With its usage in various industries including electronics, construction, food, and paints, silicone market has grown substantially over the last few years. The silicone industry is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 4-5% and is expected to reach an annual consumption of 2.5 million MT by the year 2022. With advancements in the energy and health care sector, the silicone market has witnessed incredible growth through product and technological innovations.
What is silicone?
Silicone is a high performance, specialty material that includes silanes, silicone fluids and silicone polymers. These are used in various consumer and industrial products. These products are formed by the reaction of silicon, methyl chloride and water. The end products of this reaction are polymers that are resistant to temperature fluctuations and can be used in a variety of products.
Silicone is available in various forms and types because of its molecular structure, such as liquid, solid, rubber etc. Silicone is flexible, resists chemicals, heat, and moisture, cold and ultraviolet radiations. The major growth in demand originates from health care centers and personal care in Europe and North America.
5 reasons why Silicone is very essential in the Chemical Industry
Silicone industry is driven by technological and product innovations in health care and energy sectors. Because of its chemical stability, ozone and UV resistance, the silicone industry is growing with increased awareness towards environmental issues. Reasons silicone is essential in the chemical industry include:
- Cooling characteristics: Silicone is resistant to high and low temperature and can even resist moisture. The fast cooling characteristics make its various forms, including high-temperature vulcanized silicone and liquid silicone rubber, an essential part in the manufacturing of gaskets and sealants electronics. This is going to augment the market in the coming years. Its high resistance to temperature fluctuations also makes it an essential material in the chemical industry.
- Sealing property: Silicone can seal, bond and encapsulate all types of materials. From sensitive circuits to microprocessors and semiconductors, silicone can be used to join anything. Because of silicone’s protective properties, it is widely used in various chemical industries.
- Non-reactive: Silicone does not react with other materials. No unwelcome by-products are generated upon reaction of a material with silicone. It is also resistant to bacteria. This property makes silicone easy to sterilize. It smoothens and softens medications and therefore is widely used in the healthcare industry. Due to adhesive properties, it is helpful in sealing the wound during the healing process. It is used widely in chemical industries including consumer-based chemical industries including soaps, detergents, and paints.
- Easily produced: Silicone is produced by the reaction of silicon and methyl chloride and further reaction with water. Silicon is a common element found in the earth’s core. This easy production of silicone makes it an essential part of the chemical industry. Silicone in the resin form is widely used as a solution in organic solvents. Being waterproof, it can also be used for electrical insulation in varnishes and paints.
- Low surface tension: Silicone has low surface tension and unique surface properties. It can be used as a lubricant in polishes and paints. It is also used in waterproofing fabrics and paper. Its anti-foaming properties are widely used in sewage disposal plants to suppress the foaming of detergents.
Silicone market size and Analysis
The global market size of silicone is expected to reach 2.5 million MT by the year 2022. Also, the demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4-5%. However, the market has faced production issues which might continue in the coming years. The technology and product innovations in the silicone industry have resulted in the growth in health care and energy sectors.
On the basis of product, silicone industry is widely divided into fluids, elastomers, gels, and resins. Elastomers dominated the global silicone market shares out of the four. Their use in various industries including construction, automotive and electrical has resulted in growth in this segment especially in regions such as Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.
High-temperature vulcanized silicone is extremely used in industries like electronics, transportation, construction, and consumer goods as seals, tubes and sheets. They offer various properties such as excellent chemical resistance, water repellent, resistance to extreme temperatures, and easy coloring characteristics, making it an important material in various chemical industries. Consumption of silicone is further expected to witness a positive trend in its various applications due to its varied properties.
Owing to its strong regional demand, the capacity concentration of silicone is gradually shifting towards the Asia Pacific region. In developing regions such as China, India and Latin America, the demand for silicone is increasing for the manufacturing of polyurethane-based products in the construction and automotive sectors. Whereas, the demand for silicone from healthcare and renewable energy sectors is expected to grow in Europe and North America.
With the increasing awareness regarding its benefits, across various industries, the usage of silicone has been witnessing steady growth over the years. In the coming years also with the help of technological innovations, silicone will witness constant growth in its global market. Rising industrialization in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to drive the growth of the silicone market for the next decade.
Published by Justin Schumakar