Silicones, or polydialkylsiloxanes, belong to a modern class of synthetic materials which are made by reacting silicon first with methyl chloride and then with water. They are odourless, have a rubber-like texture and are available in different forms. Some of the characteristics of silicones include flexibility, stability, permeability to gases, low glass transition temperature, as well as a high resistance to moisture, chemicals, heat, cold and ultraviolet radiation. A new research report by IMARC Group, titled “Silicones Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2018-2023”, estimates that the global silicones market reached a volume of around 2.05 Million Metric Tons in 2017. The report further anticipates the market to reach a volume of 3 Million Metric Tons by 2023, at a projected CAGR of more than 5% over the forecast period.
Global Silicones Market Drivers/Constraints:
- There has been an increase in the usage of silicones for the production of sealants, thermal and electrical insulation, and adhesives owing to their rubber-like quality and heat resistant nature. This has created new opportunities for the growth of the silicones market.
- As compared to petrochemicals, products manufactured using silicones generate less carbon dioxide as well as other greenhouse gas emissions. This has, in turn, contributed towards an augmented demand for silicones in numerous end-use industries such as electronics, paints, construction and food.
- Some of the factors which have been positively influencing the growth of the market include an increase in infrastructure development along with the expansion of production facilities in emerging nations.
- There has been a continuous rise in the prices of key raw materials used for the production of silicones including methyl chloride and silicon metal. This acts as a major hindrance which is impeding the growth of the global silicones market.
On the basis of type, the market has been segmented into elastomers, fluids, gels and resins. Amongst these, elastomers represent the largest segment owing to their increasing usage in the construction, automotive and transportation industries.
Based on application, the market has been segregated into industrial processes, construction, home and personal care, transportation, and energy. Currently silicones are being mostly used in industrial processes as they offer enhanced resistance and durability in industrial coatings, and also improve the performance of lubricants.
On a geographical front, Asia-Pacific currently accounts for the majority of the global share of the silicones market. This can be attributed to strong growth in the major end-use industries such as personal care and consumer products, medical and healthcare, energy, etc. Asia-Pacific is followed by Europe, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa.
The silicones market is concentrated in nature with only a small number of manufacturers sharing majority of the total market share. Some of the leading players operating in the market are:
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