Phenoxy resins are amorphous thermoplastic polymers and thermosetting resins. These polymers have terminal hydroxyl groups as well as hydroxyl groups in every repeat unit and thus can be classified as polyhydroxyethers. They are derived from Bisphenol A and Epichlorohydrin. Phenoxy resins offer excellent mechanical properties such as hardness, tough flexibility, abrasion resistance, impact resistance, chemical resistance, heat resistance, vapor barrier and compatibility. They are soluble in a variety of materials including ketones, glycol ethers, and esters. They have excellent vapor barrier properties and are safe to use for direct and indirect food and beverage container coatings. They are cured by reactions with polyisocyanates, anhydrides or other crosslinking agents. In general phenoxy resins are transparent with good dimensional stability.
Structurally, phenoxy resin is a polyhydroxyether with terminal alpha-glycol groups. Their weight-average molecular weight ranges from approximately 25,000 to above 60,000 and the highest polymeric species exceed 250,000 daltons in molecular weight.
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Waterborne phenoxy resins are colloidal dispersions. Phenoxy resins favor polar, aprotic-type solvents in solvent-borne applications, although incorporation into formulations having hydrocarbon or aromatic solvents is quite possible when sufficient polar solvents are used. They are availabe in solid and liquid forms in combinations with other polymers. For instance, Inchem Corporation’s product range includes over two dozen forms of phenoxy resins and related compounds including, standard solid grades in pellet and powder form, solvent solution grades and waterborne colloidal dispersions, Phenoxy-polyester hybrids epoxy-phenoxy hybrids, caprolactone-modified phenoxy, epoxy resin solutions, and crosslinkers. Phenoxy resins are often combined with epoxies, polyethers, and polyesters and provide user-friendly hybrids for formulation latitude and novel properties.
Standard solid grade phenoxy resins are used for wire coatings, PCB coatings, can and coil coating, metal primers, wood coating, glass coating. Compatibilizers, structural adhesives, kitchen cabinets, cast elastomers also uses phenoxy resins. Phenoxy resins are used or protective coatings in flexible and rigid food packaging.
Increasing demand for phenoxy resin from end-use industries is major factor driving growth of the global phenoxy resins market, owing to compatibility of phenoxy resin with several polymers. Moreover, these resins are efficient flexibilizers for cross-linked phenolic and epoxy formulations used in adhesives, coatings, and composites. Composite industry is rising due to end use applications and is used in automotive and electronics sector. According to Federation of Reinforced Plastics, compared to 2015, a growth of 8.76% was observed in 2016 in global demand for carbon fiber composites.
However, the volatility in raw material prices is a major factor restraining growth of the global phenoxy resins market. Prices of raw materials of phenoxy resins i.e. Bisphenol A and epichlorohydrin fluctuate due to supply and demand imbalance.
According to the Coherent Market Insights’ analysis, Asia Pacific held dominant position in the market in 2017 and is projected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. This is owing to increasing demand for adhesives and coatings in automotive and electronics industry. Moreover, phenoxy resin products are widely used as modifiers to other chemistries and utility as the sole resinous vehicles in coatings, adhesives, and others. According to American Coatings Association, automotive refinish coatings is the largest sub-segment of special purpose coatings, with a value of $2 billion in 2014.
Among applications, the coatings segment is projected to gain major traction over the forecast period, owing to increasing application of coating in marine, metal, and automotive industry. According to American Coatings Association, marine paints, including both original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and refinish applications, had a value of $400 million in 2014.
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Key players in Global Phenoxy Resins Market
Key players operating in the global phenoxy resins market include, Mitsubishi Chemical, Gabriel Performance Products, LLC, DIC Corporation, Kukdo Chemical, Georgia-Pacific (GP) Chemicals, SHIN-A T&C Co., Ltd., and Nan Ya Epoxy.
Manufacturers are focused on expanding the production capacities and acquiring new compnanies as a part of strategic planning to extend their markrt share. For instance, on January 2014, Gabriel Performance Products, LLC, a U.S.-based specialty chemicals company, announced the acquisition of InChem Corporation’s proprietary Phenoxy Resin business.
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