Phenolic Resins Market Overview
Major manufacturers of phenolic resins are shifting their production base from developed regions such as North America and Europe to emerging economies of Southeast Asia to gain from availability of cheap raw material, low labor cost, and a vast resource pool. This is likely to translate into the development of cheaper resins and the introduction of new products in the APAC region.
Phenolic resins, also known as phenol–formaldehyde resins, are synthetic polymers that are produced from the reaction of phenol or substituted phenol with formaldehyde at high temperatures. These are widely used in wood adhesives, molding compounds, and laminates. The resins are flame-retardant, demonstrate high heat resistance, high tensile strength, and low toxicity, and generate low smoke. In the report, the phenolic resins market is segmented on the basis of product type, application, and region.
The phenolic resins market can be classified on the basis of product type into novolac resins, resol resins, and others. Among these, resol resins hold a significant share in the market owing to their wide application in wood adhesives. Moreover, the physical and chemical properties of resol resins, such as high heat resistance, flexibility, mechanical strength, moldability, and friction, result in their increased application in aesthetic products.
Moreover, a considerable product demand is generated from other applications, such as the manufacturing of engineered laminated composite lumber (LCL) and oriented strand boards (OSBs). During the forecast period, the market is also expected to witness a high demand for novolac resins, owing to their moldability, which translates into their high adoption across several industry verticals.
The phenolic resins market can also be categorized on the basis of application into laminates, insulation, wood adhesives, molding compounds, paper impregnation, coatings, and others, where the “others” category includes abrasives, rubber adhesives, and friction materials. Traditionally, wood adhesives account for a considerable share in the global phenolic resins market. This can be majorly attributed to the wide application of wood adhesives in the building and construction industry across Asia-Pacific (APAC) and North America. However, in the coming years, the market is expected to witness substantial growth from the category of laminates, on account of the increasing demand for decorative and industrial laminates globally.
Based on region, the phenolic resins market has been categorized into North America, Europe, APAC, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. Geographically, APAC held the largest share in the market during the historical period. During the forecast period, the APAC phenolic resins market is expected to be driven by the increasing consumption of molding materials in countries such as India and China and the growing usage of phenol–formaldehyde resins in the construction industry of the region.
Phenolic Resins Market Dynamics
The key factors driving the growth of the phenolic resins market are the growing demand from the construction and transportation industries and the increased demand for fire-retardant materials for automobiles and aircraft. Stringent regulations promoting the use of lightweight composites in the automotive industry and macroeconomic factors such as growth in disposable income and increased demand for automobiles and furniture are also positively impacting the growth of the phenolic resins market.
Besides, resins in molding compounds, which, in turn, are used in electronics, help improve the overall product life cycle and efficiency. This can be attributed to the anti-corrosive and heat-resistant properties of these resins, which have contributed to their increased demand, globally.
The volatility in crude oil prices is expected to restrain the growth of the phenolic resins market in the coming years, as crude oil is a major raw material used in the manufacturing of these resins. In addition, environmental regulations regarding formaldehyde emissions are expected to negatively impact the market growth, as huge investments are required to modify production processes to meet stringent emission standards.
The macroeconomic growth in emerging economies is expected to propel the demand for durable and aesthetic products in the near future. This growth is also expected to result in increased disposable income of individuals in these countries, thereby presenting lucrative opportunities for the application of phenolic resins in aesthetic products. This is likely to propel the adoption of these resins, thus opening potential avenues of growth for the players in the phenolic resins market.
Phenolic Resins Competitive Landscape
In the field of technology, advancements have paved the way for innovative applications of these resins, such as the manufacturing of heat-shield for the SpaceX Dragon Capsule using a phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA). Additionally, several major players trying to expand their presence across the value chain, by integrating forward into the supply chain to manufacture the end product or moving fundamentally backward and manufacturing the raw material themselves. Besides, growing consumer awareness regarding new and existing products has compelled the new entrants in the market to utilize advanced processing technologies to develop improved products.
Some of the major players operating in the global phenolic resins market are Chang Chun Plastics Co. Ltd., BASF SE, Kolon Industries Inc., Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd., Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc., Georgia Pacific Chemicals LLC, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd., Georgia Pacific Chemicals LLC, Dujodwala Paper Chemicals Ltd., DIC Corporation, and Prefere Resins.
The study provides the historical as well the forecast market size data for various countries, including the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Japan, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.