Global Flexible Epoxy Resin Market Research Report Forecast to 2030
The global flexible epoxy resin market is expected to experience significant growth during the forecast period from 2022 to 2030. In 2021, the market was valued at USD 600 million and is projected to reach USD 1,076 million by the end of 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.19%. In terms of volume, the market was sized at 82.56 kilotons in 2021 and is anticipated to reach 132.61 kilotons by the end of 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.82%.
Flexible epoxy resins, also known as polyepoxides, are reactive prepolymers and polymers that contain epoxide or epoxy functional groups. These resins can be cross-linked through catalytic homopolymerization or with various co-reactants such as polyfunctional amines, acids, phenols, alcohols, and thiols to achieve desirable mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties. This cross-linking process is referred to as curing, and the resulting cured flexible epoxy resins are used in a wide range of applications such as paints and coatings, electrical and electronics, and automotive industries. They are used as encapsulates for semiconductor materials, surface coatings, adhesives, and painting materials.
USD 1076.2 Mn incremental growth between 2021 and 2026
Type, Application, End User, Region
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The growth of the global flexible epoxy resin market is driven by several factors. The increasing demand for flexible epoxy resins in the paint and coatings industry, particularly for applications such as anti-corrosive primers, heavy-duty intermediates, and chemical-resistant tank linings, is expected to contribute to market growth. Additionally, the growing construction industry is also driving the demand for flexible epoxy resins.
However, stringent government regulations regarding the use of flexible epoxy resins may pose a challenge to market growth. For example, studies conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare have shown that bisphenol A liquid epoxy resin and bisphenol F liquid epoxy resin are mutagenic. Similarly, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has set Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for certain flexible epoxy resins. Overexposure to these resins can lead to health issues such as allergies, asthma, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
Despite these challenges, the market is expected to witness growth due to the high demand for flexible epoxy resins in emerging economies, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as various end-user industries continue to develop in these regions.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including type, application, end user, and region.
Segmentation by Type
Segmentation by Application
Segmentation by End User
Paints & Coatings
Electrical & Electronics
Military & Defense
Segmentation by Region
North America- United States and Canada
Europe- United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Poland, and Rest of Europe
Asia-Pacific- China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Australia, and Rest of Asia-Pacific
Latin America- Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Rest of Latin America
Middle East and Africa- Turkey, Israel, Northern Africa, GCC, and Rest of MEA
In terms of type, the global flexible epoxy resin market has been categorized into urethane modified, rubber modified, dimer acid, and others. The urethane modified segment accounted for the largest market share of 44.83% in 2021 by volume, with a market value of USD 269 million. It is expected to register a CAGR of 8.55% by value during the forecast period. The rubber modified segment accounted for the second largest market share in 2021, valued at USD 188 million, and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.13% by value during the forecast period.
When it comes to structural bonding, coating, sealing, and potting applications, urethane modified epoxy offers a distinct combination of characteristics. Compared to plain epoxy adhesives, epoxy adhesives containing 30% weight percent polyurethane showed an improvement of around 98% in dimensional stability. Increasing the amount of polyurethane raised the epoxy’s glass transition temperature from 0 °C to 74.76 °C. The urethane in the polyurethane (PU) molecular chain enhances the mechanical strength, impact resistance, and bonding strength of the epoxy resin. Urethane modified epoxy resins are used in various applications such as vinyl flooring, vinyl sports surfaces, toughening additives for other epoxy formulations, and additives to improve thermal shock and peel. These adhesives maintain strong peel and shear strengths when attaching different substrates like metals, plastics, composites, ceramics, rubbers, and even dissimilar substrates. They are known for their strong adhesion to flexible surfaces and are used in lightweight applications, which help increase energy efficiency and reduce costs in industries such as vehicles, machinery, boats, locomotives, mining equipment, and aircraft.
In terms of application, the global flexible epoxy resin market has been segmented into primer, composites, adhesives, semiconductors, electrical laminate, and others. The primer segment accounted for the largest market share of 49.13% by volume in 2021, with a market value of USD 295 million. It is expected to register a CAGR of 7.93% by value during the forecast period. The electric laminate segment accounted for the second largest market share in 2021, valued at USD 101 million, and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.82% by value during the forecast period.
A structural steel primer is a two-part epoxy primer that requires two parts to be chemically cured through cross-linking. This type of primer creates a coating that is resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and moisture. It is commonly used in water treatment facilities, tank exteriors, power plants, and maritime applications. Epoxy primers have several key characteristics, including low viscosity, strong adherence to various surfaces (including those that have not been properly prepared), good humidity and corrosion resistance, and improved chemical resistance. They are applied to damp surfaces to prevent epoxy materials from adhering to substrates and serve as a primer for laminates and carbon wrap systems. Epoxy primers can also be used to patch up insect holes and spalls. In maritime coatings, epoxy resin with a BPA base is frequently used as a primer. Epoxy primers can waterproof materials and prevent oxidation of bare metal.
By end-use industry, the flexible epoxy resin market has been classified into paints & coatings, construction, automotive, electrical & electronics, military & defense, and others. The paints & coatings segment dominated the flexible epoxy resin market with a share of 43.14% by value in 2021, driven by the increasing use of flexible epoxy in the paints & coatings industry.
