Sealing Their Fate!

Sealing Their Fate!

The Indian adhesives and sealants market is expected to touch $1,703.68 million by 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence, growing at an estimated CAGR of 8.07 per cent. Interestingly, the packaging and construction industries are the two key contributors to this growth even as a conventional major ...

The Indian adhesives and sealants market is expected to touch $1,703.68 million by 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence, growing at an estimated CAGR of 8.07 per cent. Interestingly, the packaging and construction industries are the two key contributors to this growth even as a conventional major consumer, the automotive industry, experiences an unprecedented slowdown owing to COVID-19.Preferred sealantsAll types of sealants are widely used in the construction industry, observes Jyotindra Keer of JB Keer Adhesive Consultant. “In fact, they are also used in admixtures, plasticisers and repairing mortars.”“Ideally, any good waterproof sealant is used for flooring and plumbing works,” says Sanchit Gaurav, CEO & Founder, Housejoy. “Epoxy is a great sealant widely used in wet areas as it does not crack, shrink or discolour.”“Epoxy grouting is a stainproof option and is often used to achieve a seamless finish in designer tiles,” adds Revathi SR, Design Manager, Retale Design Solutions. “Cement grouting is a cost-effective sealant and is easier to shape at corner tile joints.”Most chemical sealants available in the market are waterproof, according to Gaurav. He rates Dr Fixit’s chemical sealant as the best. “Another good chemical sealant is from Asian Paints; we use it to fill terrace cracks and then paint them over with Asian Waterproof Paint.” He adds that another widely used category of sealants is silicon; “this is also water and moisture-resistant.”Observing that not all sealants are waterproof, Revathi says, “Silicon is the most preferable waterproof sealant for its weather-resistant and binding properties. Its ease of application because of convenient packaging is an add-on.”As for newer products, “Visicryl 7555 is a newer sealant we have used for cementitious flexible waterproofing and roof coating and as a bonding agent for all interior and exterior surfaces,” shares Gaurav. “We have also used Algiseal acrylic sealant as a crack and/or expansion joint filler for interior walls and window joints.”Popular adhesivesThe demand for eco-friendly products is growing, which is conducive to environmental safety, says Keer.Water-borne acrylic adhesives are more environment-friendly (with no volatile organic compounds) and economical than solvent-based adhesives, according to Mordor Intelligence. Acrylics are long-lasting, retain colour, are quick-drying and better resist impact. These are majorly used on exterior and interior surfaces made of primed metals, direct-to-metal applications, wood and masonry surfaces.“As the general awareness of adhesives reaches the common person, new entrepreneurship and product channels will get a boost,” says Keer. “Hence, the day-to-day usage of these products, which is becoming evident in today’s life, will get a boost for the future.”Within adhesives, Gaurav recommends the use of waterproof options.Interior Designer with Retale Design Solutions Raksha endorses the use of cement mortar for its binding quality in masonry and, alternatively, Roff cement for better workability and bed-levelling applications.As for flooring, traditionally, Indian flooring was done with Koba and cement, observes Neilesh Kenkare, Principal Architect, Arch-Aid. “Nowadays the trend is to use adhesives for flooring. With marble or tiles, epoxy-based adhesives are used, and in this category the widely used brands are Dr Fixit and Fevilite.”“We typically use Fevicol Speb 7 for vinyl flooring and Fevicol SR 998 for optimal bond strength,” says Lalit Suthar, Founder, MK Flooring. “Pidilite Fevicol Allfix clear and non-staining is another very strong, gum-like product.”“While wooden flooring is fixed by interlocking, the same adhesives are used to fix wooden skirting,” adds Suthar.Fevicol is preferred for vinyl flooring as an adhesive that is ready to use and eco-friendly, adds Raksha. “We use Araldite for furniture and Fevicol for wood furniture,” says Anas Khan, Founder, Wood Inn Furniture. “SR 998 is good for ply and laminate.”Plumbing productsAdhesives have limited applications in plumbing, but solvent-type sealants continue to play a major role, says BSA Narayan, Managing Director, Maple Engg-Design Services (India). “In fact, some sealants have adhesive qualities and are called adhesive sealants or structural sealants.”In the plumbing industry, normally, yellow-coloured National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)-approved CTS-500 adhesive is preferred for CPVC plumbing, according to Narayan. “NSF approval is important; the NSF is a third-party American not-for-profit that testifies products safe for use for potable water.”For pipes with a larger diameter (2.5 to 12 inch), Narayan points out that 724 heavy-bonded solvent with primer P-70 is preferable for better and easy penetration of the pipes till the socket end.“For uPVC plumbing of smaller diameter (0.5 to 2 inch), NSF-approved medium bodied and regular drying clear adhesive PVC-705 is preferred,” continues Narayan. “Grey-coloured NSF-approved heavy bodied uPVC-717 adhesive with NSF-approved P-70 clear primer is preferred for pipes with a diameter of 2.5 to 12 inch.”“We prefer various grades of solvent cement to join PVC and CPVC pipes, and SR995 to join nitrile rubber insulation to metal surfaces,” says Prakasan TP, CEO, MEP-IEPC Business, Sterling and Wilson. “Adhesives work as a bonding agent. They bond the material to a substrate and evaporate. At the same time, solvent cement is popularly called PVC glue but works very differently, fusing two plastics by melting their surface. Hence, it is popular for plastic pipes of all kinds, such as uPVC, CPVC, ABS, etc. All these are now the choice of MEP contractors for electrical, firefighting and plumbing applications.”“We use different solvent cement based on the application and the material, the Standard Dimensional Ratio of the pipe and the schedule,” continues Prakasan. “In some instances, manufacturers colour-code the solvent cement to help users distinguish it for particular uses. For example, clear for water supply, blue for swimming pool water with high chlorine content, etc. Industrial pipes carrying acidic chemicals require specialised or customised solvent cement.”In the sealants space, Sterling and Wilson prefers clear silicone sealant to fill the joints of sanitaryware and tiles, adds Prakasan. Higher-grade tiles, vitrified and of similar quality from reputed brands are less prone to warping and need lesser sealants. However, sealants help protect heavily used restrooms in commercial areas from pest invasions.Market gapsWhile Revathi believes that most essential adhesives/sealants are available in India, Gaurav says awareness of high-quality elastic adhesives and sealants is still low. “These offer enhanced strength and integrity and help reduce the cost of restoration/renovation works.”What’s missing is marketing, concurs Kenkare. “Consequently, awareness is low. Most of us architects and many designers are not aware of such products and, hence, not very particular about them.”With the growth in electronic operations across industries, including construction, Keer expects to see increasing demand for bio-based adhesives. These will offer various market growth opportunities.Gaurav expects do-it-yourself (DIY) products for gap filling, sealing and bonding applications to enter the Indian market.In the plumbing space, Narayan sees scope for fast-setting adhesives needing less curing and set time. “Such products would help drastically reduce the repair and lead time,” he says.Indeed, something the industry would look forward to.- CHARU BAHRI

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