Aal Chem's take on 2012/2013 Commodity Chemical Market Trends
What is your first reaction when you hear the terms “chemicals” or “raw materials?” It seems common to hear in discussions words such as “environmental concerns,” “toxic,” or “harmful,” which tag chemicals or raw materials in a negative light. What the average person may not understand is that chemicals surround us and touch us throughout every part of our day – from putting on your rubber-soled shoes, driving your car to work, or opening a can of soup for lunch. Yes, imported raw materials make up your shoe soles, car paint coating, and the lining of your metal soup can. Indeed, chemicals go into everything and anything we use on a daily basis; the industry’s possibilities are endless.
Because chemicals are used in every aspect of our daily routine, they are known as commodities. A commodity is defined as “a class of goods for which there is a demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market” (Wiki). The chemical industry is not only lucrative, but goes hand in hand with our economy. Suppliers enjoy high demands from manufacturers, which turn into high revenues from end or finished products sold in many industries (including paint and coatings, plastics, adhesives, sealants, composites, construction and graphics arts, to name a few).
Although we feel the chemical market will stick around for a while, it does not mean that this industry will stay or has stayed consistent throughout the years. Tracking market trends is critical and becomes a proactive move when building strategy. It helps to predict where market pricing is heading and what the availability of material might look like in the approaching quarters. As the middle man, distribution companies must incorporate market trends into their forecast for stocking inventory and building confidence with their customers.
Aal Chem keeps a close watch on market trends to not only strengthen our strategic plan, but to keep our customers informed of upcoming raw material shortages, price spikes, or other impending issues. In 2012, materials such as epoxy resins and TiO2 had some volatility while other products like coating additives remained steady. Increased trends, including environmental/green initiatives, regulations, and other legislative acts have also influenced manufacturing industries to pay more attention to environmental-friendly materials, causing slight shifts for industries. With 2012 under our belts, we will continue to keep a close watch on our commonly served industries (paints and coatings, automotive refinish, inks, plastics, adhesives, etc.) and the product lines that our customers depend on including epoxy resins, UV/EB curable products, and low VOC materials such as our PCBTF material.
Epoxy resin is essential to numerous manufacturing industries. Common commodities includeAal Chem’s YD-128 (liquid form) and KD-242G (solid form). Supply of epoxy resin and demand for the raw materials that go into these chemicals are two factors that swing the upward and downward market prices for these products.
Many manufacturing industries throughout the world are booming. During this time, chemical manufacturers of epoxy resin have easily fulfilled demands because they have maintained large capacities for production. Suppliers have exported to countries like the U.S., in turn flooding domestic suppliers with competition, which drives down prices. More recent, epoxy resin suppliers have been seeking new opportunities and are steadily moving into Europe where there is less competition. Consequently, their entrance into the European market has driven market pricing up in the United States.
Demand of primary raw materials, epichlorohydrin (ECH) and bisphenol A (BPA), which go into epoxies directly influence prices. According to ICIS Chemical Business, in 2013,“epichlorohydrin will probably remain stable while costs for bisphenol A are expected to go up” (ICIS). However, as is always the case for economic demand, any shortage of these raw materials will quickly drive up prices.
Currently, manufacturing in the U.S. is considered stable. With Aal Chem’s headquarters located in Michigan, we experience the up’s and down’s of the automotive and construction industries but notice they are bouncing back. With spring approaching, demand for architectural paint and construction is ahead, which is when we typically see increased sales due to the seasonality of these markets. Seasonal and economic trends will always have an effect on manufacturing industries, bearing weight to product availabilities and increased competition for the best prices.
UV/EB curable products
One trend we have noticed is the increase of demand in the UV/EB curable market; it is now one of the fastest growing in the coatings industry. UV products use ultra-violate light and EB utilizes electron beams for near instantaneous drying, leading to a notable increase in the output of productivity. Common UV/EB products include monomers (TMPTA, TPGDA, HDODA), oligomers (urethane, polyester, epoxy, acrylic, water-based), and photo-initiators (TPO, BDK, 184, 1173). Numerous applications for UV/EB curable products include coatings, inks, adhesives, and printing plates, to name a few.
