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In its latest market research report, "Silicones to 2016," ReportsnReports examined growth in the silicones industry for the years 2001, 2006 and 2011, and forecasted the future demand for silicones in 2016 and 2021. The group assessed the market by product, e.g., fluids, elastomers, gels, etc.; by market, e.g., consumer, medical, etc.; and by application, e.g., vehicles and binders, elastomeric components, surfactants, and more. The silicones industry is expected to reach US $4 billion in 2016, with demand projected to reach more than 800 million pounds.
According to the report, silicone gels advanced rapidly from small base silicone fluids and elastomers, which comprised the largest share of silicone demand in 2011, accounting for more than four-fifths of the total. In addition, the medical market has recently been the fastest-growing segment and will continue to expand strongly due to the ongoing technological development of new products. Silicone’s biocompatibility, low surface tension, chemical and thermal stability, and water-resistant qualities reportedly make it ideal for medical applications, including as medical adhesives and for wound care products.
Noteworthy to personal care product developers is that the average price of silicones is expected to increase at a more moderate rate than the 2006-2011 period, restrained by price competition and greater competition from lower cost imports. Also, although silicone fluids are anticipated to experience the slowest gains through 2016 due to maturity in certain markets, increasing output of cosmetics and personal care will drive demand for silicone fluids used in emollients and conditioning agents.