CLEVELAND—The value of silicone usage in the U.S. is projected to climb 4.5 percent a year and reach $4.4 billion in 2020, according to a new study from the Freedonia Group. Volume is projected to rise 2.6 percent annually to 908 million pounds.
The percentage gains are less than the 2010-15 period, which saw exceptional growth because of the broad economic recovery from the recession of 2007-09, the Cleveland-based research firm said.
Elastomers and fluids will continue to be the two leading product types, accounting for more than 85 percent of total market value in 2020. Freedonia projects elastomers will overtake fluids as the largest silicone product type and show the most gains through the forecast period.
The increase will be led by widespread use in the rebounding construction market and expanded opportunities in the medical field, according to Analyst Larry Catsonis.
Silicone gels will see growth in applications such as solar cells and light-emitting diodes, and also are widely used as the basis for breast and other implant products.
The industrial market will continue to be the leading outlet for silicones, mainly because of the growing amount of silicone used in vehicles. And while Freedonia expects growth in the automotive market to slow down, it expects silicones to continue to find more usage per vehicle to help improve vehicle safety and fuel efficiency.