The liquid silicone rubber (LSR) market size was valued at USD 1.55 billion in the year 2015 and is anticipated to observe substantial growth over the next eight years. The growing demand from automotive and medical sectors have emerged as the crucial drivers of the global market in the near future.
The liquid silicone rubber possesses superior properties for example ability to withstand very high temperatures, chemical inertness and electrical resistance. These features have enhanced its broad acceptance across automotive, electrical & electronics, medical and various other sectors. Increasing elderly population is driving the demand medical devices and implants in the medical sector.
The applications of LSR are growing in conventional rubber along with areas where conventional rubber had not been used. The LSR technology is experiencing a fast change. Some current applications comprise of LED headlights, medical implants & devices, kitchenware, fitness tracker, bake ware and wiper blades as well as manufacturing drug eluding devices.
Additional benefits of the material consist of producing lesser waste, high stability in product dimensions, more volume production on account of its low manufacturing costs and short cycle time. As a result, it has substituted materials such as latex, glass and plastic in numerous industrial and medical applications.
Strict regulatory norms regarding materials to be applied in medical devices and kitchenware is further driving the demand for the global market. In addition, demographics, improving lifestyle and urbanization are boosting the demand of consumer and electronics goods, which in turn is supplementing the market demand.
With an aim to accomplish competitive advantage, the major participants are collaborating with suppliers to achieve modern material technology. The few material innovations consist of silicone materials with optical grade, self-lubricated, antimicrobial and self-adhesive properties.
Medical grade is rapidly growing as compared to other grades of liquid silicone rubber. Its widespread application in manufacturing of oxygen mask instruments, dialysis filters, syringe stoppers, saccules, tracheal tube and other medical parts on account of its bacterial resistance, transparency, high dielectric strength, high elongation gas permeability and numerous other unique properties.
Medical grade is the most expensive grade as it requires completion of numerous regulations in order to be applied in manufacturing medical devices. It is also substituting latex at a significant rate which was used in implantable devices since long back as it caused opposing reactions in the patient’s body.
In terms of revenue generation, industrial grade is the largest segment and is applied in industries such as construction, aerospace, electronics, cosmetics and various other components. It is a suitable material for parts such as keypads, electronic displays, grommets, antennas and others.
The demand for the material is undergoing rapid growth in medical industry led by increasing demand for disposable devices and medical implants. Compatibility regarding long term implantable devices, technological advancements, bacteria and advent as a drug eluting product is expected to enhance the material demand in medical sectors. The key application areas consist of cardiology, ophthalmology, bariatric surgery, orthopedics, general surgery and others. The market participants operating in plastic injection molding have also grabbed prospects of the material with a view to cater the increasing requirements from medical sector.
The broader applications of LSR in membranes, LED headlights, valves, gaskets, windshield and other parts are expected to enhance the market demand for the product in automotive applications. The capability of the material to withstand extreme temperatures, cost effectiveness and durability is grabbing the attention of automotive firms, specifically in the manufacturing of gaskets.
The additional benefits of the product consist of energy saving, automated process, minimum waste generation, short cycle time and economies of scale, which is expected to further enhance the usage in automotive industry over the forecast period. In addition, new trends in the automobile sector are shifting in the way of completely automated vehicles that are equipped with modern technological features, resulting in creating future paths for the LSR market in the upcoming years.
In terms of revenue generation, North America was the largest market accounting for a share of 37.38% of the global market. The region is the largest consumer of healthcare devices on account of presence of speedily ageing population. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Science, in the year 2014 approximately 14.50% of the total U.S. population was aged beyond 65 years and by the year 2060 it would upsurge by more than twice the current population.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness rapid growth with a CAGR of 8.6% over the forecast period. APAC is experiencing increased demand for LSR for applications in medical such as medical tapes, APIs, prefilled syringes, prosthetics and others. Numerous favorable factors such as rapid economic growth and government policies coupled with rising demand in the end-use applications are attracting investments from foreign companies in the region over the forecast period.
India and China are proving to be vital growth factors for LSR in the APAC region. Setting up of new facilities, technological innovations and increasing applications in the construction sector are further posing rewarding prospects over the forecast period. The companies operating in China are continuously involved in R&D activities to develop modern technology for the material. Rapidly growing electronics and electrical sectors in the region is expected to boost the market demand.
The LSR market is highly fragmented in nature. The key players are constantly engaged in mergers & acquisitions in order to strengthen their market presence and achieve a competitive edge. In the year 2016, Dana Holding Corp. announced the acquisition of Magnum Gaskets, U.S. based manufacturer of gaskets for automobile industries. The acquisition has helped Dana Holding Corp. to widen its customer base in the U.S., specifically in the automobile industry.
The major participants in the market consists of KCC Corp., Stockwell Elastomerics Inc., Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., Dow Corning, Laur Silicone, Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group Co. Ltd., Wacker Chemie AG, Momentive performance Materials Inc., and Nusil Technology LLC. The market players are collaborating and entering into partnerships with suppliers of silicone to obtain the modern material technology.
Grade Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2013 - 2025)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2013 - 2025)
• Consumer Goods
• Electricals & electronics
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2013 - 2025)
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Central & South America
• Middle East & Africa
Research Support Specialist, USA