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Published: October 2010
Epoxy resins are high-performance thermosetting resins. High-performance coatings continue to be the primary application worldwide, followed by electrical/electronic laminates and adhesives, flooring and paving applications. Composites and tooling and molding products are the other major end uses. Industrialized nations are by far the largest producers and consumers of epoxy resins.
During 2003–2006, epoxy resins consumption (on an unmodified basis) in the three major regions (United States, Western Europe and Japan) grew at an average annual rate of 3.4%. The automotive, construction and aerospace industries (all benefiting from improving economies) contributed to epoxy resins consumption for surface coatings, bonding and adhesives, flooring and paving, and composites.
During 2006–2009, epoxy resins consumption (on an unmodified basis) in the three major regions decreased at an average annual rate of 12% because of the recession that began in late 2008.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of epoxy resins:
In 2009, consumption of epoxy resins decreased in the United States, Western Europe and Japan, whereas it increased in parts of Asia, such as China and India. Future growth of epoxy resins consumption in the United States and Western Europe will average 3.2% and 2.8% per year, respectively, from 2009 to 2014. In the United States, epoxy resin consumption for composites is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of nearly 9% during 2009–2014 (driven by high-performance composites in the aircraft/aerospace industry). Japanese consumption of epoxy resins decreased by 10% in 2008 and further decreased by 27% in 2009 (compared with 2007, consumption in 2009 was 35% lower). Epoxy resin consumption in Japan is expected to recover, and show a high growth rate of about 6% per year for the 2009–2014 period. During that time, higher-than-average growth rates are expected for adhesives in the United States and Western Europe, composites in the United States, and radiation curable coatings in Western Europe. In China, epoxy resins consumption will grow at an average annual rate of 7%. The Republic of Korea is forecast to have an average annual growth rate of around 6% during 2009–2014. Taiwan will show a high growth rate of 8% per year during 2009–2014.