Adhesives and sealants are often used interchangeably. However they are two different things:
- An adhesive is a glue, a substance used to bind two substances and then resist the separation. (In street language: A substance capable of holding materials together)
- A sealant is a substance which is used to block the passage of fluids, air, fire, or noise, through the surface or joints or openings of a substrate.
So, a sealant fills gaps, and an adhesive bonds surfaces. Particularly strong sealants may qualify as adhesives, but not all of them.
Adhesives and Sealants in Relation to Coating & Paint
The global adhesives and sealants industry is estimated to be about $45 – 50 Billion. Adhesives are about 90% ($40 Billion) of that market and Sealants are noticeably smaller with a size of about 10%. ($5 billion) Like many other industries this market is also growing fast in Asia, outpacing the more established markets in Europe and North America.
The Adhesives and Sealants Markets 2014 & 2021
Innovation is happening in the ‘Engineering Adhesives Market’ a market now around $12 (25%) which includes energy, automotive & electronics. In this market a lot of acquisitions are taking place.
Due to the nature of the products, which are often used together with coating & paint, the markets are closely connected.