Inks are a complex mixture of a number of ingredients. These various ingredients, when combined in a specific formulation, impart desired characteristics and critical properties for printing application. Printing inks are made of four basic components. These are Pigments – these impart color to the ink, resins – which bind the ink together and to the surface on which printing is carried out, solvents – to make the ink flow on the surface to be printed and additives – which alter the properties of the ink to obtain desired characteristics. The formulation for a certain application depends on the type of substrate, the process implemented, desired appearance and the end use. The ink additives market is expected to grow in -line with the growth in advertising expenditure and marketing activities by Corporates.
Based on the function, ink additives market can be segmented as rheology modifiers, dispersants, foam control agents, slip & rub materials, and wetting agents. On the other hand, depending on the type of printing process ink additives market can be segmented as additives for letterpress printing, gravure printing, lithography, flexography and digital printing ink additives. The ink additives market, based on the end use is segmented into additives for packaging printing, publication printing and commercial printing.
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The Asia Pacific represents high volume ink additives market for printing ink industry followed by Europe and North America. The highest growth has been witnessed by the packaging segment of textile additives. The publishing and the commercial printing segments of ink additives market are however shrinking in certain developed regions of the world and have shown sluggish growth in the developing countries over the past. The global ink additives market is expected to show a moderate single digit annual growth over the next five years. The growth of the packaging segment in global ink additives market has been amplified by the increasing growth in the GDP and population in the Asia-Pacific region.
The trend witnessed in the ink additives market off late is that of developing eco-friendly products such as non-VOC additives, high-sensitive UV (low-power UV-curable), water-based additives with emphasis on providing high value, green additives that offer improved performance and a reduced impact on the environment.
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The major challenges that lie ahead for the ink additives market are the growing pressure for adherence to the regulatory restrictions, guidelines; developing additives/products that can maintain or improve the current performance at lower usage levels or at a more economical costs. Moreover, the supply of key raw materials for the textile additives remains a matter of major concern for the global ink additives market.
The major players in the ink additives market are Evonik TEGO, BASF SE, HUNTSMAN, Dow Corning, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Shamrock Technologies, Inc.
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