A sealant is a substance used to bond two substrates together. Its adhesive properties make it useful in bonding a wide variety of materials, including metals, plastics and other polymers, wood, glass and concrete. When used correctly, sealants are able to create airtight and watertight bonds, preventing leakage of moisture, gas or sound. Using quality sealants can help reduce long-term costs by eliminating the need for frequent maintenance and repairs of leaking joints.
Various conditions will impact the adhesion of a sealant to a substrate, including surface cleanliness, environmental factors and movement considerations. Surface preparation and priming may also be necessary to achieve the desired results. Sealants need to be formulated with the proper ingredients to ensure their longevity, and they should have good tensile strength, modulus of elasticity and fatigue resistance properties. In addition, they should have good elongation and compression set.
Adhesives and sealants are a major component of the construction industry, and are utilized in a number of different applications from automotive to commercial. Many manufacturers produce a variety of different products designed to meet the specific needs of a given project or application. While some companies advertise their own brand as being the best, it is important for consumers to separate marketing hype from true product performance. Taking the time to select the right product for an application will pay off in the long run when compared to costly repair and replacement projects due to failure of improperly selected or installed sealants.
Many of the world’s largest adhesive and sealant manufacturers provide a variety of solutions designed for use in a wide range of applications. Franklin International, for example, produces a wide range of Titebond adhesives and sealants that are used in construction, millwork, furniture manufacturing, paper converting and pressure sensitive applications. Another large manufacturer is Sika, which offers a complete line of adhesives and sealants for use in a broad spectrum of industrial applications.
While the pandemic has impacted production for some manufacturers, others have been able to adapt and continue to supply their customers. Many of these companies have diversified their operations and are working with other suppliers to help balance the workload during this challenging time.
The future outlook for the construction industry, and thus the demand for silicone sealants, is positive. The recovery of the building sector will help drive demand for these products, as well as other construction chemicals like primers and bond-breaker tapes. Increasing environmental concerns are also driving the demand for eco-friendly construction materials. As a result, many companies are shifting their product offerings to include more green options. This trend is expected to continue. The overall market for silicone sealants is expected to grow, especially in Asia-Pacific. This is largely due to an increase in construction activity, which is generating demand for construction chemicals like silicones. This demand will be fueled by the need to lower maintenance costs, increase energy efficiency and improve structural stability and longevity of buildings.