Silicones are a class of high-performance materials that includes silicone polymers, silanes, and siloxanes. It is from these materials that silicone products are produced. The term “silicone” can refer to both the individual monomers (simple compounds) that make up the polymer and the cured polymers themselves. These chemicals/formulations are present in millions of items that we come into contact with daily. While the quantity of silicone in a product an individual interacts with is usually minuscule, the benefits it provides the product in terms of performance are usually significant.
Advantages of Using Silicone
Due to its versatility and effectiveness, industrial silicone has become one of the most popular materials for industrial applications, and it is widely used in everything from adhesives & sealants to lubricants, medical devices, kitchenware, automotive applications, electronics, and more. One of the main reasons for its popularity is that it can withstand extreme temperature variations, which makes it an ideal material for applications where other materials would fail or degrade, and because it is non-toxic and resistant to water and UV light, making it ideal for both outdoor and indoor applications. The variety of silicone products on the market is vast, and the applications for these products are constantly expanding.
The silicone industry has seen a boom in recent years, thanks to the ever-growing demand for silicone products. Everything from medical devices to car parts and construction materials are now made with silicone, and the global market is forecast to be worth $17.5 billion+ by 2025. The main driver of this growth is the continuing expansion of the automotive industry, as silicone is increasingly used in cars and trucks. In addition, the growing popularity of solar energy and renewable energy sources is also fuelling demand, as silicone is an essential component in many solar panels and wind turbines. With so many industries relying on silicone, it’s clear that the global demand for silicone is only going to continue to grow in the years to come.
As we’ve already established, silicones are a versatile class of materials that find applications in a wide range of industries, from construction to consumer goods. Not surprisingly, silicone is a multi-billion dollar industry, with the global market projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 6.2% between 2020 and 2027. So which countries are the major producers of silicone for the world markets? According to Grand View Research, the top five silicone producers globally are China, the United States, Japan, Germany, and South Korea. These countries accounted for approximately 62% of the silicone produced worldwide in 2019.
China is by far the largest silicone producer, with an estimated output of 1.4 million metric tons in 2019. The country’s silicone industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, driven by rising demand from the construction and electronics sectors. The United States is the second-largest producer of silicone, with an estimated output of 630 thousand metric tons in 2019. Japan is the third-largest producer of silicone, with an estimated output of 470 thousand metric tons in 2019. The country’s silicone industry is characterized by a high degree of specialization, with a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accounting for the majority of production.
Germany is the fourth-largest producer of silicone, with an estimated output of 390 thousand metric tons in 2019. The country’s silicone industry is dominated by a few large multinational companies, such as Wacker Chemie and Dow Corning. South Korea is the fifth-largest producer of silicone, with an estimated output of 380 thousand metric tons in 2019. The country’s silicone industry is also dominated by a few large multinational companies, such as Dow Corning, Shin-Etsu Chemical, and LG Chem.
Custom Silicone Formulations
While the global silicone market is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 6.2% between 2020 and 2027, the demand for custom silicone formulations is expected to grow even faster, at a compound annual rate of 7.5% during the same period. This is because more and more companies are looking for ways to improve their products and processes, reduce costs and enable the development of new and innovative products by using custom silicone formulations. In addition, custom silicone formulations can also be used to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes and to create a competitive advantage for companies.
Many benefits can be achieved by using custom silicone formulations. For example, custom silicone formulations can be used to improve the physical properties of products, such as improved heat resistance, improved electrical insulation, and improved chemical resistance. In addition, custom silicone formulations can also be used to improve the performance of products, such as increased flexibility, increased strength, and increased durability. Custom silicone formulations can also be used to reduce costs, by reducing the amount of material that is required to produce a product, or by improving the efficiency of manufacturing processes.
Securing the Silicone Supply Chain
With so many industrial applications counting on a steady supply of silicone, it is important to have a secure silicone supply chain. Securing this supply chain can be a challenge, as silicone is produced in only a handful of countries around the world. The top producers of silicone are China, the United States, and Japan. But due to the global nature of the silicone industry, there is a risk that disruptions in any one country’s production could have a ripple effect on the entire industry.