Latex powder is a free flowing powder produced by spray drying of aqueous vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer dispersion. Latex powder offers various advantages related to powdered form of polymer such as ease of storage, transportation and handling. The powder finds application in construction industry where it is used to improve key properties of gypsum and cement based formulations.
Latex offers various advantages that include improved workability, superior adhesive strength, enhanced flexural strength, excellent abrasion resistance and high impact resistance. The types of latex powder include styrene butadiene latex powder, vinyl acetate copolymer and vinyl acetate terpolymer among others. Latex powder is used for self-leveling flooring compounds, cement based tile adhesives and flexible tile adhesives among others.
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Construction is one of the key end-user industries of latex powder where it is used in diverse applications such as concrete repair mortars, ceramic tile adhesives, thermal insulating adhesives, joint fillers, self leveling mortars, decorative plasters or renders, wall paper adhesives and sealing slurries among others. Construction being the major application of latex rubber powder, there is a direct correlation between the growth in construction industry and latex rubber industry. Asia Pacific has witnessed robust economic growth in the past decade and this trend is expected to continue in the next few years. This rise in economic activity has led to growth in construction industry in this region, as well as in overall living standards.
With the recovery of the global economic scenario, construction activities are expected to increase rapidly at a global scale. This growth in construction activities is anticipated to trigger the demand for latex rubber used for construction activities. Latex rubber is used to enhance the visual appeal, provide protection from harsh climatic conditions and rust and in some cases for special purpose applications. U.S has recently witness an increase in construction activities on the back drop of recent revival from the economic recession.
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Owing to the growing construction industry in Asia-Pacific region, it accounted for the majority share of the global latex powder market. China and India were one of the largest consumers of latex powder in Asia Pacific. The need for more houses and infrastructure is expected to stem from growing urbanization in these regions. The demand is also anticipated to come from other developing economies such as Indonesia, and other South-East Asian countries. The latex powder consumption was the second largest in North America followed by Europe. In North America, U.S was one of the largest markets for latex powder. U.S economy has been recently recovered and has been close to pre-recession levels.
Looking forward, the construction industry is expected to show robust growth in the next few years, which in turn is anticipated to drive the latex powder market in this region. In Europe, Germany accounted for the largest market share followed by France, Italy and the U.K. The latex powder market in North America and Europe is characterized by similar market conditions. In the Rest of the World (RoW), the market is expected to witness robust growth on account of various infrastructure projects being undertaken in this region. Latin America is also anticipated to grow on similar lines as that of Asia Pacific.
Some of the major companies operating in the global latex powder market are The Dow Chemical Company, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, and Rogers-ceramics among others.