Epoxy resins are widely used for high-performance and aesthetically pleasing flooring such as terrazzo flooring, chip flooring, and colored aggregate flooring. Water-based epoxy paints dry quickly and provide a strong, durable layer. Epoxy coatings are commonly used in marine applications for shipbuilding, maintenance, and repairs on various parts of ships, including underwater hulls and ballasts. The epoxide content of the epoxy resins is a crucial factor that affects the behavior of epoxy paints. Different grades of epoxy resins are typically combined with additives, plasticizers, and fillers to achieve the desired paint quality. Epoxy resin-based paints and coatings have gained a significant market share in the building and construction industry, especially in floor and pool painting applications. These paints and coatings require less energy for curing compared to heat-cured powder coatings, making them more environmentally friendly.
In terms of region, the Asia-Pacific held the largest market share of 44.70% in 2021. This dominance is mainly due to the rapid growth of end-user industries such as paints & coatings and construction in the region. For example, the Indian passenger car market is projected to grow at a CAGR of more than 9% between 2022 and 2027, which will positively impact the flexible epoxy resin market. The North American and European regions are also expected to register steady growth, with projected CAGRs of 6.33% and 7.29%, respectively, by the end of 2030, reaching market values of USD 188 million and USD 295 million.
The global flexible epoxy resin market is characterized by a competitive landscape, with numerous regional and local vendors vying for market share. The key driver of the market is the increasing demand for flexible epoxy resin in various end-use industries, particularly for epoxy-based composites. Vendors compete based on factors such as cost, product quality, and geographical availability. It is essential for them to offer cost-effective and high-quality flexible epoxy resin to remain competitive.
The competitive scenario within the market is fragmented, with tier-1, tier-2, and tier-3 companies operating. However, tier-1 and tier-2 companies hold a significant portion, accounting for over 60% of the global market share. The growth of market players is influenced by factors such as market and economic conditions, government regulations, and industrial development. Therefore, players should focus on expanding their production capacity to meet demand and improve their services.
Currently, major companies in the market include DIC Corporation, Olin Corporation, Hexion, Kukdo Chemical Limited, Aditya Birla Chemicals, Huntsman International LLC, Emerald Performance Materials, Resoltech, Epoxonic, Cardolite Corporation, Spolchemie, Atul Limited, Conren Limited, Intertronics, and Mereco Technologies. These companies compete based on product quality, pricing, and availability, with a strong focus on the development of flexible epoxy resin.
While international players dominate the market, regional and local players with smaller market shares also have a moderate presence. International players have expanded their presence across major regions, including North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa, through established manufacturing units or sales offices.
Recent Industry Developments
In May 2019, DIC Corporation acquired Ideal Chemiplast Private Limited, a coating resin manufacturing company based in Badlapur, to expand its presence in the South Asian market, which offers significant growth opportunities. Ideal Chemiplast Private Limited primarily focuses on developing resin products for various applications such as automotive repainting, coil coatings, and more.
In April 2020, Hexion introduced a new epoxy system with reduced yellowing for concrete protection and a specialized amine curing agent to help coatings manufacturers meet lower indoor air pollution standards. This system combines EPIKURELY Curing Agent 3801 with EPONLY Resin, offering an ambient-cure, two-component solution that provides exceptional epoxy performance, overnight curing, and up to five times less yellowing.
June 2020 saw the development of epichlorohydrin production technology from glycerin by Spolchemie, aimed at enhancing production efficiency and minimizing negative environmental impacts. As the first company in Europe to manufacture certified green epoxy resins under the Envi POXY brand, Spolchemie utilizes waste glycerin from biodiesel production, containing 28% biocarbon, as a complete substitute for propylene.
In November 2020, Kukdo Chemical India, the regional affiliate of Kukdo Chemical, completed the construction of its dahej production facility in the Dahej Special Economic Zone of Gujarat, India. With optimized product solutions and production capabilities, Kukdo Chemicals aims to strengthen its position as a top global player in the domestic Indian market. The facility, spanning 138,025m2, has a production capacity of 40,000 tons of epoxy per year.
In January 2021, Huntsman International LLC acquired Gabriel Performance Products, a specialty chemical manufacturer based in North America. Gabriel specializes in producing specialty additives and epoxy curing agents for industries such as paints, adhesives, sealants, and composites. Gabriel operates three production plants located in Ashtabula, Ohio; Harrison City, Pennsylvania; and Rock Hill, South Carolina, generating over $106 million in revenue. The acquisition was valued at approximately 11 times adjusted EBITDA or around 8 times pro forma for synergies.
In August 2021, LANXESS obtained all the shares of Emerald Performance Materials from American Securities LLC, a U.S. private equity firm. The deal included Emerald’s operations in Washington, the UK, and the Netherlands. These facilities produce consumer-friendly preservatives, natural-identical fragrance chemicals, low-VOC coalescents, phthalate-free plasticizers, and modifiers.
In January 2022, Cardolite Corporation launched the NX-8100 series, a waterborne curing agent for epoxy systems that offers superior adhesion and corrosion protection to various substrates. This groundbreaking product line is the first commercially available waterborne curing agent based on CNSL (Cashew Nut Shell Liquid). The NX-8101 grade is designed for water-based, cost-effective metal primers requiring excellent corrosion protection, self-leveling primers, and epoxy concrete primers that demand rapid return to service and strong adhesion to concrete and topcoats.
Key Questions Answered
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