Adhesives, sealants & filler’s segment target product usability
While Bostik recently celebrated the relaunch of its Fireban, fire rated sealants back onto the market in March 2020, the company also recently announced that it would go out on a limb with new product development this year and delve into an entirely new space.
Bostik Australia’s Product Implementation Manager, Anthony Stavretis recently explained to AHJ that as a business which has traditionally manufactured adhesive products for the home, office, school, hardware, construction and industry, Bostik recently had the opportunity to develop a new product range.
“From May, Bostik will supply consumer and medical-grade hand sanitiser to the Australian market. Our hand sanitiser is Australian made, with the majority of materials sourced locally and then manufactured in our Thomastown plant in Victoria. We have various sizes of the product, including every day, consumer on-the-go bottle, up to commercial use sizes for larger organisations,” Mr Stavretis said.
“We do have some other opportunities in the pipeline as well, although we cannot say too much at this point. We may have some new product for a certain trade sector this year. There is definitely more to come,” he said.
While Mr Stavretis agrees the COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertain times for the business operations of most retailers nationally, Bostik’s sales have remained pleasingly strong despite the crisis.
“A key contributor to this would be the fact that the building and trade sectors are still essential businesses. With these two industries still operating, combined with an influx of DIYers completing jobs around their households, our core range of products are seeing strong sales,” he said.
“We have also reacted to the COVID-19 crisis by manufacturing our medical-grade hand sanitiser which is now in high demand, particularly since there is such an emphasis on hand hygiene to combat any risk of contracting the virus. As a business, we are pleased to be able to produce a product that can contribute to the health and hygiene of the Australian community,” Mr Stavretis said.
“If anything, Bostik Australia’s manufacturing process and operations at head office have scaled up due to the introduction of the hand sanitiser range. During the crisis, our head office staff now attend the workplace under the accordance of the strict rules set by the Australian and state government bodies.”
“In saying this, the current COVID-19 issue is affecting our sales teams because it prevents them from having any in-store representation, whether that includes general visits or training sessions with staff members. Unfortunately, if social distancing measures stay in place for the foreseeable future, this issue will continue to be a factor for our on the ground personnel to present new and existing products in front of consumers,” he said.
Considering how much damage COVID-19 has already had on the Australian economy, Mr Stavretis said he remains hopeful that a predicted slump in the building industry will not come to fruition, “particularly as we need people in jobs and industrial projects to keep moving”.
“However, if we do see a drop in industry projects and sales of our hardware-specific products, we are lucky enough to play in a few different consumer sectors (i.e. construction and stationery). We have some strategies in place to combat a possible drop from our hardware sector.”
“In the meantime, we believe innovation in any business is key to help that business grow. We are dedicated to innovative products here at Bostik, researching and testing the best possible materials to help produce even better products in our range to benefit our consumers in whatever sector,” he said.
When looking at trends in the market, the introduction of hybrid silicones (MS Polymers) and more recently, hybrid polyurethanes (SPUR) are just two significant trends driving the market currently, according to Mr Stavretis.
“This trend has particularly been encouraged by the movement towards using less hazardous materials as there are no isocyanates or solvents in hybrids, yet they remain incredibly durable and diverse in application. They are used more widely in Europe, but we are finally seeing the Australian market begin to understand the real advantages of these technologies,” he said.
While the current market remains quite competitive and saturated with local and international product lines, Mr Stavretis also pointed out that having a reliable brand name, combined with trust and presence over decades within the Australia market, gives Bostik a strong point of difference between the market sectors.
“This, combined with our strong beliefs in product innovation and introducing products to the market that benefit the consumer, strengthens our difference in the market. An example of this would be our Seal n’ Flex product. We have looked at ways to evolve this product and have now included a technology which allows users to apply the product in wet conditions. The product will still adhere and cure, despite the application area being wet.”
“Our products throughout the adhesives, sealants and fillers market are always competitive and this competitiveness has since increased in the current environment with a lot of DIYers doing more jobs around the home now social restrictions are in place. With that, a lot of companies, including Bostik, are vying for opportunity to be in front of this booming market,” he said.
“Over the next few months, Bostik will focus on the relaunch of its Fireban fire-rated sealants, particularly now there is a strong emphasis on new infrastructure projects. Whether it be commercial or residential high rises, our fire-rated compliant sealants are critical to the construction build scope,” Mr Stavretis said.
