Global Adhesives & Sealants

4th Edition

Adhesives and Sealants

This study covers the global market for adhesives and sealants. Markets include:

  • packaging
  • construction
  • tapes and labels
  • transportation equipment
  • consumer goods
  • textiles
  • other markets (e.g., appliances, medical and dental, sporting goods, and jewelry)

In addition, demand is analyzed by product type, including:


Water-based adhesives and sealants are those that use water as the primary carrier, although they often contain small amounts of organic solvents as well. Adhesive bonds are formed by physical hardening, through either the evaporation of water or the absorption of water into the substrate. Water-based adhesives include both wet bonding and contact types. In the wet bonding process, substrates are coated with an adhesive and joined before the water evaporates or is absorbed (i.e., while it is still wet). In contrast, substrates coated with contact adhesives are brought together only after the water has evaporated, and the bond is formed via the application of pressure.


Reactive adhesives and sealants undergo a chemical reaction during curing. Reactive adhesives include single-component and two-component formulations. Single-component types feature premixed components that bond following exposure to conditions such as high temperatures, light, moisture, or radiation. Two-component reactive systems feature separate components that are mixed shortly before application, initiating a curing reaction.

Hot Melt

Hot melt adhesives and sealants are 100% solids formulations that are generally solid or viscous liquids at room temperature, but become flowable liquids when heated, allowing them to be easily applied. Upon cooling, the hot melt physically sets to form a bond that can be varied in strength by the addition of tackifiers and various processing additives during the formulation stage.


Solvent-based adhesives and sealants are manufactured by dissolving or dispersing binder polymers in a solvent. The bond is formed upon the solvent’s evaporation. As with water-based products, solvent-based adhesives include both wet bonding and contact types. Wet bonding adhesives are applied to each substrate, which are then bonded while the adhesive is liquid. In contrast, contact adhesives are allowed to set on each substrate before the substrates are brought together and bonded via the application of pressure. 


Natural adhesives and sealants are primarily of animal or vegetable origin. The leading types of natural adhesives and sealants are produced from starch and dextrin. Other natural adhesive and sealant types include protein adhesives, including animal and fish glues, casein, and shellac; cellulosic adhesives; and vegetable oil-based sealants.

Historical demand data (2007, 2012, and 2017) and forecasts for 2022 are presented for water-based, reactive, hot melt, solvent-based, natural, and other adhesives and sealants.

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