Published May 2014
Epoxy resins are high-performance thermosetting resins. 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. During 2009–2013, consumption of epoxy resins for coatings increased at an average annual rate of 8.3% and for electrical and electronics applications at 6.8%. Epoxy resins for composite applications increased at an average rate of 8.1% per year, driven by the aircraft/aerospace industry and turbine blades for wind power generation.
In 2013, the largest end use for epoxy resins was coating applications, which accounted for 43% of total consumption, followed by electrical and electronics applications, at 35%.
The best prospects for growth of epoxy resins in the electrical/electronics sector will be in the Asia Pacific region, especially Taiwan and China, where electronic component manufacturing is robust.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of epoxy resins:
During 2009–2013, overall demand for epoxy resins increased at 7.7% per year. This high growth rate was due partly to recovery from the world recession in 2008/2009 and partly to rapid demand growth in developing countries, especially in Asia. Asia was the largest consumer of epoxy resins in 2013, accounting for 65% of world epoxy consumption. China was the largest epoxy resin consuming country, accounting for 46% of world consumption in 2013. In China, epoxy resins consumption will grow at an average annual rate of 4.9% for 2013–2018. Indian epoxy resin demand is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 7% during the same period. On the other hand, growth rates in developed countries are lower than average. The growth rate for epoxy resins consumption in the United States and Western Europe will average 3.0% and 2.9% per year, respectively, and Japanese consumption will grow at 1–2% per year mainly because of the shift of electronics and electrical production to other Asian countries.
However, epoxy resin consumption for composites in the United States is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of nearly 10% during 2013–2018 (driven by high-performance composites in the aircraft/aerospace industry).
Epoxy adhesives applications in the United States and Western Europe will grow at an average annual rate of around 3% between 2013 and 2018, driven by the increasing use of resin-based composites in the aircraft/aerospace and recreational markets and the ongoing replacement of mechanical fasteners in numerous applications.
World epoxy resin demand is expected to increase at around 4% per year during 2013–2018.