific is one of the major markets for pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturers, as around 13%-15% of branded and generic manufacturers are based in China. This offers a lucrative opportunity to adhesive vendors due to the extensive use of adhesives in medical devices.
Based on region, the global structural adhesive market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global structural adhesive market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.72% during the forecast period. This region is the most attractive market for structural adhesive manufacturers due to its higher domestic demand and availability of low-cost labor. Therefore, market participants concentrate on this region to increase their market share and profitability. Expansions and investments, agreements, acquisitions, and new product launches are major strategies key players adopt to enhance their positions in the structural adhesives market. In addition, China, Japan, India, and South Korea are contributing to the market growth in Asia-Pacific. Strong economic growth, growing construction activities, and increasing disposable income support the market's growth.
Similarly, Asia-Pacific is the major market for the global construction industry. Rapid urbanization and renovation, coupled with a huge population, have supported the growth of the construction industry in Asia-Pacific. Strong investments in infrastructure spending, especially in China, India, Japan, Myanmar, and Vietnam, will drive the market for structural adhesives.
Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.35% over the forecast period. Europe is home to the second-largest market for structural adhesives and is expected to witness absolute growth. Advancements in lightweight and efficient vehicles, increasing investments in the construction industry, and the well-established aerospace industry are the key drivers for the country's major consumption of structural adhesives. However, vendors must comply with the European Union's mandatory (legal) requirements to enter the European market. The European aerospace sector is a highly developed industry that manufactures high-class jets, helicopters, aero engines, civil aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles using precision hand tools. The increasing use of structural adhesives in the wind energy industry also presents lucrative opportunities for European structural adhesives vendors. The wind energy structural adhesives market is expected to clock an incremental revenue of USD 0.15 billion from 2021 to 2027.
In North America, the aerospace, automotive, and construction industries drive the demand for structural adhesives. It will likely continue as a key driving factor for the adhesives market. The YoY increase in 2020 over 2019 is significantly higher than the last year due to the increasing automotive production in North America. Canada is among the top ten manufacturers of light vehicles. Hence, the demand for adhesives from the automotive industry is expected to be very high. With more than 2 million vehicles manufactured in Canada and a GDP contribution of over USD 18 billion, the automotive industry is the largest manufacturing sector in Canada. In addition, the U.S. is among the most important electric vehicle manufacturers and export markets. The booming construction industry is driving demand for structural adhesives in North America and is likely to continue as a key driving factor for the adhesives market.
Latin America is an emerging market with rapidly growing economies of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico. The simpler availability of raw materials, cheap labor, and easy access to two of the largest consumer markets in the U.S. and Canada have augmented the growth of value-added manufacturing output like automotive, packaging, and aerospace. The rise in awareness and shift in consumer preference is boosting the demand for bio-based adhesives in the region. The increase in demand from the furniture, flooring, and housing component industries is likely to enhance the demand for structural adhesives in Latin America.
The Middle East and Africa region has played a pivotal role in global economic growth over the past two decades. The region has increasingly leveraged the positive economics of crude trade to build record budget surpluses. There has been a dramatic improvement in the region's quality of living and infrastructural setup, driven by the spending of these budget surpluses on construction and public infrastructure. With oil prices at a low and having realized the risk of being economically dependent on oil, many Middle Eastern economies are increasingly turning to construction, followed by petrochemicals and value addition to attaining growth. An estimated USD 1 trillion worth of construction and infrastructure projects are planned and are being tendered for execution until 2025 in the Middle East.
The global structural adhesives market is bifurcated into resin, technology, substrate, and end-user.
Based on resin, the global market is segmented into toughened acrylic, epoxy, polyurethane, cyanoacrylate, and others.
The toughened acrylic segment is the largest revenue contributor to the market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.96% over the forecast period. Toughened acrylics are based mainly on monofunctional monomers, namely, methyl methacrylate and cyclohexyl methacrylate. The most widely used monomer is methyl methacrylate due to its availability at a low cost. Toughened acrylic adhesives are suitable for bonding substrates such as plastics, glass, or wood to metal, along with all polymeric materials. These adhesives are cured at room temperature and offer various properties.
In addition, toughened acrylic adhesives are majorly used for bonding materials in plastic and oily metals. They offer impressive mechanical resistance, although not as good as epoxy adhesives. Toughened acrylic adhesives are generally cheaper than epoxy adhesives, and the curing time is also fast.
Based on technology, the global market is bifurcated into solvent-based, water-based, and others.
The water-based segment is the highest contributor to the market and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 7.60% over the forecast period. Water-based adhesives are made either from natural polymers- vegetable sources (e.g., starches, dextrins), protein sources (e.g., fish, soybean, casein, albumen), animal sources (bones, hides), or soluble synthetic polymers (methylcellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, and polyvinylpyrrolidone, polyvinyl alcohol, and cellulose ethers). Due to its high viscosity, it is suitable for porous substrates such as paper, cardboard, wood, textiles, and some plastics. It is supplied as pre-mixed solutions or made as dry powders, which producers and distributors must mix with water to obtain its adhesive properties. The strength or bond of the adhesives is obtained when water evaporates or is absorbed by the substrate. Therefore, using at least one permeable substrate while using a water-based adhesive is important.
Based on substrate, the global market is divided into composite, metal, wood, plastic, and others.
The composite segment owns the highest market share and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.14% throughout the forecast period. Composites are the fastest-growing segment in the structural adhesives market during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to composite adhesives' strong bonding and high chemical and heat resistance, making them suitable for use across various industry verticals. In addition to strength and durability, composite materials also reduce the weight of components. The growing need for lightweight materials in aerospace industries to reduce fuel consumption has increased the use of composite materials, augmenting the utilization of structural adhesive for bonding and sealing purposes. Specialty adhesives offer a good surface finish in aerospace applications, such as bonding honeycomb sandwich panels to provide rigidity to interior panels and weight reduction.
Based on end-users, the global market is bifurcated into building and construction, automotive, aerospace, electrical and electronics, wind energy, marine, medical devices, and others.
The building and construction segment dominates the global market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.86% over the forecast period. In the building and construction industry, structural adhesives are used to install window panels, wall coverings, and roofing for bonding dissimilar joints such as ceramic tiles, concrete to concrete, construction panels, and composite bonding. In addition, structural adhesives are widely used in viaducts and segmental bridge construction for joining precast concrete elements like beams, columns, and slabs to the base of the bridge. They prevent contaminants and water from seeping into joints, fill voids, and prevent the grout from draining into the joints. Moreover, they increase the bridge's lifespan and offer durability and aesthetic effects. Thus, the growth of the construction industry is highly dependent on structural adhesives as they are extensively used in repairing and bonding strong materials in commercial, residential, industrial, and infrastructure segments such as road, rail, and ports.