Our industry is essential for aircraft and aerospace manufacture, automotive assembly, packaging, construction, sanitation, mobile devices and screens, medical bandages, repairing, recycling, reusing, repurposing, sound and weather proofing, and much more! Below are examples of how our industry is crucial to the EU Green Deal Goals.
The adhesives and sealants (A&S) industry is adopting digital technologies that are revolutionising the way businesses operate, setting new standards for efficiency, productivity, and innovation.
It is also helping businesses to stay competitive in an increasingly digital world.
Adhesives play a major role in assembling electronic devices. They bond the glass display window and camera lens, the keypad and membrane switch components, flex circuits and cable, battery compartment, exterior case, and much more, resulting in lighter and stronger devices.
Renewable energy & Energy Savings
Wind and solar energy are a sustainable and renewable energy source that have a much smaller impact on the environment compared to fossil fuels. Adhesives and sealants allow long lifetimes for solar power systems and windmills by meeting the demand of weathering resistance for long-term performance. They also adhere solar panels to all types of vehicles and buildings with the same weather-resistant, cost-effective and long-term performance properties.
Adhesives and sealants reduce the weight of all modes of transportation making them more energy-efficient.
For electric vehicles (EV) this also significantly increases range.
A&S are additionally designed to make the recycling of EV batteries easier, ensure battery lifetime and safety, and make them lightweight to save space, which again helps vehicles to become more energy-efficient.
As demand for hydrogen-based fuel cells increases, adhesives and sealants play a crucial role in providing reliable sealing that facilitates automated production.
Our industry is also increasingly installing wind turbines and photovoltaic panels at their plants and factories in order cover the electricity needs of production lines through renewables!
Benefits of adhesives & sealants in construction
Sealants can help in the journey toward lower-carbon (and eventually net-zero/carbon-negative) buildings and provide long-term structural capability.
For instance, they can weatherproof roofs and can be designed to tolerate extreme temperatures, water, chemicals, and to withstand significant stress, creating overall more energy-efficient buildings.
Similarly, adhesives and sealants facilitate insulation systems that are both durable and airtight (and carbon-neutral), ensuring less energy consumption.
Good health and well-being
To dress wounds for medical care, plasters have been used for as long as any of us can remember, and are continually being innovated.
Tissue adhesives are becoming increasingly important in modern medicine as they can enable wound healing to occur through the adhesion of tissue to the tissue on-site, resulting in less traumatic closure and suffering, easy application, no stitches required after surgery, excellent cosmetic result, and localised drug and pain release
Adhesives are crucial for dental work (such as prostheses) and are constantly improving: Dental adhesives need to be protective and preventive, with health-promoting effects that contribute to a better prognosis for restorative treatments and biocompatibility.
There are also more innovations in biodegradable tape (e.g. plantbased) for medical and other uses.
Adhesives in windshields, in the fire protection of buildings, and in many other applications, enable the highest levels of performance, which meets important health & safety needs.
EU Strategic Industries
Adhesives and sealants are in products used for electrolysers to produce hydrogen, sustainable biogas and biomethane, for carbon capture and storage, and for power grids.
Adhesives and sealants are used across the EU Strategic Industries to hold components in place, reduce weight, control noise and vibrations, and much more. For instance, they can also resist radiation and temperature extremes.
Adhesives and sealants are continuously innovating debonding technologies to repair, reuse, repurpose and/or recycle in order to create a circular system. Innovations within our industry extend even further, with reusable silicone cartridges, for example, and by using renewable energy to create the products.
FEICA and EURADH (biannual European conference on adhesion and related phenomena) foster ties between industrial and scientific activities through the Adhesion Innovation Award (AIA)
AIA 2023 was won by Mr Marvin Kaufmann for his publication ‘How adhesives flow during joining’. This innovative, new method clearly demonstrates how adhesives flow during joining. This allows for a more comprehensive approach and is more sustainable thanks to the reduction of experiments required to work out the ideal application pattern, and through the complete avoidance of overfilling, reducing waste and cleaning.
Clean water and sanitation
Sustainable polymer-based membranes for clean water and sanitation: Global water scarcity is exacerbating owing to climate change and pollution, making the demand for clean water more challenging with the growth of the global economy and population. Membrane filtration technologies are a sustainable solution for water purification due to their energy efficiency and can face challenges like fouling through selectivity and permeability.
Biodegradable face masks with biodegradable strings are often attached to each other with the help of biodegradable and compostable adhesives.
Innovations for other sanitary uses will play an important part in companies reaching their sustainability goals.
Avoiding food waste
Fibre-based products, in particular paper and board, play an important role in packaging which helps substantially in avoiding food waste.
In addition, their biobased origin and the high recycling rates for paper and board provide tangible sustainability benefits.
A strong shift is occurring in packaging materials where adhesives allow for exciting innovations.