According to Ajay Durrani, Managing Director, Covestro India, “The components that are driving these markets are emerging economies, technological advancements, globalisation, increase usage of adhesives and sealants to seal and protect materials in an environment-friendly manner, the building and construction sector, footwear industry and wood-working and joinery industry.”
To this, Muralidhara K Shenoy, Country and Commercial Director, Huntsman Advanced Materials, adds, “Government regulations regarding environmental impact have led to an increase in demand for low or no volatile organic compound (VOC) adhesives.”
Adhesives and sealants have had a large impact upon the construction industry since the invention of synthetic polymers. Their usage proliferated rapidly with the introduction of a much wider range of high-performance base polymers and formulations between 1960 and 1980. “Today, adhesives and sealants are important elements of most building systems and structures,” says Durrani. “It is a trend that will accelerate as the industry adopts innovative construction techniques and designs.”
In terms of revenue, the construction sector has been a major contributor to the adhesives and sealants segment. “Increasing government focus on infrastructure development and a rise in construction projects have led to an increase in demand for primers, adhesives and sealants,” says Shenoy.
Applications and trends
Adhesives and sealants are revolutionising the building industry as integral components of the construction process.
In the view of Monica Khosla Bhargava, Principal Architect, KHAM Consultants, “Not only do they replace the mortar of traditional construction practices but additionally provide weatherproofing advantages. Their effective application in bonding a vast variety of building materials, including glass, concrete, bricks, stones, tiles, ceramics, wood and metals, is contributing to a change in the way we use these materials, both in architecture and interiors.”
Adhesives and sealants are mainly required for rapid curing with durability and resistance to extreme weather conditions. Elaborating further, Shenoy says, “Our range of epoxy resins, hardeners, epoxy reactive diluents and specialty additives provide high-performance systems, designed for protection, maintenance and repair of cementitious substrates and structures. As part of its Araldite Builder range, Huntsman has introduced Barrier Koat, which is useful to combat leakages, and Klad X, which is used for vertical cladding of marble.”
For his part, Chetan Raikar, Chairman and Managing Director, Structwel, believes cement is the best and the first adhesive known to the construction industry. “Another form of adhesive is chemical binder of various compositions, which has been used in India for over four decades now. The adhesives are used to fix flooring and dado tiles, gaps between shuttering plates and planks, plaster bond enhancers, waterproofing bond enhancers, bonding old and new concrete in repairs sites, etc,” he says.
Another innovative building material highly dependent on adhesives and sealants for its application is the slim tile. “Lightweight and large size, industrially produced slim tile with adhesives and grouts is used to fix and finish products,” says Bhargava. “It spells the smart future of architecture with its high sensitivity to green building practices.”
- DIKSHA JAWLE