The formation of chemical links between molecular chains to form a three-dimensional network of connected molecules is termed as crosslinking. It is a chemical process of bonding links between polymer chains called synthetic polymers or natural polymers. The bonding may be ionic or covalent bond and the crosslink is a covalent structure in many instances. Polymer chains lose the ability to move as individual polymer chains after crosslinking in both biological sciences and synthetic polymer chemistry. Crosslink in synthetic polymers depends on density and refers to the difference in the polymers’ physical and mechanical properties. Low density crosslinking decreases the viscosities of polymer melts, high density crosslinking causes material to become very rigid and an intermediate density crosslinking results in polymers an elastomeric property and high strength. It was estimated that a liquid polymer can be turned into gel or solid by crosslinking. Crosslinked polymers are mechanically strong, resistant to wear, heat, and solvent attacks. Crosslinking agents possess characteristics such as good chemical resistance, good compatibility, VOC free, no gas developments, long pot life, and should be easy to use.
According to the study “Europe Crosslinking Agents Industry Situation and Prospects Research report”, Europe’s crosslinking agents market is categorized into carbodiimide, isocyanate, aziridine, amine, amino, and amide. Isocyanate crosslinking agent segment holds a major share in the crosslinking agent market due to its various applications as coatings in industries such as automotive, appliances, decorative, packaging, and industrial wood coating. Isocyanate and aziridine crosslinking agents are costly, non-renewable and are slightly toxic to human skin; therefore, they hinder the growth in Europe’s crosslinking agent market. Crosslinked polyethylene pipes, crosslinked films, crosslinked polyethylene foams, cable insulation, injection and blow molded articles are a few applications in Europe’s crosslinking agent market. Geographically, Europe’s crosslinking agent market is spread across Germany, Russia, UK, France, Italy and other regions.
The leading players in Europe’s crosslinking agent market are Huntsman International LLC, Evonik Industries AG, Hexion Inc, Wanhua Chemical Group Co, NOF Corporation, BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Allnex Group, Covestro AG and Pergan Marshall LLC. All the leading vendors are increasingly focusing on creating strong brand names, offering well-established products, and exhibit long-term reliability. The vendors in Europe’s crosslinking agent market are increasingly competing against each other based on factors such as price, features, and product quality.
Industrial coatings and decorative coatings are the two segments in crosslinking agents market. In the coatings category crosslinking improves chemical resistance, appearance, mechanical durability, enhances colour and corrosion resistance. Industrial crosslinking agent coatings include coatings for concrete floors, metal building exteriors, concrete blocks, steel structures, and other miscellaneous equipment. It was observed that there is an increased demand for eco-friendly and water-based crosslinking coatings in various industrial applications due to Europe’s stringent environmental regulations. Stringent environmental laws, industrialization, end-users shifting to VOC-free coatings are major factors that are driving Europe’s crosslinking agents market. The crosslinking agents market is expected to witness a drastic growth due to rise in usage of cross-linked coatings in industries and automobile industry.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications