Raw materials and chemicals are the building blocks of the industry. Even the most exciting product concept can be completely derailed if the best, most appropriate materials aren’t properly researched and sourced.

Luckily, materials and chemicals suppliers are constantly developing innovative products to help adhesive and sealants manufacturers advance the capabilities of their products and meet ever-changing market needs. For example, as consumers continue to focus on environmentally responsible products, demand is growing for bio-based raw materials (see “Is it Time to Decouple from Petroleum?,” pp. 20-21).

While natural rubber latex (NRL) is widely available and well-suited for adhesives and sealants applications, allergy concerns limit its use in some applications. It’s been discovered that the addition of aluminum hydroxide can alleviate allergic reactions while maintaining NRL’s beneficial characteristics. Learn more in “A Latex Alternative” (pp. 22-24).

Many adhesives and sealants manufacturers have realized that sourcing their materials and chemicals via distributor provides a multitude of benefits. As Dave Johnson writes, “Today’s chemical distributor is a trusted partner in innovation, providing technical expertise, improving production and product use efficiency, and assisting in formulating products.” Read the full story of “The Changing Role of the Chemical Distributor” on pp. 36-37.

This issue also includes the first edition of our Distributor Directory, a year-long reference tool to help you connect with the appropriate distributor partner for your company. Each distributor listing includes company contact information, including address, phone, fax, e-mail, website and key contacts. Many listings also include details regarding the companies that the distributor represents.

The Distributor Directory is a work in progress, and we’d love to hear your suggestions. Please contact me at (330) 336-4098 orsuttons@bnpmedia.comwith your comments.