By Christeena Thomas, Industry Analyst – Chemicals, Materials & Nutrition

The market for coatings, adhesives, and sealants in this end industry is greatly influenced by the increasingly stringent environmental mandates that are strictly enforced in European countries and North America. These regulations are also rapidly being implemented in countries of the developing world, especially in Asia-Pacific. The coatings, adhesives, and sealants product landscape is controlled by the various regulatory bodies around the world; product manufacturers need to carefully and proactively formulate products that address the reduction of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions or the use of toxic heavy metals, such as hexavalent chromium or tin, and ensure that these formulations are sustainable in the future.

The changing regulatory landscape and other factors have resulted in significant developments over the years on these materials, which are used in different modes of transport. The rising use of lightweight plastics and composite materials to replace conventional metallic parts, driven by the need for fuel efficiency and reduction in pollution, has contributed to the changing product landscape. However, the growing use of plastics and composites has also created growth opportunities for adhesives and sealants in an area where fasteners and other mechanical means were used to join metallic parts. This trend is especially significant in the aerospace and passenger vehicle segments, driving manufacturers to introduce newer coating products that are compatible with composite substrates while also catering to the need for increased gloss and weather and impact resistance. It also addresses sustainability over the longer term. Furthermore, the passenger car market is witnessing a surge in the adoption of both active and passive safety systems that are carefully integrated into modern-day cars to assist drivers in avoiding crashes. This trend creates a significant impact on the demand for automotive coatings, adhesives and sealants. Moreover, the frequent sale of aircraft between various commercial airlines worldwide is considerably contributing to the market growth of interior coatings, adhesives and sealants. This trend is expected to continue for some time.

The sales of passenger cars, heavy-duty vehicles, and aircraft are on the rise in the Asia-Pacific region, reflecting the high economic growth observed in the large economies of the region, such as China and India, but also in the developing South East Asian countries. The increasing industrialization in the region is propelling the growth of an urban population with higher disposable incomes, which promotes the growth of new vehicle sales in these countries. In addition, the growing regional aircraft fleet creates significant opportunities in the commercial maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) sector, which contributes to the demand for coatings, adhesives, and sealants in this region.


The key trends, which include the changing regulatory landscape, the growing demand for more sustainable products and the increasing adoption of lightweight materials, have a significant impact on the market for coatings, adhesives and sealants used in the automotive and transportation sectors. The regulatory and industry standards for coatings, adhesives, and sealants in this industry revolve around lower VOC emissions, elimination of the use of harmful heavy metals in formulations, and increased performance requirements such as weather and impact resistance.

However, the rapid move toward autonomous vehicles and cars with improved active and passive safety systems that considerably reduce or even eliminate the occurrence of accidents could have a negative impact by gradually resulting in the decline of automotive refinish coatings.

One of the key capabilities of the team working for the Infrastructure and Mobility program area of Frost & Sullivan’s Chemicals, Materials & Nutrition Practice is the extent of understanding of the coatings, adhesives, and sealants applications and markets in various end industries. Analysis of Automotive & Transportation, as a key end industry for these materials, is imperative for manufacturers and other market participants to make future decisions.

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Rajalakshmi Rajendran, Content Manager - team

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