Feature: Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive Building and Construction Trends at the International Builders Show

The International Builders Show (IBS) bills itself as the largest light construction trade show in the world. It really is a massive show, on the scale of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. The IBS alternates each year between Las Vegas and Orlando.

The 2020 installment took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 21-23. I attended for about a day and a half. In spite of the show’s size, I hit the floor with a focused objective—to look for ways to incorporate the use of more tapes in the Building &Construction segment. More specifically, I went looking for emerging trends where those active in the pressure-sensitive adhesive space will have an opportunity to grow.

With that mindset, a couple of trends stood out:

The evolution of water resistive barriers (WRB)

A WRB is a weather-proof layer of material that sits between the siding and plywood/strand board in a home. Its job is to protect that board from any moisture that might leak through the siding. Drive by new construction, and you might see homes layered in DuPont™ Tyvek® Homewrap® prior to the installation of siding. It is by far the most ubiquitous brand in the construction segment.

Now, we are seeing a trend toward a new technology: a WRB that is integrated into the board itself, at the factory. Huber’s Zip System® is an example, and was on display at IBS. The integration saves builders time and effort, with no additional step needed to apply the WRB onsite. The technology has gained share in new construction and continues to grow.

What makes this an exciting development for tapes? Once nailed to the frame, the entire perimeter of each sheath needs to be seamed with a weatherproof tape. This dramatically increases the amount of flashing and seaming tape needed to complete the construction of a new home.

Opportunities for acrylic-based adhesives to replace butyl in flashing tapes

As builders look to find ways to get the job done more efficiently, many are making the switch away from traditional flashing materials—metal/plastic pieces that are mechanically fastened to the house—and toward water-impervious flashing tapes made with pressure-sensitive adhesives.

That, in and of itself, is a trend; and a number of companies now offer flashing tape products. Another important trend, on display at the IBS, is that more of these tapes are employing high-performance acrylic-based adhesives in their constructions, replacing more standard butyl or asphalt-based adhesives.

It comes down to performance: Acrylic will adhere more effectively in weather conditions such as rain and cold—much more effectively than other adhesives. For contractors, this means being able to get more done during colder months, fewer errors/less rework, and higher customer satisfaction.

A great time for Building & Construction

Trends aside, I think this is a great time for those of us in the PSA space to be focused on the Building & Construction industry. With a strong economy and low interest rates, the new housing market is continuing to grow. The National Association of Realtors* predicts an 11% growth in new home sales in 2020. That should keep construction manufacturers, and the suppliers they lean on, pretty busy.

Scott Krusinski is a business development application engineer for Avery Dennison Performance Tapes. In his role, Scott is focused on building relationships and developing solutions for those involved in the Building & Construction and General Industrial segments.  Based in the company’s Painesville headquarters, Scott can be reached at scott.krusinski@averydennison.com, and he invites you to connect via LinkedIn.