Fumed silica has attracted massive attention among material scientists and industry players engaged in development of rheology additives due to several attractive particle characteristics, notably remarkably high surface area. The properties are increasingly utilized in binders and polymers. The fumed silica market has made strides anchored on the substantial demand for the products in diverse range of industries.
The fumed silica market has evolved continuously, fueled by the rise in demand for the materials in wide spectrum of applications. They are notably used in making pharmaceutical excipients, as nanomaterials in dental and skeletal applications, silica slurry for CMP of interlayer insulating films, and in nanocomposite industry owing to physico-mechanical and thermal properties.
The products are made primarily from finely divided amorphous silicon dioxide particles which have been produced by high temperature in an O2(N2)/H2 flame. Some of the broad categories in the fumed silica market are silicone elastomers, paints, coatings and inks, adhesives and sealants, and composites. They are used in greases and lubricants, and fertilizers.
The growing demand for fumed silica in the pharmaceutical industries is a key factor propelling the growth in revenues for players over the years. They are utilized by manufacturers of pharmaceutical excipients in making gladiants and lubricants. Lubricants are added to the final blend before compression of the tablet.
Strides made in nanocomposites fabrication technologies and synthesis processes have extended the horizon for players to target new applications. A case in point is the coating application in the pharmaceutical industry which has benefitted from bed processing technology. Another example is the use of template method for synthesizing nanomaterials of attractive properties, which has bolstered the utilization of fumed silica, thereby boosting the fumes silica market.
Research in mesoporous nanoparticles have enabled players in the pharmaceutical industries harness fumed silica to act as carriers for therapeutics or biological active compounds (BACs). Over the years, the revenue streams in the fumed silica market have strengthened on the back of them being in the category of high production volume chemicals.
Researchers are evaluating fumed silica for polymeric and biofunctional membranes. Various chemical companies in the fumed silica market are keen on meeting the demands for resins used in dentistry. Pioneers of next-gen active nanomaterials are conducting extensive R&D in making risk assessment and risk management. A number of players working in this direction are careful about the changing chemical policy regulations in key regionalmarkets.
Over the years, a few globally prominent companies in life sciences industries have benefitted from the thickening and thixotropic properties of products in the fumed silica market. The products are also demanded for use in Taqman assays of human hepatoma cells HuH-7. Chemical producers of fumed silica are also modifying the rheological properties to meet applications in shear-thickening and thinning fluids.
Some of the key players in the fumed silica market are Applied Material Solutions Inc., Tokuyama Corporation, Wacker Chemie AG, Cabot Corporation, and Evonik Industries.
Some of the key fumed silica markets are Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, and North America. Europe has been lucrative market, on the back of strides being made in pharmaceutical excipients. Rapid growth in the construction sector in the emerging economies of APAC has spurred the growth prospects of the fumed silica market in the region. Furthermore, extensive research and development in nano chemistries and advancements in nanomaterials synthesis has opened new frontiers in the key regional fumed silica markets. Additionally, the demand for nano-biomaterials in clinical dentistry is a key trend bolstering the prospects of the APAC fumed silica market.