UV/EB curable products have two qualities spurring promotion. One selling point is that they address environmental concerns and growing regulations because they result in zero emissions. Aal Chem offers toluene-free products that are approved for use in California, which is regulated by Proposition 65. Proposition 65 is important to citizens as it addresses social concerns of exposure to toxic chemicals. The second feature is that curing is rapid: it can take a few seconds to a few minutes, making it suitable to applications that need fast turnaround times.
Currently, there is an ample supply of UV/EB curable products. Many chemical manufacturers (domestic and international) wanted to take advantage of increased demand and expanded their facilities’ capacity and production lines. As a result, we have an overabundance of supply which directly affected the reason for steady pricing in 2012. As for 2013, we expect supply and demand to remain balanced with prices continuing to be stable.
Another trend seen in the industry is the increasing use of low to no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which goes hand in hand with adopting other “greener,” environmentally-friendly initiatives. According to EPA’s website (the United States Environmental Protection Agency), “[VOCs] are organic chemical compounds whose composition makes it possible for them to evaporate under normal indoor atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products, examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, building materials and furnishings, office equipment, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives.” With manufacturers constantly creating materials with high VOC contents, they are putting themselves at risk for health issues later in life.
Health concerns are not the only issue here; manufacturers are focusing more on applying low VOCs products due to environmental concerns and increasingly stringent, costly regulations. The use of these products results in fewer emissions into the environment as well as lowering your employee’s risk for potential short or long-term health effects.
Manufacturers rely on distributors to pay attention to market trends. Distributors have great incentive to follow the market closely to acquire the best competitive edge for product availability and cost savings to their customers. It is also important for distributors to be proactive when watching the market; it is our job to forecast what’s new and improved or to find replacement products when material is discontinued due to new regulations.
Bearing this in mind, Aal Chem strives to understand our customer’s needs and to be proactive to match those with quality products. Some greener alternatives with low to no VOCs available include Aal Chem’s Oxol 100 (PCBTF), polybutene, paints and coatings additives, and more. One notable product is Aal Chem’s Oxol 100. In our recent blog post (read more here:PCBTF, Oxol 100 in Demand - What’s the Big Deal?) we explain how VOC reduction isn't just important, it is critical. PCBTF is not only growing in popularity due to its widespread uses in several applications, but because it is noted as a VOC exempt solvent (exempt from the EPA's Clean Air Act Regulation) and a "green" alternative to many solvents on the market. That's impressive enough, but more important, use of this product is progress for any coating company working to reduce their VOC's.
Other low to no VOC initiatives and “greener” options are available through Aal Chem’s suppliers, including Patcham LTD and Chimista Specialty Chemicals, LLC. Patcham LTD has products that are APEO free, low or no VOC , and many of their products are based on green chemistry. Chimista Specialty Chemicals, LLC has been formulating and distributing bio-degradable, environmentally friendly cleaners, coatings, solvents and textile auxiliaries since their establishment ten years ago.
If you’re curious about the trends involved with commodity products used in the paint and coatings, plastics, adhesives, and sealants industries, or if the “greener” initiatives and regulations that manufacturers are facing interests you, Aal Chem makes the efforts to watch these trends and proactively analyze them.
What do you think?
What trends have you noticed in your manufacturing industry? Do you have a prediction for the rest of 2013? We’d love to hear your opinion – leave us a comment, or hop on our Aal Chem Facebook Page.
For more information on current trends seen in the market or more information on our products and suppliers – drop us a note and say hi!
Aal Chem is selling overstocked material from our Grand Rapids, Michigan warehouse. While supplies last, we will be selling products such as dispersions, pigments, iron oxides, acrylate oligomers, polyamide wax, curing agents, drum liners, ringlocks, plastic covers, filter bags, etc. at a reduced rate. Data sheets and samples are available upon request, please visit our Request page for more information.
