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Impact of Circular Economy on Adhesives & Sealants Industry

Lorna Williams – Dec 15, 2017


Impact of Circular Economy on Adhesives and Sealants Industry The manufacturing of adhesives and sealants is a complex world with much different chemistry, with formulations taking different forms. Also, each formulation often requires different production and application techniques.

Add the challenges of an ever-changing chemical regulatory landscape and you may wonder how manufacturers continue to produce and develop innovative products for their customers!

Adhesives have been replacing conventional methods such as mechanical fastening, welding, and other joining methods in various industrial applications. Manufacturers and assemblers have been using adhesives because of:

 » Superior product performance
 » Reliability
 » Better operating life, and
 » Lower overall manufacturing cost

Industrial adhesives are used in multiple industries such as electronics, medical, construction, automotive, packaging, and so on. In construction industry, adhesives are used in floor manufacturing, insulation and panels.

In addition, more sealing is taking place for improved thermal insulation and for damping noise and vibration (in building / construction, transportation and general assembly applications).

Also expected to drive growth in the market is the increased focus on developing eco-friendly sealants. A key factor driving the trend is the increasing pressure exerted by governments worldwide on industries to reduce their carbon footprint and effectively manage waste. Environmentally friendly sealants replacing conventional sealants with reduced CO2 emissions and enhanced energy efficiency will thus witness strong growth.

Let's see how circular economy is assigning a major reason for the development of eco-friendly sealants...

Adhesives & Sealants - A Problem to Circular Economy!


There are increasing voices that are saying that the use of adhesives & sealants is a problem in terms of end of life disassembly for the circular economy. Focusing solely on end of life potentially ignores the long-term benefits society has seen with adhesives and sealants.

It is vital for society that we adopt a whole life cycle approach and all actors in the supply and use chain need to work together to ensure that adhesives and sealants continue to enhance our lives rather than become a problem.

The thought that all adhesives and sealant use causes end of life recycling problems and that a return to mechanical fixing is a solution, is a potential disastrous trend for adhesive and sealants manufacturers if taken to its ultimate end point (‘ban all adhesives’). So, the industry must work to find better solutions for end of life and disassembly.

This may involve an acceptance that some adhesives market segments will be lost, where their benefits cannot outweigh the disadvantages of end of life dismantleability, or where better bonding solutions are developed.

Circular Economy

 » Continue reading to explore how sustainability & eco-design bonding solutions encourage end of life re-use and recycle solution in A&S sector... 

1 Comments on "Impact of Circular Economy on Adhesives & Sealants Industry"
Clare P Jan 10, 2018
An excellent summary, and presentation of the conflicting issues. I would reiterated that a key opportunity/ challenge for the A&S industry is the development of products which can be debonded on demand

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