The growing demand for the silicone fluid market has seen a significant increase in recent years with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for a third of the overall consumption. It has grown alongside the progress of technology for it has been needed in several technological fields including that of medicine, which is vital for the advancement of implantable devices.
Silicone’s Impact in the Medical Field
It is estimated that the market for silicone fluid, with regards to its value, would reach or surpass $5.2 billion in this year (2015) alone, and is expected to increase up to $7.3 billion after five years (2020).
There are a lot of companies that have thrown in a heavy investment in the silicone market. A private equity firm based in Chicago – Linden Capital Partners – has recently purchased Flexan Corporation. Also based in the same city, Flexan Corp. specializes in making custom molded rubber parts. This company has a subsidiary of silicone rubber which focuses in making medical-grade devices using silicone components.
Silicone’s Contribution to Weight Loss
There’s also a new device that’s been invented that’s a promising solution to obesity. It is made of a nitinol wire-mesh funnel covered with silicone that is to be inserted through the mouth and can be placed in just a span of 10 minutes.
With the current cost of bariatric surgery – a weight loss inducing surgical procedure involving the intestine and stomach – the device is estimated to cater those that couldn’t afford the surgery as it is much cheaper and is non-invasive besides.
The Full Sense Device is estimated to be used by hundreds of thousands of people when it hits the market, although its president stated that it may take years before the Food and Drug Administration approves it.
Other Silicone Applications
Silicone is also essential in other fields as well. Computers and electronics rely heavily in silicone based materials as it is crucial component in providing appropriate insulation. Cellphones, VCRs, microwaves, and other household appliance used silicone for insulation as well.
Constructions use silicone in a variety of ways including joint seals, water-repellent treatment, and are applied to protect buildings and skeletons of bridges from corroding.
As silicone products reach a variety of its end-users, it isn’t surprising that it has been a growing industry through the years. With this comes a lot of opportunity for companies to expand their reach towards their consumers. And that expansion will translate as jobs for a lot of people.
Companies that have involved themselves in the silicone industry have long since compete with each other in finding other means in introducing silicone in niches that hasn’t been tapped by this product.
Corporate silicone giants are based all over the world with the leading companies operating in the U.S. (Dow Corning Corp.), Canada (Siltech Corp.), Japan (Shin-Etsu chemical Corp.), and Germany ( Wacker Chemie A.G.) to name a few.
What these companies will come up with using silicone over the next years remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, this industry has already made a lot of significant contribution in a lot of field that benefits end-users in a daily basis.