Sizing agent is a substance that is commonly applied to fibers to impart desired qualities. Sizing agents are generally used to reduce porosity of fibers in order to make them suitable for printing. These chemicals increase the resistance properties of fiber to the penetration of water or other liquid. Sizing agents can be broadly categorized into two types: surface sizing agents and internal sizing agents. Alkyl succinic anhydride (ASA), rosin, and alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) are the most commonly used internal sizing agents, whilestyrene maleic anhydride (SMA), styrene acrylic acid (SAA), styrene acrylic emulsion (SAE), gelatin, polyurethane (PUR), and ethylene acrylic acid (EAA) are the popular surface sizing agents. Sizing agents are also classified into natural and synthetic, based on the raw materials used in their manufacture. Sizing agents are mostly used in the textile and paper industries. Fiber is treated with sizing agents during papermaking.This improves the ink-holding capacity, therebyincreasing the printability of the paper. Furthermore, sizing agents improve the quality of yarn used in the textile industry.This prevents the breakage of fibers.
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Thickener or thickening agents are substances that are used to increase the viscosity of a fluid without changing any other properties. Thickening agents are used in the food and beverages industry to increase the viscosity of food and beverages such as soups and sauces without altering their tastes. Thickening agents are also used as gelling agents in food products such as desserts, jams, and jellies. Furthermore, thickening agents are used as additives inks, paints, cosmetics, and other personal hygiene products.In cosmetics and personal hygiene products thickening agents acts a stabilizer for an emulsion. Thickening agent prevent settling and clustering in paints and inks. These agents are classified into mineral thickening agents and hydrocolloid thickening agents. Silica, clay, cellulose, and starch are the commonly used thickening agents.
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Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for sizing and thickening agents. However, demand for sizing and thickening agents is high in North America and Europe. Companies manufacturing food and beverages in North America and Europe are the largest end-users of sizing and thickening agents. Demand for thickening agents is high in Europe owing to the extensive manufacturing of cosmetic and paints..Production of sizing and thickening agents has increased significantly in Asia Pacific and emerging economies in Latin America due to trade linearization and lower manufacturing cost. Demand for sizing &thickening agents is expected to rise in Asia Pacific due to growth in food & beverages and paints & coating industries in the region. Therefore, key players in the sizing & thickening agents market are investing significantly in emerging economies to expand their market share. Food & beverages and paper industries cumulatively account for almost half the demand for sizing &thickening agents. Demand for thickening agents is higher as compared to sizing agents, owing to their extensive usage in diversified applications. Thickening agents account for more than half of the global demand for sizing and thickening agents. Increase in production of paints and cosmetics, fuelled by improvement in standard of living and growing industrializing, is likely to boost the market for sizing &thickening agents during the forecast period.
Some of the key manufacturers of sizing &thickening agents include Ashland, Cargill Incorporated, CP Kelco, DuPont, The Dow Chemical Company, BASF SE, and AKZO Nobel N.V.