Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Size Forecast to Reach $3.7 Billion by 2026

November 01 19:34 2021
Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Size Forecast to Reach $3.7 Billion by 2026
Liquid Silicone Rubber Market
Growth of Medical Industry Driving the Growth of Liquid Silicone Rubber Market.

Liquid Silicone Rubber Market size is forecast to reach US$3.7 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 8.1% during 2021-2026. Liquid Silicone Rubber is a thermoset elastomer that has both, organic and inorganic characteristics. Injection Molding process is used to produce durable and pliable parts of Liquid Silicone Rubber in high volumes. Liquid Silicone Rubber being a thermosetting polymer has excellent properties- stability under extreme temperatures, flame retardancy, radiation resistance, chemical resistance, high insulation resistance, durability, high dielectric strength and good mechanical properties. These unique characteristics make Liquid Silicone Rubber highly valuable and versatile. Therefore, it has a broad spectrum of applications in various industries. Some of the prominent trends that the market is seeing are raising demand for greater safety and security. The Medical industry is witnessing a huge demand for disposable medical and healthcare devices. Liquid Silicone Rubber is extensively being utilized in this industry owing to its biocompatibility and non-toxic properties which thereby fuels the growth of the market. Furthermore, the food packaging industry is also expected to drive the Liquid Silicone Rubber market. Another major contributing factor to the market growth is the progress in 3D printing.

COVID-19 Impact

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, social distancing policy has caused disruption in the supply chain. As a result, most of the manufacturing plants were shut down and the companies are facing operational constraints due to short term closure of factories. For instance, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) worldwide 67,149,196 cars were produced in 2019 and 55,834,456 cars were produced worldwide in 2020 which declined about 16% owing to the pandemic. Thus, weakening the Liquid Silicone Rubber market. However, the increasing awareness for health and hygiene has fueled a rise in healthcare, personal care and medical products which in turn stimulate the market for Liquid Silicone Rubber. There is also an increasing preference for wearable devices which also boost the Liquid Silicone Rubber Market.

Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Segment Analysis – By Grade

Medical grade Liquid Silicone Rubber accounted for the largest share in the Liquid Silicone Rubber Market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 9.2% during 2021-2026. Medical, healthcare and life science companies have stringent requirements – parts must adhere to increasingly tight tolerances and meet hygiene and safety regulations. Liquid Silicone Rubber being chemically inert, resistant over a wide range of substances, and bio-compatible, makes it an ideal choice for an extensive range of medical and healthcare devices. To produce certain medical and healthcare products, hygiene is critical and production should be done in a hygienic, environmentally controlled environment. Liquid Silicone Rubber processed by Injection Molding process is ideal as it produces high purity, transparent and inert Liquid Silicone Rubber. The ever-evolving and highly innovative nature of the medical industry makes it necessary to have a material like medical-grade silicone rubber to fabricate products ranging from tubing to health care devices. High-growth application areas such as prosthetics and medical devices, and expeditious growth of the global healthcare industry are the key factors driving the growth of the medical grade Liquid Silicone Rubber market.

Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Segment Analysis – By Processing techniques

Liquid Silicone Rubber is processed exclusively by injection molding and then heat-cured. The Liquid Injection Molding process has gained a reputation as the preferred process among many manufacturers of rubber parts, because of its superior end-product quality and durability. This injection molding process facilitates high levels of automation, consistency and speed thus enables 24/7 production. Almost every industry- automotive, medical, electronics, food, defense, textile and others utilize the opportunities presented in the liquid injection molding process which contributes to the market growth.

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Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Segment Analysis – By Curing systems

Raw Silicone Rubber has to be cured to be transformed into a thermoset elastomer. Platinum-catalyzed addition curing does not produce any odorous by-products. This makes it ideal for food contact applications. Some Platinum cured liquid silicone rubbers are certified skin safe. Hence used as implants and prosthetic devices. Due to its non-toxicity and bacterial resistance Liquid Silicone Rubber is widely used in baking molds, packaging equipment, knife holders, spatulas, ice trays, oven doors etc. The U.S. is one of the largest markets of consumer goods. The demand for environmentally safe and non-toxic kitchenware is driving the market for Liquid Silicone Rubber in the US. The addition curing segment generated the highest revenue of 41% in 2020.

Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Segment Analysis – By Application/End-Use Industry

The medical industry segment held the largest share in the liquid silicone market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 9.2% during 2021-2026. Liquid Silicone Rubber is a perfect fit for medical applications because of its excellent biocompatibility, biodurability and non-allergenic. The hygienic quality of Liquid Silicone Rubber helps it to resist the growth of microbes. It is flexible and soft which ensure the comfort of the patient. Its main applications are catheters, tubes, gloves, dialysis filters, syringe stoppers, membranes, respiratory care (masks) handles of medical instruments, medical cables, medical textile coating and others. Because of these superior qualities liquid silicone rubber is slowly becoming the material of choice and is replacing latex. The outbreak of the pandemic and awareness about personal hygienic practices has accelerated the demand for medical gloves. With regulatory agencies such as the FDA banning the use of powdered disposable gloves for the medical industry and the ongoing trend of using latex-free products is expected to fuel the demand for alternative safe products. Thus, having a positive impact of the Liquid Silicone Rubber market. The demand for lightweight materials is also boosting the market making this a significant driver in the medical industry market.

Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Segment Analysis – By Geography

Asia-Pacific region held the largest share in the liquid Silicone Rubber market in 2020 up to 40%, owing to the growing electronics and manufacturing industries in the region using Liquid Silicone Rubber. Another factor contributing to the growth of the Liquid Silicone Rubber market in this area is the increased use in automotive LED and spare parts which in turn influences market growth of Liquid Silicone Rubber. There has been a lot of key developments in the Electronics industry in India. In April 2021, Japanese electronics brand, AIWA, relaunched with five products in the TWS (True Wireless Stereo) and audio segments at a total investment outlay of US$ 10 million for Phase-1 of operations in India. In February, 2021, Amazon announced that it will commence manufacturing of electronics products from India with Cloud Network Technology later in the year. The device manufacturing program will be able to produce ‘Fire TV Stick’ devices in large quantities every year. In December 2020, Lenovo announced its plan to start manufacturing tablets in India and expand its laptop manufacturing by ten-fold. All these developments boost the Liquid Silicone rubber market.

The European region also is a significant contributor in the Liquid Silicone Rubber market. For instance, Germany leads the advanced vehicle production in the world. With the growing awareness about the environment and climate change and the switch over to Electric Vehicles in Europe, there is an increased demand for Liquid Silicone Rubber to be equipped with sensors and automotive safety electronics. According to figures from the KBA federal motor transport authority, sales of fully-electric vehicles in Germany increased three-fold to 194,163 units in 2020. A total of 230,635 new passenger cars were registered in Germany, up 37 percent from May 2020.

Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Drivers

Technological advancements in the Manufacturing industry

In the manufacturing industry Liquid Injection Molding is dominating the scene. Liquid Injection Molding is a manufacturing method that molds Liquid Silicone Rubber into different products. The benefits of using this method are vast- high volume production, automation, direct injection (no waste), short cycle time and efficient production of an array of products. Because of its high purity and precision it can be used in the medical and healthcare industry. Another major advantage of liquid injection molding is that this process imparts much more design freedom over the conventional injection molding process. The liquid silicone rubber industry is also witnessing many trends like micro molding and cleanroom molding. Micro molding is a specialized molding process that produces high-accuracy, and high-precision tiny parts that weigh less than 1 gram. The concept of clean room molding is due to the wide range of medical applications of Liquid Silicone Rubber, so there are specific hygiene requirements that require production in a controlled contaminant free environment. Technological advancements using Liquid Silicone Rubber with Liquid Injection Molding techniques show that there is a lot of scope for growth and innovation making it a growing global market. 

Growth of Medical industry

With the pandemic ravaging almost all the countries of the world and other facts such as increase in geriatric population and increased awareness of hygiene there has been tremendous growth in the Medical industry. The major obstacle is producing high volumes of safely manufactured high precision products. That’s where Liquid Silicone Rubber comes into the picture. It can be used for things like respiratory devices and wearable medical devices without causing skin irritation. Liquid Silicone Rubber with its superior biocompatibility has turned out to be the material of choice for producing masks, gloves, medical instruments, medical cables, medical textile coating, tubes, catheters, syringe stoppers and host of other products. Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices (HMD) is one of the top five syringe and needle manufacturers in the world as well as the leading manufacturer of Auto Disable (AD) syringes. HMD claims a 60% share for disposable syringes and a 70% share for disposable needles in the Indian market. HMD’s major products are marketed in more than 90 countries. With the pandemic hitting hard there has been a huge demand for PPE. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the requirement for 76 million examination gloves each month. According to Invest India, gloves have the highest share of sales revenues at 25%. As Liquid Silicone Rubber continues to replace latex there is tremendous scope for market growth. Thus, it is anticipated that with the flourishing medical industry, there will be a great demand which will subsequently drive the Liquid Silicone Rubber market growth during the forecast period. 

