Gelcoat is a substance used to provide a superior finishing on a surface of a fiber-reinforced composite used to protect structural laminates. Isophthalic acid-based resins are used to manufacture gelcoats. The common gelcoat are thermosetting polymers based on epoxy or unsaturated polyester resin. Gelcoats are modified resins which are applied to molds in a liquid state. These coats offer various properties such as corrosion resistance, UV degradation and water absorption. The selection of isophthalic acid-based resins increases water retention and blister resistance by gelcoats.
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Increase in demand for composites to reduce weight and enhancing fuel efficiency of the transportation systems such as railways, autos, and leisure vehicles plays propels the requirement for gelcoats in the transportation industry. These coats are available in brush and spray forms of suitable thickness so that laminate is not susceptible to any cracking damage with various uses in marine, wind, construction, and transportation industries. Most gelcoats are used in the marine industry.
GELCOAT MARKET: SEGMENTATION
The global gelcoat market can be segmented based on resin, end-user industry, and region. In terms of resin, the global gelcoat market can be classified into polyester, vinyl ester, epoxy, and others. Polyester gelcoats are widely used due to the increase in demand for polyester resin in transportation and marine industries. Polyester and vinyl ester resin gelcoats are used in the marine industry due to their unique properties such as corrosion resistance, UV degradation, and water absorption.
Based on end-use industry, the gelcoat market can be classified into marine, transportation, construction, wind, and others. According to National Marine Manufacturers Association, approximately 95% of powerboats sold in the U.S. are manufactured in the U.S. itself. Gelcoats are widely used in marine applications such as decks, ship hulls and motor yachts & power boats which are made of high quality fiber reinforced plastics, which are gelcoated.
GELCOAT MARKET: REGIONAL OUTLOOK
Based on region, the global gelcoat market can be segregated into Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is estimated to continue to dominate the global gelcoat market during the forecast period. Rise in marine boat safety in countries such as the U.S. and Canada is a major factor driving the demand for global gelcoat market. The U.S. is a major consumer of gelcoat globally. Rise in demand for gelcoat in the U.S. can be attributed to the recovery of the marine industry after an economic recession.
The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a moderate pace due to the growth in building & construction industry. However, the amount of gelcoat used in building & construction industry is lesser compare that that in the marine industry.
GELCOAT MARKET: KEY PLAYERS
The global gelcoat market is fragmented and a large number of companies operate on global and regional levels. Major companies operating in the market include Synergys Technologies, Bang and Bonsomer, Ashland, Alpha Owens-Corning (AOC) Resins, HK Research, Nuplex Industries Ltd., Reichhold LLC, CCP Composites, Fibre Glass Development Corporation, Axson Technologies, and Scott Bader.Ashland Inc., BUFA GmbH & Co. KG, HK Research Corporation, Nuplex Industries Ltd., Polynt S.p.A, Reichhold LLC, and Scott Bader Company Limited.
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In the 2017, Bang and Bonsomer launched a new gelcoat manufacturing unit at Kokkola site in Finland. This unit manufactures the highly valued Polycor gelcoats. This investment is expected to help the company establish its footprints in Finland and diversify its business.