The relaunched sealants include:
Bostik Fireban One: A trusted all-rounder, suitable for internal and external applications. As a fire rated intumescent, low modulus, one component, Class A polyurethane sealant, Fireban One is formulated to withstand the harsh Australian weather and is resistant to extremes of rain, sun and pollutants.
Bostik Fireban Acrylic: A single component, non-hazardous internal sealant which is also non-sag and fire rated. Fireban Acrylic is also designed specifically for Australian conditions with an in-service range of -20°C to +90°C.
Bostik Fireban Hybrid: Suitable for a variety of fire rated configurations Fireban Hybrid is a high performance and durable single component fire retardant sealant based on award winning SMP (Silyl Modified-Polymer) technology. Fireban Hybrid contains no solvent or isocyanate content making it safer to work with.
Bostik Fireban Expanda Foam: A ready to use single component, self-expanding polyurethane foam, with self-expanding properties that make it perfect for filling cavities and gaps. It also provides an exceptionally quick tack and cure time of two hours for a 30-millimetre bead.
Macsim Fastenings launches ‘Smart Dry’ products
Macsim Fastenings has also continued to launch several new products in an effort to enhance its place in the market, including two new and exciting products designed to not only improve ease of use in the trade sector, but for DIY users as well.
“The new products include Tradesman’s Choice MF10 Gap Filler, to be launched in mid-May, boasting an innovative Smart Dry Technology designed for ease of application. It also cleverly applies in pink but dries on white, so users can easily see if the product has dried,” Macsim Fastenings Technical Sealants Manager, Paul Crawford said.
“Also to be launched in mid-May is Macsim’s Rapidset Post Fix, another product designed with innovative Smart Dry Technology. The high-density two-part foam is designed to replace concrete mix for installing letterboxes, fence posts, bollards etc., Rapidset Post Fix also takes away the hard work and heavy lifting associated with using concrete mix,” he said.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Macsim reported that it has not witnessed any slowdown in business so far, with the company maintaining business as usual.
“The only concern we have had is with the shortage of raw materials early this year, which was a challenge. More-over product supplies were also delayed due to COVID-19. Pleasingly we have managed to overcome these challenges through close work with our reliable supply partners. Macsim’s sealants are continuously expanding its product range by means of innovation,” Mr Crawford said.
Looking to the year ahead, Macsim plans to remain committed to product improvement and innovation despite the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to conduct research and development for new and innovative products set to be launched this year and beyond, Mr Crawford said.
“We have already commenced targeting new market segments to ensure we maintain strong sales momentum going forward. The sealant market continuously evolves, hence it is imperative we maintain our innovative approach to achieve a high level of product excellence. Over time, consumers, whether they are DIY or tradespeople, are converting to Macsim’s new innovated smart technology products.”
“Our approach to marketing our products is simple. Recently we updated product labelling to ensure our sealants are easy to understand for both DIY and tradespeople to select the right sealant for their specific application. This makes choosing the correct sealant simple and easy,” Mr Crawford said.
As with all current market segments, sealants remain a competitive market, however with the ever-increasing number of suppliers in this industry, Macsim continually searches for new and improved products to stay a step ahead, he said.
Soudal’s innovative adhesive saves user’s backs
Soudal Australia has also launched an entirely new-to-market, innovative adhesive in recent months, developed specifically to bond subfloor particleboard to timber and steel joists. Soudabond Subfloor is unlike anything seen on the market before because it is an adhesive that extrudes like a foam, then instantly collapses into a gel, according to Soudal Australia’s ANZ Region Head of Products, Australian Marketing Manager, Scott Robinson.
“After the board has been installed, the adhesive expands filling any voids to ensure a squeak free floor,” he said.
Soudabond Subfloor has many stand out advantages including saving the user’s back from strain, as the adhesive has a one metre application gun that allows users to apply the product without having to bend down.
“Soudabond Subfloor also saves time as it can be applied 75 per cent faster than using traditional cartridges. It also saves users in cost, as each can of Soudabond Subfloor is equivalent to 12 cartridges which results in a minimum 40 per cent saving,” Mr Robinson said.
Since Soudabond Subfloor’s launch and prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Soudal has also experienced a great number of enquires resulting in an increase of onsite demonstrations over the past two months.
“In the mean-time, the Soudal team has been offering video meetings with builders to explain the benefits and also offer training on how to use the product. Feedback from the builders has been incredibly positive with all stating they would absolutely use it on their next project,” Mr Robinson said.
“One builder in particular posted a photo of his son who was applying the Soudabond Subfloor with the one metre gun who is 6’5” and he was over the moon that he did not have to bend down anymore,” he said.