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What is the future development trend of the epoxy resin curing agent industry?


With the rapid growth of the chemical industry, the scenarios in which epoxy resins are applied are gradually increasing, leading to a rapid growth in the scale of the epoxy resin industry. According to network data, as of July 2023, the total scale of China’s epoxy resin has exceeded 3 million tonnes/year, showing a high growth rate of 12.7% in the past few years.

The rapid growth in the scale of the epoxy resin industry has led to increased attention in the field of its curing agent. Epoxy resin curing agent is the main composition of epoxy resin, but also must be added to one of the substances, if there is no curing agent, epoxy resin is unable to achieve the curing effect. However, there is a wide variety of epoxy resin curing agents in the field, and the types of products are endless, resulting in many people not being able to fully understand them.

Epoxy resin curing agents can be roughly divided into organic amines, anhydrides, resins, polyphenols, polythiols, catalysts, etc. according to the type of curing, of which organic amines have the most applications. According to the curing temperature, can be divided into low-temperature curing agent, room temperature curing agent, medium-temperature curing agent and high-temperature curing agent, etc., different temperatures corresponding to the type of curing agent there is also a gap.

The global epoxy resin curing agent market size reached 2.45 billion U.S. dollars, of which the Chinese market accounted for 45% share, China’s market size also reached 1.1 billion U.S. dollars, becoming the world’s largest epoxy resin curing agent production and consumption of large countries, which is mainly due to the rapid development of China’s manufacturing industry, as well as the government’s environmental protection, safety and other aspects of the strict supervision, promote the epoxy resin curing agent in various areas of the Widely used.

From the point of view of global geographical distribution, the Asian region is the main consumer of the global epoxy curing agent market, and China is the largest consumer country in Asia. In addition, the North American and European markets for epoxy resin curing agents are also showing rapid growth, with market shares accounting for about 20% and 15% of the global volume.

According to network data, as of 2023, China’s epoxy resin production capacity of more than 3 million tonnes / year, production in 2023 will also exceed 1.6 million tonnes. According to the 100:50 curing agent addition ratio in the epoxy resin industry, it can be calculated that more than 800,000 tonnes of curing agent will be consumed in the field of epoxy resin in 2023, and the past few years have shown a rapid growth trend.

As of October 2023, there were tens of thousands of epoxy resin curing agent manufacturers in China, distributed in various regions of the country. According to the number of enterprises, Guangdong is the province with the largest number of epoxy resin curing agent enterprises, accounting for about 32% of the country’s share of the number of enterprises, followed by Hebei, Anhui, Jiangsu and Shandong, with the number of enterprises accounting for 14%, 9%, 9% and 8% respectively.

From the type of epoxy resin curing agent, can be divided into polyamide, aliphatic, aromatic, alicyclic amines, polyether amines, imidazoles, anhydrides curing agent, etc., of which polyamide, aliphatic, aromatic amines and alicyclic amines is the main type of epoxy resin curing agent, can also be collectively referred to as organic amines, accounting for about 80% of the production of China’s epoxy resin curing agent and above, and its this for the Imidazoles and anhydrides, etc., accounting for 20% or more of the market share of epoxy resin curing agents.

Polyamide type epoxy resin curing agent is made from dimer, trimer vegetable oleic acid or unsaturated fatty acid reacted with polyamine amide, which can make the curing product have high elasticity and adhesion and water resistance, and its constructability is also better, and it can be constructed on wet metal and concrete surface. However, it has the disadvantage of low heat resistance, heat distortion temperature is only about 50 ℃, poor resistance to petrol, hydrocarbon solvents.

Aliphatic amine epoxy resin curing agent most of the liquid, and epoxy resin has a good miscibility, can be cured at room temperature epoxy resin, the use of technology is simple. Aliphatic amine epoxy resin curing agents, containing aliphatic ring (cyclohexyl, heterooxygen, nitrogen atoms six-membered ring) amine compounds most of the low-viscosity liquids, the colour of the cured material, medium-temperature curing, transparency, weathering is good, the mechanical strength of the cured material is high.

The future direction of the development of epoxy resin curing agent, more will focus on organic amine curing agent varieties, followed by anhydride curing agent type. It is expected that China’s future development of epoxy resin curing agent growth rate of about 8%, in which the future development of organic amine curing agent will be faster, with functional and excellent material properties of the epoxy resin curing agent will be more popular in the market.

According to the current industry recognised development trend, the main development direction of future epoxy resin curing agent types are as follows:
1, fast curing, low temperature curing and minimum absorption rate of the curing agent type, will be more popular in the market, the market size and growth rate will be faster.
2, low-toxicity, non-toxicity curing agent type, is currently China’s epoxy resin curing agent field recognised direction, especially the use of the process of non-toxicity, will be more favoured by the market.
3、Multi-functional curing agents, as well as special function types of curing agents, such as toughening, flame retardant, promotion, elastic curing, etc. These curing agents have strong functionality, and the scope of market demand is growing rapidly.

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