29 October 2004 22:54 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--North American consumption of synthetic latex polymers (SLPs) will top 3.2m tonne/year in five years, according to a soon to be published study.
The Kline & Company analysis predicts the market for SLPs will increase by more than 3%/year, reaching a value of almost $6 bn(Euro4.7bn) by 2008.
The fastest-growing SLP type identified in Kline's study is vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymers (VAE). VAE consumption in the US, Canada and Mexico is projected to increase at an average rate of nearly 4%/year between 2003 and 2008 in terms of volume.
The primary market for VAE latexes is adhesives, where they show formulating latitude and provide flexibility and adhesion to substrates at low temperatures. Other applications include nonwovens, caulks and sealants, cement additives and carpet. Paints and coatings represent a relatively small application area, but VAE latexes are beginning to make inroads there as well, according to the study.
Because producing VAE polymers requires elevated pressures of 1000-2000 psi, however, the number of North American producers is limited.
Styrene-acrylic polymer use is also projected by Kline to expand at an average rate of 3.8%/year from 2003 and 2008. More than two-thirds of styrene-acrylic latex consumption goes toward three applications - polishes and waxes, graphic arts, and paints and coatings.
All-acrylics are the second-largest latex produced in North America in terms of volume and the leader in dollar value. Kline forecasts all-acrylics use to increase by 3.2%/year, making them the third-fastest-growing latex covered in the study.
More than 45% of North American all-acrylic latex consumption goes into paints and coatings, with another 22% consumed in adhesives, mostly of the pressure-sensitive type.
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