Market Overview: Sealant use in construction continues to steadily increase due to its importance in forming ever-critical air/water barriers. The barriers are energy efficient and serve to improve occupants' health by blocking out pests and pollution. As public interest in green building grows, so does the use of sealants. Water-based sealants are dominating the market with the concern over toxins from solvents. Additionally, manufacturers are moving to develop renewable alternatives for the petrochemical base of sealants. Vegetable oils are one base currently in use. The rate of new construction and renovations, along with worldwide legislation on solvent emissions, will continue to influence the growth of sealants. Demand for sealants is expected to outpace adhesives in the near term, enhancing manufacturing production levels and associated supply opportunities.
Large multinational companies—both domestic and foreign—dominate the market, with Henkel, 3M, H.B. Fuller, and Dow together having nearly 50% market share. Mergers and acquisitions in the sealant and chemical industries continue at a rapid pace. This can lead to some disruption in production as supplier product lists are consolidated and manufacturers have to reformulate.
Transnational corporations also tailor compositions to local market conditions, reflecting regulations on content. Restrictions on the use of toxic substances vary greatly between states, countries, and chemicals regulated.