The key drivers behind the growing demand of global phenolic resins include growing demand from construction and transports application, and increased usage of fire retardant materials in automotive and aircraft components. However, the volatility in crude oil prices is expected to restrain the growth of the global phenolic resins market, as crude oil is a major raw material needed for the manufacturing of phenolic resins. In addition, the environmental regulation regarding formaldehyde emissions is expected to restrain the growth of the global phenolic resins market, as huge investments are required to be made for meeting the environmental emission standards.
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Phenolic resins are also known as phenol-formaldehyde resins, and act as synthetic polymers produced by the reaction of phenol or substituted phenol with formaldehyde under the presence of heat. Phenolic resins is widely used in wood adhesives, insulation, molding compounds, laminates, and other applications, owing to its good heat resistance, high tensile strength, low toxicity, low smoke, and flame retardant.
The global phenolic resins market can be segmented, on the basis of products and applications.
On the basis of product, the global phenolic resins market can be segmented into novolac resins, resol resins, and others. Novolac resins are produced under acidic condition with excess phenol, while resol resins are produced under basic conditions with excess formaldehyde. The major product segment of phenolic resins is resol resin, which accounted for around 49% of the market share in 2014. The major factors driving the growth of the global resol resins market is increasing demand from the wood adhesion market and laminates market. Moreover, the considerable demand from other application, such as manufacturing of engineered laminated composite lumber (LCL) and oriented strand boards (OSB) is expected to drive the growth of the global resol resins market during the forecast period. The novolac resins product segment is expected to gain its market share during the forecast period, owing to its ability to mold easily.
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On the basis of application, the global phenolic resins market can be segmented into laminates, insulation, wood adhesives, molding compound, and others. The “others” section in the phenolic application segment include abrasives, rubber adhesives, friction materials, and general adhesives coatings. The wood adhesive industry accounted for the largest market share in the application segment of the global phenolic resins market during 2014. The major factors supporting the growth of the wood adhesive application segment in the global phenolic resins market is the significant growth within the building and construction industry in Asia-Pacific, and improving market of building and construction in North America. Laminates is expected to be the fastest growing application segment in the global phenolic resins market, due to the increasing demand for decorative laminates and industrial laminates globally.
Geographically, Asia-Pacific is the largest market for phenolic resins, followed by North America and Europe. During the forecast period, the Asia-Pacific phenolic resins market is expected to grow at the fastest rate, which is driven by the increasing consumption of molding compounds in countries, such as India and China, and its ample use in construction applications.
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