PRODUCT LIST OCTOBER 2012:
Leverlocks, 5 Gallon
Rust with Spout, Plastic Covers, 48 per box
Black with Spout, Plastic Covers, 48 per box
White with Spout, Plastic Covers, 48 per box
EM6530B40, Acrylate Oligomer; drums @ 440.92 lbs.
Monoral 8900, Pure Polyamide Wax; bags @ 33.06 lbs.
G-0930, Polyamide Curing Agent; drums @ 396.83 lbs.
VL5L A/S, 5 Gallon Anti-Stat Pail Liners w/ Flange; 100 per box
VLX 55, 55 Gallon Heavy Duty Drum Liner; 15 per box
VLNC 55 A/S, 55 Gallon Anti-Stat Non-Corrugated Drum Liners; 35 per box
PE 100 PC2L, Filter Bags; 40 per box
PE 50 PC2L, Filter Bags; 50 per box
PE 25 PC2L, Filter Bags; 50 per box
PE PC2L, Filter Bags; 50 per box
NMO 300 P4, Filter Bags
NMO 150 P4, Filter Bags
NMO 100 P4, Filter Bags
NMO 75 P4L, Filter Bags
1921 D Phthalo Green, 6 per box
1947 S Red, 6 per box
1900 KX Titanium White, 6 per box
1982 M Magenta, 6 per box
1913 AXN Yellow, 6 per box
1932 E Phthalo Blue, 6 per box
1942 H Red, 6 per box
1935 F Red Oxide, 6 per box
1991 B Lamp Black, 6 per box
1912 AXX Yellow, 6 per box
1997 I Brown Oxide, 6 per box
1988 L Raw Umber, 6 per box
Yellow 65, Yellow PY 65 Pigment; bags @ 50 lbs.
Hansa Yellow, Hansa Yellow Pigment; bags @ 55 lbs.
Phthalo Blue 15.4, Phthalo Blue Pigment; bags @ 50 lbs.
41182-34, Drum Covers; 45 per box
41182-80, Drum Covers; 50 per box
Gallon Ringlocks, 250 per box
2” Bung Plugs, 200 per box
MW25, EP Minerals; bags @ 50 lbs.
HT 465, Opaque Polymer; 4 drums @ 495.90 lbs.
1400EZ, Red Iron Oxide Pigments; Bags @ 55.12 lbs.
Data sheets and samples are available upon request, please visit our Request page for more information.
Aal Chem is excited to announce that we will be an exhibitor at the 2012 American Coatings Show in Indianapolis, Indiana. We will be co-exhibiting with our main epoxy resin supplier, (and the 3rd largest in the world!) Kukdo Chemical.
As deadlines are approaching fast with the show just a few months away, (May 8-10, 2012) we are busy preparing the final details of our booth. As a first time exhibitor, we wanted our booth to be unique and memorable among those big names - BASF, Huntsman, and DOW Chemical to name a few.
And a memorable one it will be! Aal Chem/Kukdo's booth incorporates the display of a car - a customized 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. The exterior was built using materials from our suppliers and will help our booth be the focal point of the show.
The folks over at the AC Show caught the buzz about our booth design and featured Aal Chem in their American Coatings Show 2012 Preview booklet. Take a look at Aal Chem in this editorial featuring our president, Kaz Darehshori.
American Coatings Show Preview 2012
Be sure to mark your calendars for May 8-10, 2012 to visit Indianapolis, IN, USA to see Aal Chem and Kukdo Chemical together, as well as the best in the coatings industry.
Look for us at the show, booth# 1661!
For more information on the AC Coatings Show American Coatings Show 2012.
Aal Chem will be selling overstocked material from our Grand Rapids, Michigan warehouse. While supplies last, we will be selling products such as antioxidants, UV absorbers, epoxy resins, bead polymers, etc. at a reduced rate. Data sheets and samples are available upon request, please visit our Request Literature page for more information.
