Hydrophobing agents, which are also known as hydrophobic agents, are used to impart a water-repellent effect on cleaned surfaces. These products have become widely popular in construction applications as they can be used as both as cleaners and subsequently as surface care products. Hydrophobing agents work by increasing the angle of contact and reducing water penetration building interiors and exteriors.
Hydrophobing agent manufacturers as well as research institutions worldwide are exploring ways to make manufacturing more sustainable. In August 2019, a group of researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad had developed a water-repellent material using fly ash, an industrial waste product. The water-repellent material can be used in anti-fouling, anti-soiling, and self-cleaning paints and coatings used in automotive and construction applications.
It is estimated that global hydrophobing agents market size will be worth more than US$ 1 billion by 2026. Following are a few notable factors augmenting the use of hydrophobic agents in the upcoming years.
- Growing prominence in construction sector
Water-repellents are extensively used in the building and construction sector to protect cement-based materials from color fading, hazing, and efflorescence. These materials allow building surfaces to retain the color and shine for longer durations. Since wood absorbs water easily, it results in high wetness duration and high moisture levels, which consequently lead to wood decay in wooden building structures.
Hydrophobic agents protect wooden surfaces against water penetration and prevent them from splitting and cracking. In addition to its water-repellent characteristics, these substances enhance the aesthetic appearance of cement-based interior and exterior building surfaces.
- Silicone based products to witness robust demand
Silicone based hydrophobing agents are widely preferred in building and construction applications owing to excellent viscosity and high reactivity towards inorganic and silanol-rich surfaces. Silicon based materials accounted for over 30% revenue share of hydrophobing agents industry in 2018.
Silanes form a strong viscous network which forms covalent bonds with the treated surface, providing enhanced durability and resistance against water, chemicals, and corrosion. Silicon based hydrophobic agents are also widely used in cosmetics and personal care products as they form a barrier-like coating on the skin and protect against water and air. The demand for premium quality beauty and cosmetic products will undeniably bolster hydrophobing agents industry outlook.
- Stringent regulatory scenario in Europe
The European construction sector has experienced considerable expansion over the past few years. The European government has introduced strict regulations promoting the use of sustainable products and materials in construction and made it compulsory for architects and engineers to regularize the use of these materials. According to guidelines by the German Committee for Reinforced Concrete, water absorption capacity in concrete should be reduced by up to 50 percent.
As a result, regional architects and builders are utilizing oleochemical and silicon based products as integral water repellent agents in masonry, mortar, grouts, tile adhesives, skim coats, and render. In the near future, growing investments by the European Union in development of new and renovation of existing infrastructure will complement Europe hydrophobing agents industry trends.
Dow Corning, Dover Chemical, Baerlocher GmbH, Peter Greven, Rudolf Group, FACI S.P.A, Wacker Chemie AG, Jowat S.E and Brillux GmbH, Elotex, Zschimmer and Schwarz, Kao Chemicals, Amsdorf, and Romonta GmbH are a few notable names providing hydrophobing agents worldwide.