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The outlook of the US silicones market. (Source: Freedonia)
The outlook of the US silicones market. (Source: Freedonia)

Demand for silicone elastomers is projected to expand at an above average 4.4% per year to US$1.8 billion in 2022, according to Silicones Market in the US, a new study from The Freedonia Group.

Growth will be driven by opportunities for specialized elastomers, such as LSR, in markets with more demanding performance requirements, including motor vehicle and other transportation outlets, as well as the medical market.

For the automotive sector, it will post the fastest gains going forward because silicone elastomers are favored over organic rubbers for under-the-hood applications. Silicone elastomers have wide temperature tolerance and excellent oil resistance.

Meanwhile, in the medical market, silicone elastomers will continue to capture share from PVC and latex components due to silicone’s low toxicity and biocompatibility.

On the other hand, the construction market is the single largest outlet for silicones and will also post healthy gains. However, according to analyst Ellen Kriz: “Growth will slow from the strong post-recession recovery of the 2012-2017 period.”

Demand in the construction sector consists of RTV elastomers for adhesives and sealants. Advances for RTVs will stem from their chemical and water resistance, as well as their extreme temperature stability and tear strength.

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