AAL CHEM PRIVATE LABEL:
Aal Chem 168, Antioxidant; cartons @ 110.23 lbs
Uvasorb 3C, UV Absorber; bags @ 88 lbs
Pigment #10, Burgess Clay #10; bags @ 50 lbs
CL 20,000, Cross-Linked Polyethylene Glycol; bags @ 44 lbs
611B-85, Aliphatic Urethane Acrylate; drums @ 440.92 lbs
648-1, Acrylated Carboxylic Acid Terminated; cartons @ 44.09 lbs
EM2191, ODA; drums @ 374.79 lbs
EM3260, Ethoxylated Bisphenol; drums @ 440.92 lbs
6112-100, Aliphatic Urethane Diacrylate; drums @ 440.92 lbs
6210G, Epoxy Acrylate Oligomer; drums @ 440.92 lbs
KSR 176x90, Epoxy Resin; drum @ 440.92 lbs
YDPN 638A80, Goodmide Resin Solution; drums @ 440.92 lbs
G-5022, Goodmide Polyamide Resin - Epoxy Hardener; drums @ 396.83 lbs
KD-213C, Sold Epoxy Resin; bags @ 55.12 lbs
KR-102, Rubber Modified Epoxy; bags @ 55.12 lbs
Longnox AO68, Antioxidant; bags @ 44.09 lbs
Lonsorb BP-3, UV Absorber; cartons @ 110.23 lbs
HT 465, Opaque Polymer; drums @ 495.90 lbs
Aalcure 191, Polyamido Amine; drums @ 420 lbs
Aalcure 315, Curing Agent; drums @ 420 lbs
4070-M-70-HV, Long Oil Alkyd; drums @ 415 lbs
RB3329, Matting Agent; bags @ 44.09 lbs
1400EZ, Red Iron Oxide Pigments; bags @ 55.12 lbs
Data sheets and samples are available upon request, please visit our Request Literature page for more information.
Epoxy, with its amazing range of applications, has been widely utilized since the 1950’s. Many books were written about epoxy resin and its uses in the 70’s, but since then, numerous changes have occurred in both its chemistry and applications. As of 2006, the epoxy industry amounts to more than $5 billion in North America and about $15 billion worldwide. Today, epoxy users have become more sophisticated and expect more from the products for which they spend their money.
What Exactly is Epoxy Resin?
- Epoxy is a thermosetting polymer formed from the reaction of an epoxide "resin" with polyamine "hardener." Epoxy is used in a myriad of applications, including fiber-reinforced plastic materials and general purpose adhesives. [Thermosetting resin is a material that hardens when heated and cannot be remolded; does not soften when reheated.]
- Epoxy Resins, are a group of synthetic resins commonly used to make plastics and adhesives. They are noted for their high-resistance to chemicals and heat, outstanding adhesion, durability and toughness- which is why they’re valuable as coatings.
Ideal Applications for Epoxy Resin:
- Primers for cars- protects metal from rusting.
- Paint for automotive and marine uses
- Adhesives and glues:
- Used across industries for its strong bonding properties (i.e. automobile, aircraft, road & bridge surfacing, concrete bonding, flooring)
- Bonds permanently to wood, fiberglass, metal, concrete, glass and plastics
- Strong enough to use in place of rivets & welds in industrial applications
- Used in some dental bonding agents
- Protective surface coatings- provide a hard durable and rustproof surface
- Window sills, concrete floors, stair treads, shower stalls, down spouts
- Packaging coatings, can & coil coatings, UV curable coatings, corrosion-resistant composites
- Steel pipes, drain pipes (metal or plastic), pools, roofs, boats, decks & auto bodies
- PVC production- Many vinyl, plastic and PVC products contain epoxy resins (i.e. eyeglass frames, vinyl gloves, handbags)
- Electrical insulation materials to prevent conduction of electricity
- Enclosing transformers, condensers, printed electrical circuit boards and other electrical components
Epoxy is Fundamental in the Following Industries:
Functions of epoxy-based materials are extensive across many industries—the resin is utilized in putties, glues, paints, ad infinitum. Many properties of epoxies can be modified (for example silver-filled epoxies crafted for good electrical conductivity).
