Adhesives, commonly known as glues are the substances which are capable of forming a bond between to surfaces and maintaining the bond very firmly. On the other hand sealants are the substances which are like filler materials in the gaps or joints between two materials to prevent the passages of fluids. The aviation industry demands for high performance adhesives & sealant systems to be used in composites which are employed in interior and exterior applications. Adhesives & Sealants in aerospace/aviation industry are mostly valued for their properties such as creep resistance, tensile strength, durability, elasticity, torsional stiffness, weather resistance, adhesion to dissimilar materials and styling aesthetics.
In terms of resin, epoxy based adhesives & sealants hold the major share of global market, owing to its superior mechanical properties, high corrosion resistance and high creep resistance. Rising demand for pressure sensitive adhesives and sealants in aviation is leading to increased adoption of polyurethane and silicone based materials.
In terms of applications, urethane and polycloroprene rubber adhesives are employed in elastomeric structures being used in aircraft applications such as escape slides, life preservers and life rafts that are used in commercial and regional aircraft manufactured by Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer and others. The military uses these type adhesives for portable elastomeric fuel storage tanks and for high speed rubber boats used by the coast guard and military. It is so evident that commercial aviation was the largest end use application segment in 2016.
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North America is projected to hold large share of the aviation adhesives & sealants market due to presence of large number of OEMs in the region. The aviation adhesives & sealants market in Europe is estimated to expand at a rapid pace in the next few years. Demand for adhesives & sealants is anticipated to be high in Asia Pacific owing to extensive innovation in technologies in the region. China, Japan, and India are projected to constitute prominent share of the aviation adhesives & sealants market in the region in the near future. The aviation adhesives & sealants market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is likely to expand at a moderate pace in the near future
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The increased adoption of adhesives & sealants usage over mechanical fasteners like bolts or screws is driving the market growth potentially owing to light weight contributions, which is an important requirement for aerodynamics and fuel consumption of an aircraft. Many aerospace applications are demanding for the aerospace adhesive according to a specification such as a Mil Spec, ASTM, SAE, or an internal company specification, such as a Boeing specification or a Lockheed Martin specification. These stringent specifications to meet is a quite a challenge for adhesive formulators which is making them to invest in new technologies’ R&D. However, the unpredictability in investments in commercial and military aircraft manufacturing sectors, is likely to restrict the market growth.
The key players in global aviation adhesives & sealants market includes, Forbo Adhesives, H.B. Fuller, Halltech, Mapei, Mulco, Nacan Products, 3M and others.