The silicon market in the medical sector will continue to surge, with the nation's aging population driving demand for medical equipment and the ongoing technological development of new products, which is expanding the range of applications for silicones. The long-lasting and better performing appliances or parts in which silicon materials are used are some of the other factors driving the global silicones market. Rising opportunities from healthcare light emitting diodes (LEDs), solar cells and others are expected to boost the global silicones market during the forecast period.
Silicones are basically polymers that contain silicon along with carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. They are one of the most versatile polymers in existence today. Silicones produce a wide range of formulations and have many aesthetic and technical uses. These exist in various forms such as fluids, resins, gels to make elastomers stiff and tough. Silicones have unique properties such as low chemical reactivity, low thermal conductivity, low toxicity and thermal stability that make these materials more aesthetic, stronger, user friendly, durable and more stable. One of the forms in which silicon exists is silicon pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs); these have many unique advantages that make them suitable for high-value applications which involve the replacement of mechanical fasteners in the automotive, appliance and aerospace industries. Other uses of silicon PSAs is in the manufacture of infrastructural windows, insulated pipes, electronic signs and other products exposed to outdoor environments. Silicon pressure sensitive adhesives have excellent properties in heat and cold resistance, excellent reliability, insulating properties and good adhesion to a variety of surfaces.
The global silicones market can be segmented on the basis of product type and application. Based on product type, the silicon market is divided into elastomers, fluids, resins, and others. On the basis of applications, the global silicones market has been categorized into energy, electrical and electronics, building and construction, pharmaceutical and healthcare, automotive and transportation, chemicals, aerospace and aviation, and others.
One major trend upcoming in the silicones market is the use of silicones in medical applications. Silicon is used in implants, transdermal drug delivery, catheters and tubing, skin adhesives and other equipments. Silicones used in making medical products show superior performance properties and are more reliable. Owing to excellent chemical and physical properties exhibited by silicones, the growing demand from end use industries (including construction, electrical and electronics, chemical, automotive, medical and personal care) are driving the silicones market.
Further, one of the major challenges confronting the silicon market is an increase in raw material prices. Price is a major determining factor for many end-users because of their budget constraints.
Asia-Pacific dominates the global silicones market, both in terms of production and consumption, followed by North America. The growth in Asia-Pacific is primarily driven by the rising demand from electrical and construction industries due to rapid industrialization, mainly in evolving economies of China and India. Moreover, China is the most attractive market in Asia-Pacific with enormous potential and massive growth opportunities in the silicon industry.
Some of the major competitors in the silicones market include 3M, Allergan, Inc., BASF SE, Bostik SA, JP Morgan Chase & Co., China National Bluestar (Group) Co, Ltd., Amber Chemical Company Ltd., Ashland, Clariant, CSL Silicones Inc., Emerald Performance Materials,v Dongyue Group, Solway, Rogers Communications, Evonik Industries Ag, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Jiangsu Hongda Chemical Co., Ltd, Kaneka Corporation, Gelest, Inc., Handy & Harman LTD., Silchem Silicone Chemicals, and others.
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