GLOBAL SILICONES COUNCIL
Benefits and Uses of Silicones
The silicone industry is a highly innovative sector which continually invests in silicone products whose enabling properties make smart and surprising contributions to consumers’ quality of life. Silicone lends its useful characteristics when applied to other materials allowing products to last longer, spread better, stay flexible or rigid, and withstand extreme temperatures or humidity, thus reducing the resource and energy consumption of the products in which silicones are used. Silicones’ widespread use in everything from automobiles to electronics to solar panels helps enhance existing materials and make new ones possible, which are incorporated into thousands of articles and end products.
The global healthcare market purchases about 30,000 tons of silicone products each year, which are used in a broad range of medical devices, specialized medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals.
A total of 357,000 tons of silicone products is sold into this sector each year and is used in a very large range of final products in the personal care and consumer products sector. The personal care products sector alone employs millions of workers directly and indirectly.
Globally, it’s estimated that about 788,000 tons of silicone products annually are purchased for use in the energy sector in renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines, as well as in traditional energy sources like oil, gas, and electricity. The below video from CES – Silicones Europe shows why silicones are used to improve energy efficiency and power the transition to renewable energy.
The global electronics market purchases more than 60,000 tons of silicone products each year. Silicones are used in many different electronic goods, which include semiconductors, LED devices, and information communications technologies. Silicone technology lies at the heart of almost all devices that make life easier including smartphones, computers, and sports watches.
Globally, 117,000 tons of silicone product is used in the transport sector annually, which includes automotive, marine, aviation, and aerospace. Silicone rubber, resin elastomers, sealants, lubricants, and plastic additives are used extensively in spacecraft, automotive, aviation, and marine vessels, due to their strength, adhesion, and durability. Silicones contribute immensely to the safety of modern vehicles, from enabling airbags in cars to preserving the cabin pressure in airplanes.
A total estimate of 550,000 tons of silicone product is sold to the construction sector each year, among the largest volumes sold to any sector. Silicone materials have revolutionized construction since they were first introduced on the market in the 1960s. The global construction sector had a market value of $8.7 trillion in 2015 and is expected to reach $10 trillion by 2020.