Increasing use of Liquid Silicone Rubber 3D printing

3D Printing is a process that creates a 3-dimensional object by adding material layer by layer using digital information instead of molds and tools. Owing to its durability and flexibility Liquid Silicone Rubber finds use in 3D printing. 3D printing technology that makes use of Liquid Silicone Rubber offers unique benefits such as ability to manufacture customized parts, unique print on demand and rapid prototyping. The use of 3D printing technology incorporating Liquid Silicone Rubber will accelerate the growth of the market. 

Flourishing Semiconductor industry

Since of late there has been tremendous growth in Semiconductor Industry. Trends such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, machine learning, and high-performance computing drive the semiconductor manufacturing industry. According to Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) 4G will account for 57% of the global mobile customer base, by 2025. Smartphone and 4G adoption are rising in many high growth emerging markets. For example, in India, smartphone penetration is now approximately 70%, with 85% of these smartphones running on 4G networks. In the Semiconductor industry there is an increased demand for high tech seals and components with chemical resistance and to minimize particle contamination. The components for the semiconductor industry require the highest levels of cleanliness and the need for contaminate-free components is increasing. Liquid Silicone Rubber checks all the boxes and is apt to overcome these challenges. Liquid Silicone Rubber made by micro molding and clean room technology helps to improve the functioning of Semiconductors where it is used mainly for protecting, sealing and bonding purposes.

Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Challenges

Rigid government regulations

The measure by governments to control healthcare cost and lack of investment in product development are restricting the growth of the market to some extent. Stringent and time-consuming regulatory policies are the major challenges for the market. The stringent demands especially in the medical industry pose a set of developmental challenges. While soft thermoplastics like TPE duplicate some of its characteristics, nothing else offers Liquid Silicone Rubbers combination of biocompatibility; resistance to heat, cold, chemicals and UV light; durability; design flexibility; and moldability. There is also the production cost of Liquid Silicone rubber that’s higher than thermoplastics. But this can be offset by longevity and high quality of the products as Liquid Silicone Rubber is a thermosetting polymer. Though it can be more expensive per pound, LSR offers higher product performance than any other rubber on the market. But some manufactures skimp out on quality to save costs. Such factors are a challenge to the Liquid Silicone Rubber market.

Liquid Silicone Rubber Market Landscape

Technological advancements, product innovation and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the Liquid Silicone Rubber market. Liquid Silicone Rubber market top companies are The Dow Chemical Company, Wacker Chemie, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Nusil Technology LLC, KCC Corporation, Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group Co., Simtec Silicone Parts, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Simtec Silicone Parts, Stockwell Elastomerics Inc. and Laur Silicone.

Acquisitions/Technology Launches

In January 2019, Danish shoe designer ECCO and Dow collaborated to introduce QUANT-U footwear. ECCO’s QUANT-U footwear employs a breakthrough 3D-printable liquid silicone rubber from Dow to produce silicone midsoles customized to the wearer’s foot shape and natural movements.

Key Takeaways

Asia-Pacific dominates the Liquid Silicone Rubber market, owing to the electrical & electronics manufacturing industry in the region using Liquid Silicone Rubber. According to Invest India, the domestic electronics market in India to attain US$400 billion by 2025.

The adoption of liquid silicone rubber as a cost-effective alternative to traditional rubbers is seen as a breakthrough for market growth.

Increasing investment of medical technology companies is expected to boost the growth of medical industry. One of the biggest end-users of the Liquid Silicone Rubber Market are medical devices. Thus, in this industry there is a high demand for Liquid Silicone Rubber.

The major opportunity for this market is high research spending and innovative technologies. With the rising dominance of 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Internet of Things the demand for the use of Liquid Silicone Rubber in advance consumer products is skyrocketing.

Related Reports:

A. Silicone Elastomers Market

B. Silicone Fluid Market

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