In March of this year, Arkema announced the launch of its comprehensive offering for pressure-sensitive adhesives. The offering, which is augmented by the company’s acquisition of Ashland Performance Adhesives, is marketed under the Bostik brand. The company provides pressure-sensitive adhesive products in hot-melt, waterborne, UV, and specialty solution acrylics technologies.

ASI interviewed Tim Pione, Vice President Advanced Packaging and Converting, Adhesives, at Arkema to learn more about the company’s position in pressure-sensitive adhesives and what it has planned for the future. 

ASI: Arkema recently announced the launch of what the company is calling the “most complete and integrated offering on the market for pressure-sensitive adhesives.” Can you tell me what that includes and how the company went about creating this offering?

Tim Pione: This new offering is the result of a long-term growth strategy in the pressure sensitive adhesives market. In 2010, Arkema acquired the Dow acrylic latex business with key activities in PSAs. In 2014, the company acquired Bostik, one of the longest-standing leaders to the adhesive industry; and most recently in 2021, the Ashland Performance Adhesives PSA business.

Today, Arkema offers solutions for all key technologies used in PSAs, including hot melt, specialty solution acrylic, waterborne, and UV. We supply companies in every geography through global innovation centers and manufacturing footprint, and strong knowledge and customer support that have made us the leading partner for PSAs we are today.

Arkema’s Growth in Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives

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ASI: How will the technologies acquired through Arkema’s recent acquisition of Ashland Performance Adhesives tie in with its pressure-sensitive adhesive product offering?

Pione: Ashland Performance Adhesives was the natural fit as we worked to strengthen our market position in PSAs. With a strong footprint across the industry, especially in North America, that business had a reputation for market knowledge, application expertise, customer intimacy, and differentiated specialty technology. The deal was integral to bolstering our product line.

We now offer customers access to a portfolio of solutions they cannot get through any other single supplier.


ASI: What application segments do Arkema’s pressure-sensitive adhesives cover?

Pione: We have the technology to cover all markets where pressure-sensitive adhesives are used and have built a strong portfolio in these segments. We focus on bringing advanced solutions to meet highest performance and address customer’s challenges for the following (specialty) markets :

  • Tapes
  • Labels
  • Graphic Arts and Specialty Films
  • Niche Markets based on customer needs


ASI: Arkema has extensive expertise in specialty materials. Are there ways you are integrating that expertise into your pressure-sensitive adhesives portfolio?

Pione: At Arkema, every part of the business works together to focus on what is important to our customers and the industry.

Our expertise in rheology and UV Specialties for instance are key to our success in PSAs. As part of our material science group, they help develop new material chemistries that lead to more differentiated products. Arkema acrylic value chain integration is another critical advantage, promising unique reliability and possibilities for the future, especially with bio-driven developments.

We also have experts with pioneering formulation knowledge dedicated to helping us continually enhance our PSA portfolio. 


ASI: As the demand for more sustainable technology in the adhesives and sealants industry increases, how do Arkema’s products facilitate that demand?

Pione: Arkema is a leader in bringing new sustainable technology to multiple markets, and sustainability is critical to support our customers' innovation and sustainable development objectives – with particular focus in supporting them lowering their GHG emissions and Scope 3 reduction targets along the value chain.

Our strategy focuses on the following sustainability enablers:

  • Supporting community health and wellbeing by building trust with consumers and addressing their concerns for the safety profile of the materials we design;
  • Managing resources and supporting a circular economy, including the use of bio-renewable materials, targeting lower product carbon footprint across our acrylic value chain, promoting the recycling of both our materials and packaging (debonding of adhesives, easier wash off, liner-less labels, and reduced waste); 
  • Decarbonizing through lower energy-cure technologies such as moisture cure and UV/LED PSAs; and
  • Continuing research and advances in more sustainable technologies and processes.

Just as important as our sustainability efforts are the collaborations with our partners throughout the value chain. As an industry, we have to change how we work together if we are going to accomplish real change. We are working to connect members of the value chain to set new expectations and work together to improve every sustainable aspect of our industry, including a bio-acrylic mass-balance manufacturing approach, recycling solutions, and low-VOC technologies. 


ASI: As a leader in the pressure-sensitive adhesives segment, what do you consider the main challenges the market is facing?

Pione: To begin, the PSA market is consolidating resulting in fewer brand owners making product decisions. At the same time, fragmentation persists at the supplier level, creating a potentially more complex market. It also means that customer relationships are more important than ever when it comes to staying ahead of new application trends, innovation, and sustainability needs.

We believe Arkema is very well positioned to address those challenges globally because we offer the major technologies used in these applications – and have manufacturing, innovation centers, and customer support in all major geographies. This helped us build a strong and reliable offering, expertise, and customer service for the fast-growing PSA market. Our strong relationships with major brand owners worldwide mean we build the network needed to stay ahead of market needs and to help drive the future of the PSA market.


ASI: What do you envision for the future of pressure-sensitive adhesives? Where do you see market growth?

Pione: Megatrends combined with the continual need for new sustainability solutions, indicate a strong future for the PSA market.

We see particularly strong growth related to:

  • Electric vehicles, where PSAs are often critical to new vehicle and battery design;
  • Lightweighting as PSA performance increases and offers more alternatives to mechanical fastening especially in the bonding of dissimilar materials;
  • E-commerce as people continue to shop from home (driving continued growth in packaging labels and easing recycling);
  • Modular housing, where we are seeing growth in building and construction tape products; and
  • Health and well-being, where PSA is contributing to bring solutions for medical devices in line with the aging population needs.

The PSA market continues to grow faster than GDP rates. Arkema, as a global supplier offering all key technologies used in these applications, is well positioned to help lead that growth with its customers, as well as advance the performance and sustainability of the tapes, labels, and other PSA products worldwide.


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