Animal glue is an adhesive that is created by prolonged boiling of adhesive connective tissue for various domestic applications. Adhesive refers to a binding substance applied to the surface of materials to avoid separation. It is a natural form of adhesive used for various domestic applications.
These applications include restoring objects, paintings, illuminated parchment manuscripts and other artifacts. Gelatin, a form of animal glue, is found in many contemporary products such as gelatin desserts, marshmallows and pharmaceutical capsules and is used to reinforce sinew wrappings, wood, leather, bark, and paper. Animal glue was the most common woodworking glue for thousands of years until the advent of synthetic glues such as polyvinyl acetate (PVA) and other resin glues.
It is primarily used as lutherie, pipe organ building, antique restoration and piano repair among others. Hide glue, bone glue, fish glue and rabbit skin glue are the types of animal glue. These glues are wood working adhesives. Hide glue joints are reversible and repairable.
The significant disadvantages of hide glue are its thermal limitations, short open time, and vulnerability to micro-organisms Rabbit-skin glue is more flexible when dry than typical hide glues. It is used in the sizing or priming of oil painters canvases.
It also is used in bookbinding and as the adhesive component of some recipes for gesso and compo. It is used for footwear applications. Footwear applications generally involve assembly, bonding and preparation of sole and related footwear items
The growing demand for artifacts, paintings and other creative materials on account of the increasing disposable income is expected to boost the demand for animal glue. People in Europe are connoisseur of art and music. Thus the demand for animal glue is comparatively high with respect to other regions. The adhesives market is expected to be drive the demand for animal glue. However, animal glues market is expected to shrink as animal glues dry, giving a potential to harm wood, paper or works of art.
Too much handling and too many changes in temperature or humidity also cause further harm. In addition, there is controversy into the production and use of hide glue, particularly because most animal glue industries prefer using cattle and horses and thus encourage the slaughter of these animals. Some companies in Canada produce animal, hide and hoof glues from horses, even though the slaughter of horses in the Western world is seen as a negative influence.
Recently, animal glue has been replaced by other adhesives and plastics, but remains popular for restoration. Additionally, other adhesives are expected to take the market share of the natural adhesives such as animal glues as they can be extensively in the end user industry such as automobile industry and construction industry where adhesives and sealants are used in panel lamenting, flooring, insulation, facades, coating, and lamination amongst other functionalities.
Growing environmental concerns owing to growing carbon footprints coupled with the volatility in raw material prices has been prompting market players to develop bio-based adhesives thus shrinking the market share of animal glues. Bio-based adhesives along with providing environmental benefits by reducing carbon footprint also reduce the overall cost of manufacturing adhesives as against their synthetic counterparts. They are composed of starch, soy and vegetable oils and can compete at par with petroleum based adhesives.
Some of the key players in the animal glue market are LD Davis Industries Inc.and African Glue Industries among others.