The superior properties of silicones such as ultraviolet resistance, water resistance and longevity are driving its use in the global construction industry. Furthermore, the rising need for energy-efficient solutions to construct green buildings is fuelling the demand for silicones.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, 360 Degree Analysis on the Silicones Market for the Global Construction Industry, finds that the market earned revenues of $8.05 billion in 2014 and estimates this to reach $11.55 billion in 2021. The study covers silicone adhesives/sealants and coatings. The silicone adhesives/sealants segment is forecast to grow in line with the construction industry across all regions, while the coatings segment will experience modest traction. As construction output in Europe will only expand by 2.1 and 2.2 percent in 2015 and 2016 respectively, the region will offer fewer opportunities than other geographies.
"In North America, cool-roof regulations and incentives are boosting the adoption of silicone roof coatings," said Frost & Sullivan Visionary Sciences Research Associate Srinivas Venkatesan. "With Asia-Pacific (APAC) and European countries expected to announce incentives for the use of cool-roof coatings to reduce the urban heat island effect, the uptake of silicone coatings in these nations' construction industry will also increase."
Silicones will however face stiff competition from other chemistries, predominantly polyurethanes and acrylics, owing to their higher costs. In certain applications such as tile adhesives, acrylic chemistries are dominant, whereas products made of polyurethanes are popular in joint sealing and waterproofing applications. Although polyurethanes are also widely used in re-caulking applications, their substitution with silicone chemistry is gaining pace.
"One reason for this replacement trend is that silicone adhesives/sealants and coatings are lower volatile organic compounds compared to competing chemistries," noted Venkatesan. "Moreover, silicone adhesives/sealants are qualified for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design® sustainability credit ratings but competing chemistries are not."
Nevertheless, in APAC and Rest of World (ROW), the high price-sensitivity of customers could pull back replacement rates. Price takes precedence in these markets unlike Europe and North America, where value, performance-enhancing features, and the unique attributes of products are the major purchase influencing factors.