Global silicone market size is estimated to exceed USD 20 billion by 2022 and is expected to witness a significant growth from 2015 to 2022. Rising demand for bio-based consumer durables and other equipment is anticipated to drive the demand for silicone-based products over the forecast period.
Silicone-based products have marked their presence in various industrial sectors, owing to their chemical stability and performance in harsh conditions. Its rubber form finds significant demand in electronics, automobiles, and healthcare products. Other end-use products include homecare, textiles, construction, and architecture.
Owing to its enhanced insulation properties, it is specifically used in wire coating in electrical industry. Similar applications include technical wiring and component building in dialysis tubing, pacemaker leads and computers. Silicone polymers provide electrically insulating properties and facilitate the use of grease to lubricate electrical switches and cable joints.
Textile sector has witnessed various innovations in its production process. High speed manufacturing could cause overheating and poses risk of fiber melting and breakage. This is expected to instigate research on efficient materials to reduce friction and enhance plant efficacy.
Lubricant form is expected to gain significance in textile sector owing to its heat stability and minimize adhesion of thermoplastic fiber to spinneret, thereby preventing risk of unstable production. Additional benefits include foam control, softening, lubrication, and hydrophobic coatings, thus enhancing fiber resilience to withstand multiple wash cycles.
Transportation equipment are under continuous exposure to physical and chemical attacks and require durable exteriors to minimize maintenance and repair costs. Silicone-based products are used in automotives, ocean vessels, and spacecrafts to increase exterior resilience towards harsh weather conditions.
While silicone rubber provides superior wear life and traction to the tires, coatings and adhesives enhance the components of transport equipment including airbags, vent ducts, and joints. Additional benefits include improved resistance to heat and cold, salt, abrasion, wind, rain, and ultraviolet radiation.
Major role in construction sector can be witnessed in glass coatings, water repellant coatings, solar panel sealants, LED fixtures, masonry coating for restoration, and epoxy coatings. Besides providing strength and protection, it also preserves the aesthetic features of the buildings. Sealants play significant role in windows, bathrooms, and kitchens, thus providing superior thermal management and minimize overall energy consumption.
Oil and gas industry faces continuous issues in heat energy management and requires thermal resilient materials to minimize risks of equipment failure and its associated hazards. This is expected to instigate research on chemical compounds that provide wide operating temperature range and good thermal conductivity.
Aforementioned factors are expected to steer the heat transfer oil demand that can be used as thermal interface material in oil & gas and chemical processing sectors. As it provides increased surface area for heat transfer, it is included in other significant end-uses including diodes, transistors, semiconductors, heat sinks, and radiators.
Rising demand for energy efficient durables is expected to steer the innovations in electric vehicle, LED lamp, and construction materials. Recent developments in silicone-based products such as flurosilicone rubber (FSR) and liquid silicone rubber (LSR) are expected to offer new research on cost efficient elastomers and resins.
Growing oil & gas and chemical industry in Europe and Asia Pacific region is expected to drive silicone-based product demand over the forecast period. Increasing real estate and construction activities in Middle East and Americas are expected to steer the commercialization of efficient sealants and resin development projects over the forecast period.
Various organizations have invested in material innovations and acquisition of enterprises to enhance their position in global market. Helix Medical, a medical device manufacturer, acquired silicone tubing product division of W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. Key industry players include Dow Corning, Wacker Chemie, Bluestar Silicones, Ashland Inc., 3M Company, BASF SE, Arkema SA, Specialty Silicone Products Inc, ICM Products, Jiangsu Hongda New Material Co., Ltd., and Evonik Industries AG.
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