1. Paints and coatings
Two-part epoxy coatings were developed for heavy-duty employment on metal substrates and use less energy than heat-cured powder coatings. They dry quickly providing a tough, protective coating with remarkable solidity. Their low volatility and water clean- up makes them ideal for factory cast iron, cast steel and cast aluminum. They are usually used in industrial and automotive applications since they are more heat resistant than latex-based and alkyd-based paints.
Polyester epoxies are used as powder coatings for washers, driers and other major household appliances. Fusion bonded epoxy powder coating
(FBE) is abundantly used for corrosion protection of steel pipes and fittings used in the oil and gas industry and water transmission pipelines (steel). Epoxy coatings are used as primers to improve the adhesion of automotive and marine paints.
Epoxy adhesives are part of the class called "structural adhesives." This includes polyurethane, acrylic and epoxy acrylate oligomer
. These high-performance adhesives are used in the construction of aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, boats, golf clubs, skis, snowboards, and where high-strength bonds are required. Epoxy adhesives can be developed to suit almost any function. They can be used as adhesives for wood, metal, glass, stone, and some plastics. They are more heat and chemical resistant than other common adhesives. Some epoxies are cured by exposure to ultraviolet light. They are then used in optics, fiber optics and dentistry.
3. Industrial tooling and composites
Epoxy systems are used in industrial tooling to produce molds, master models, laminates, castings and fixtures. Epoxies are pivotal for producing fiber-reinforced or composite parts. Many times, they’re even strong enough to be utilized in place of rivets and welds. This plastic tooling replaces metal, wood and other traditional materials. Manufacturers appreciate the fact that epoxy systems lower the overall cost or shorten the lead-time for many industrial processes. They are more expensive than polyester resins and vinyl ester resins, but usually produce stronger and more temperature-resistant composite parts.
4. Electrical systems and electronics
Epoxy resin formulations are important in the electronics industry. They are employed in motors, generators, transformers, switchgear, bushings, and insulators. Because it is an excellent electrical insulator and protects electrical components from short circuiting, epoxy resin is the go-to material to prevent conduction of electricity. Brominated epoxy resins
are the primary resins used to make reinforced plastic laminates for printed electrical circuit boards. Their bromine content gives these epoxies improved resistance to ignition. Epoxy resin is also used in overmolding, integrated circuits, transistors and hybrid circuits.
5. Consumer and marine applications
Epoxies are sold in hardware stores, typically as a pack containing separate resin and hardener, which must be mixed immediately before use. They are also sold in boat shops as repair resins for marine applications. Epoxies typically are not used in the outer layer of a boat because they deteriorate by exposure to UV light. They are often used during boat repair and assembly, and then over-coated with conventional polyurethane paint or marine-varnishes that provide UV protection.
Epoxies are used for commercial manufacture of components where a high strength/weight ratio is required. Their strength, gap filling properties and excellent adhesion to many materials (including timber,) have created a boom in amateur building projects such as boats.
6. Aerospace applications
In the aerospace industry, epoxy is used as a structural matrix material which is then reinforced by fiber. The matrix is an aircraft manufacturer's dream come true—a lightweight composite material that you simply apply resins to and lay into a mold. This process automatically produces a lightweight body with a triple skin that has continuous internal ribs and provides superior strength. Epoxies are also used as structural glue. Materials like wood and others that are 'low-tech' are glued with epoxy resin.
Contact Aal Chem for Wholesale Epoxy Resin Products
is a wholesale chemical distributor that services the paint & coatings, adhesives & sealants, graphic arts, plastics, electronics, construction products, and composites industries. Our suppliers produce high-quality consistent products. Aal Chem is committed to understanding the needs of our customers and finding proven, reliable solutions. We can help you with information and quotes on wholesale epoxy resin products. Contact Aal Chem