Bonding technologies such as adhesives and sealants play a key role in the modern industrial landscape and are rapidly becoming an integral part of countless sectors.
Due to their numerous advantages over alternative technologies, the use of adhesive technology is considered to be an efficient process in bonding materials to production facilities. For example, sealants and adhesives help to overcome the challenges associated with conventional techniques such as mechanical bonding, which can weaken the material due to the need for drilling or heat bonding, which involves applying heat to the materials and subsequently changing their properties. .
The role of adhesives and sealants across the industrial spectrum has been subject to many developments and changes over the years, which have led to its significance in the modern era.
These bonding elements have been used for centuries, evolving as naturally occurring materials such as tree sap and tar, and eventually evolving into advanced synthetic formulations with the rise of the chemical industry. Through this evolution, the adhesive and sealant industry is becoming important for an ever-expanding application scope, expanding industrial sectors such as electrical installation, agricultural technology, vehicle technology and more.
A notable example of the significance of these bonding technologies in industrial applications is the significant role played by coatings, sealants and adhesives in the 2020 launch of the ATLAS V 541 rocket as part of NASA’s diligent mission to Mars. PPG to PPG PR-2001 Class B Rapid Healing Fuel Tank Sealant, PPG DESOTHANE ™ CA8200 Series HS Polyurethane Topcoat, and PPG PR-1665 Cryogenic potting and molding compounds. Was. Energy Such initiatives are a clear indicator of a growing industrial fortress Glue and sealants marketWhich is expected to exceed $ 64.7 billion and $ 15 billion by 2027, according to reliable reports.
What are adhesives and sealants?
In recent years, the demand for advanced sealants and adhesives, especially from industrial and manufacturing applications, has been increasing rapidly. These bonding technologies demonstrate strong advantages for businesses, from cost-effectiveness to time-saving and ease of use, and are available as a variety of materials designed to meet the needs of different industrial landscapes.
Refers to adhesive materials that demonstrate the ability to bind surfaces together for an indefinite length. Possessing strong tensile and shear strength, these materials are considered as ideal bonding technology in high-pressure application. Such as for the exterior surface of a building. Glue is available in countless forms, water-based, solvent-based, and oil-based, among others.
Sealants, on the other hand, refer to the materials used to fill gaps and to control the relative motion of surfaces where they are applied. Although less powerful than adhesives, the main function of a sealant is to create a barrier or seal to prevent the passage of liquids through joints, gaps or openings in materials such as concrete, bricks or tiles.
3 main differences between sealant and adhesive
Although often considered interchangeable, especially in industries where both adhesives and sealants are used and despite their similar basic functionality, there are strong differences between the two based on 3 basic parameters, which are listed below.
In the general case
One of the main differences between adhesives and sealants is their general performance. As the name implies, sealants are primarily used to seal any space between surfaces that are applied to create an airtight or waterproof area. In home construction applications, for example, sealants are usually applied to the interior to prevent the passage of glass, air drafts or other minute particles.
Glue, on the other hand, is used primarily to bind one surface to another, as opposed to creating a seal or barrier.
The basic structure of the sealant and the adhesive is also an indicator of the difference between the two bonding technologies. It includes their basic elements as well as look and feel. Adhesives, for example, are much stronger and harder than sealants, since they are made using complex structures designed to bind and grip at the cellular level. However, sealants are relatively more flexible and have less energy than adhesives, as they are made using specially graded polymers to create a rigid molecular structure that can prevent penetration.
Preparation and use
There are differences in the way adhesives and sealants are prepared, as well as the method of application. For example, the main function of an adhesive is to offer optimal binding properties to surfaces so that they can be retained. For this reason, thorough cleaning and treatment of the target surface is a key factor in applying glue to ensure proper setting of the binding. Alternatively, the sealant, which still requires a clean surface, does not require any specific treatment to perform optimally. The adhesive is usually applied as a paint or spray, while the sealant is applied to a special applicator or calling gun.
Despite these key differences, many adhesive and sealant manufacturers have begun to develop hybrid bonding technologies that combine the functionality of both components into a single product.
To illustrate, in August 2020, the fixing system manufacturer and distributor INDEX introduced the new MS polymer hybrid adhesive, designed to combine the strength of polyurethane with the insulating properties of silicone. These included MS-PR Professional Adhesive Sealant, which has countless advantageous features such as strong multi-material adhesion, 300% elasticity, and exceptional vibration resistance, making it highly suitable for a variety of applications, including shelves, decks, fixings and seals. Starting from doing. Sisters, expansion joints, and gutters for sealing containers, among others.
Growing Green Building Activities to emerge as the driving force behind the main growth of adhesive and sealant market
In recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in the construction trend towards the development of more eco-friendly buildings and green construction projects in view of the environmental concerns associated with the construction industry. As a result, sustainable construction products have gained rapid traction, resulting in significant growth opportunities for the adhesive and sealant market, with major manufacturers focusing on developing green bonding technologies that meet the demands of evolving sustainability and the circular economy.
In addition, the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) have reached out to Europe, GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) of Australia, and stringent health, safety and environmental regulations by major global organizations. The green building rating system LEED (Lead in Energy and Environmental Design) has aroused considerable interest in sustainable adhesive and sealant technology in modern construction.
The water-based adhesive and sealant industry, in particular, has seen significant progress and is expected to register a commendable 5.5% CAGR by 2027, according to GMI estimates. Since water-based adhesives contain no VOC (volatile organic compounds) and several non-porous and porous layers have beneficial properties such as high bonding strength, corrosion- and water resistance, these materials are gaining increasing popularity in the automotive and construction industries. Because green is an effective alternative to conventional bonding technology.
Industry leaders like Sikar are focusing on this trend, with the development of fancy sealants and adhesive products that set new standards for performance and environmental impact. SikaSeal®-106 Construction is an example of such a solution, designed as an elastic, durable construction bonding product for a variety of exterior and interior ceiling applications. The product designed to seal the joints has several key advantages such as low emissions, low odor and no dangerously good classification, all of which comply with EC1plus, including the highest emission classification and consequently LEED v4 low emission material credit.
The material science behind bonding technology has evolved significantly over the decades, with major technological advances making adhesives and sealants a major contributor to innovation and growth in multiple sectors. This, along with the existing trend towards lightweight and sustainable product design, high productivity goals and economic efficiency, will make the adhesive and sealant industry a key area of interest for industrial development in the years to come.