Manufacturers face no dearth of options when it comes to bonding solutions in the modern era; however, over time, pressure sensitive adhesives are increasingly establishing themselves as the most sought-after option.
PSAs have rapidly become preferred solutions for the adhesion needs of major industrial sectors. From removable adhesion to permanent bonding, pressure sensitive adhesives are ideal for joining fabric, foams and myriad other products to a vast array of substrates. Furthermore, strong attributes like design, strength, versatility, and flexibility are major contributing factors to pressure sensitive adhesives industry growth, given its many assembly benefits.
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The application scope for pressure sensitive bonding solutions is vast, spanning across the expansive industrial spectrum, particularly in sectors where high-performance and aesthetics are equally essential.
Enlisted below are 3 major applications powering pressure sensitive adhesives market trends:
Lightweighting in Automotive applications
For years, automotive manufacturers and tire suppliers have made use of PSAs as key bonding solutions in a plethora of automotive applications. With the rapid evolution of electrification and lightweighting, pressure sensitive adhesives and tapes are playing an increasingly important role in automotive production, enabling assembly process engineers worldwide to leverage the latest material and chemistry configurations pertaining to PSA formulation.
Auto makers are placing greater emphasis on addressing drive-by-noise emitted by tires, which has been identified as a major environmental issue. In order to reduce this impact, key adhesive manufacturers like Avery Dennison have started to introduce specially formulated pressure sensitive bonding solutions to ensure minimal interior vehicle noise levels and reduce tire-induced drive-by noise. In August 2021, Avery Dennison Performance Tapes introduced a novel portfolio of pressure sensitive adhesive solutions for acoustically insulated tires, designed to bond noise-absorbent foam as well as other materials to the tire’s internal surface.
Additionally, the emergence of stringent regulations like CAFÉ (corporate average fuel economy) standards, which are focused on maximizing the efficiency of vehicles have urged auto manufacturers to undertake targeted lightweighting efforts. Since even a fraction of an ounce can make a profound difference in the overall vehicular performance, PSAs are gaining increasing favor over conventional mechanical fasteners in modern vehicular applications.
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Development of tapes, dressings and TDDSs in medical applications
Healthcare is another prominent application sector for the pressure sensitive adhesives industry, given the constant pursuit of innovation by major healthcare product makers. Silicone-based PSAs are particularly popular, and are used extensively in the production of non-invasive, hypoallergenic and biocompatible surgical tapes, dressings and bandages.
Pressure sensitive adhesives and tapes demonstrate strong adaptability to various types of skin and injuries and prevent bacterial growth by keeping harmful substances and liquids out. For instance, in February 2021, Toyochem Co., Ltd. introduced a new line of polyurethane-based PSAs, dubbed Soft Skin, designed to accommodate evolving demands for low-trauma and safe medical products for patients with sensitive skin. With attributes such as low skin exfoliation and high moisture permeability, Soft Skin PSAs were designed for myriad medical applications like dressing films and surgical tapes.
Medical-grade pressure sensitive bonding solutions are also being used increasingly in the production of Transdermal Drug Delivery Systems (TDDS). This is credited to their distinct merits over conventional adhesive solutions, including adjustable adhesion, comfortable removal and biocompatibility.
Sustainability and convenience in packaging applications
Perhaps the most significant user of pressure sensitive adhesive solutions worldwide is the packaging industry, which has lately been on the lookout for greener and more sustainable materials and processes. This shift has been triggered by increasingly stringent global and national regulations regarding sustainability, as well as growing consumer-propensity towards eco-friendly products, which is, in turn, likely to generate promising growth prospects for the pressure sensitive adhesives industry.
PSA solutions are becoming commonplace in the production of compostable tapes and labels, since they do not require any water, heat or solvents, and are non-reactive, making them ideal for speedy manufacturing activities.
This is proving to be important in the current scenario, where the COVID-19 pandemic is driving a majority of the global population towards online platforms for their shopping needs, creating a robust need for secure and sturdy secondary packaging. One of the major pressure sensitive adhesives market players addressing this is Bostik, whose solutions like Open Sesame tear tape, are designed to offer strong tear-through attributes and maintain optimum box integrity.
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All in all, pressure sensitive adhesive solutions have managed to replace a large chunk of industrial adhesive applications over the last few decades, giving way to smaller, smoother and more aesthetic solutions. By enabling various industry sectors to pursue a host of design possibilities, pressure sensitive adhesives are on their way to becoming the most trusted permanent bonding solutions for the industrial landscape, now and in the years ahead.
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