Planning to Start a Business in the Construction Industry? Here’s What You Should Keep in Mind

Epoxy resins are chemical compounds used for manufacturing adhesives, paintings, primers, plastics, sealers, and other materials. It is extensively used in construction and for decorative purposes. Epoxy resins are polyepoxides that constitutes of reactive polymers and pre-polymers. There are various types of epoxy resins such as Bisphenol-based epoxy resins and Novolac epoxy resin. The epoxy resins are broadly categorised into normal and uncured epoxy resins. The uncured epoxy resins have poor chemical, mechanical and heat resistant properties. These are made suitable for manufacturing adhesives and other materials by adding curatives through gelation. Epoxy resins are used for various commercial, residential, and industrial-based applications due to their chemical resistance, toughness, strong adhesion, and other specialized properties.

The demand of epoxy resins has increased rapidly with the growth of construction, automobiles, and electronic sectors across the globe. The epoxy resins market has witnessed a high demand which is expected to grow at Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5 percent by the year 2021. The epoxy resin price trend is heavily dependent on the cost of feedstock such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and Enoyl-CoA-Hydratase (ECH). In the recent past, the price of epoxy resins has increased by 16.8 percent and 2.1 percent for markets in the U.S. and Asia respectively. The cheap raw materials and labor cost in Asia has reduced the cost of production of epoxy resins. As a result, Asia has acquired a competitive edge in the global market for epoxy resins.

The key drivers of demand for epoxy resins in APAC region constitutes of automobiles, construction, and electronic industries. On the other hand, development projects based on installation of windmills are the primary drivers for epoxy resins in Europe and North America.The major supply markets for epoxy resins comprise of North America, European Union, and APAC. These regions account for 9.3 percent, 11.6 percent, and 77.3 percent of the total global supply of epoxy resins. The top global suppliers of epoxy resins are Nan Ya, Sanmu Group, Kukdo, and Chang Chun. The U.S. and Asia are self-sufficient in production of epoxy resins. In the recent years, the U.S. has decreased its imports and Asia has curtailed its exports to cater its domestic demands.

Epoxy Resin and its Application in Building and Construction Industry:

The adhesives manufactured from epoxy resins forms a strong bond that adheres to various substrates such as glass, metal, wood, stone, and plastics. Apart from adhesives, epoxy resins are use for manufacturing other materials like paintings, primers, coatings, and sealers which are widely used in construction industry. In fact, in APAC region such as China and India, construction industry is one of the primary drivers of demand for epoxy resins. Asia accounts for 65 percent of global consumption of epoxy resins and China is the largest consumer. Following are the few application of epoxy resin in construction:

●       Highly adhesive epoxy resins are ideal for numerous building and repair activities due to its water, heat, and chemical resistant properties. The adhesives are used for making laminated wood for decks, roofs, walls, and other building application. It is also used for outdoor coating which provides polished and glossy look to the product. Sealers made out of epoxy resins provide durability to the concrete floors and other industrial settings.

●       Epoxy resins are also used for decorative purposes. Decorative flooring such as chip tiles flooring and terrazzo are gaining prominence with increasing urbanization. Decorative patterns are created by arranging a layer of colorful and contrasting vinyl chip tiles on top of evenly spread epoxy.  To provide an anti-skid texture to a floor, polymer grit, and other augmented chip are added to the decorative flooring. New innovations in technological has helped in creating a sustainable architectural surfaces and countertops. The epoxies are blended with materials like glass, recycled plastics, and other discarded materials to create strong and durable materials.

●       Water-based epoxy paints are commonly used for coating/ painting cast steel, cast iron and cast aluminum. These paints dry quickly and provide a tough and protective coating. Unlike other paints based on organic solvents, the water based epoxy paints have low volatility and can be easily cleaned with water. Using such paints for industrial operations reduces the risk of flammability.

●       The workers engaged in the construction industry come in a direct contact with epoxy resins.  Epoxy resins do not pose a serious threat to health. However, a repeated exposure over a longer period of time might cause skin disorder, irritation in the eyes and skin, and asthma. Safety measures at the workplace needs to be implemented to avoid such health issues.

The construction industry widely uses adhesives, paintings, and other materials made out of epoxy resins. The growth of construction industry in APAC and developing regions of the world has increased the demand for epoxy resins. It has become one of the primary materials needed for all types of construction vis-a-vis commercial, residential and industrial. Epoxy resins is preferred over other standard glues due to its strong adhesive, water, heat and chemical resistant properties. Although it does not pose a serious health threat, but construction workers should take precautions to avoid health problems. 

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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