Silicone sealants are viscous materials which have little to no flow characteristics staying where they are in order to allow it to enter the substrate by the means of capillary action. These sealants are different from adhesives in terms of strength and elongation. When sealants are applied between substrates which have different elongation under stress or thermal coefficients of expansion, they require adequate elongation and flexibility. Silicone sealants usually contain inert filler materials and are generally formulated with an elastomer to provide the required elongation and flexibility. Elastomers such as silicone rubbers are widely used as sealants in a broad range of industrial, construction, automotive and consumer applications.
The global market for silicone sealants has been significantly growing on account of growth of its end use industries such as packaging, automotive and construction. On account of increasing number of environmental hazards which are associated with synthetic form of sealants and adhesives, the industry is now focused towards the development of bio-based alternatives for these products. In terms of the overall sealants market, polyurethane and silicone based sealants account for the most consumed products where silicone sealants are anticipated to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period primarily due to rising innovation in product development which is leading to growth in packaging and automobile industries where these sealants are significantly consumed for protection and lamination.
Emerging regions such as Asia Pacific accounted for the largest market share in terms of region in the global silicone sealants market, followed by Europe and North America. Growth of the major end user industries such as transportation and construction, particularly in the emerging economies of India and China are anticipated to boost the demand for silicone sealants over the forecast period. The market for silicone sealants in China is expected to rise significantly on account of the country’s growing consumer demand for high quality products as well as the continued rapid pace of the construction industry in the country. Majority of the silicone sealants in China are consumed in construction applications, where glass curtain walls account for the largest share. Other uses such as consumer applications and glass manufacturing are also dependent on this industry. However, market for sealants in industrial applications such as electronics is steadily growing and is only making up a small portion of the entire market.
Increasing demand for sealants on account of the rapidly growing construction industry is expected to boost the demand for silicone sealants over the next few years. Silicone sealants exhibit higher elongation and lower strength, unlike adhesives, which makes them suitable for sealing joints and assemblies. Moreover, increasing number of construction activities, particularly in the BRIC region (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) is anticipated to fuel the demand for silicone sealants as well. However, rising environmental regulations and concerns regarding the use of silicone sealants are expected to slow down the growth of the market. On account of these factors, focus of manufacturers towards developing bio-based sealants is expected to provide new opportunities for the growth of the market.
3M Company, BASF, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, H.B Fuller company, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, RPM International, Inc., and The Dow Chemical Company are some of the key manufacturers of silicone sealants dominating the market.
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