This study examines the US market for liquid silicone rubber (i.e., the material used to mold LSR parts) by market (automotive, medical, consumer and baby care, electrical and electronic, and industrial and other).
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The report also provides growth forecasts for specialty LSR grades by type (self-lubricating, non-post-cure, self-adhesive, high-transparency, and LSR coatings).
Historical data for 2008, 2013, and 2018 and forecasts for 2023 are provided for LSR demand in current dollars for each of the markets. Volume data (in pounds) are also provided for total LSR demand.
Expanding Range of Applications Drives Demand Growth for LSR
The US market for liquid silicone rubber (LSR) materials (i.e., the materials used to produce LSR molded parts) is forecast to increase 8.3% per year to $685 million in 2023, continuing robust growth as:
the range of applications for LSR – especially in the medical and automotive markets – continues to expand rapidly
more processors adopt production capabilities for LSR and become more familiar with complex molding techniques such as micromolding and 2-component (2K) molding
fabricators become increasingly familiar with LSR’s performance advantages, including fast processing speeds, precision molding, and biocompatibility
processors increasingly employ specialty LSR grades that are sold at higher price points
Key Findings in the
Liquid Silicone Rubber Study:
Strong Growth Opportunities for High-Transparency and Other Specialty LSR Grades
High-transparency LSR grades are increasingly specified for new high-power LED lighting technologies, which require materials that can retain optical clarity when exposed to high temperatures and ultraviolet (UV) light for long durations. Key outlets include automotive headlights and high-powered street and stadium lighting.
Other specialty LSR products gaining traction are grades that improve processing efficiency. Self-lubricating, self-adhesive, and non-post-cure types, for example, help eliminate additional fabrication steps such as post-curing and the application of coatings or binders.
Medical Market to See Fastest Growth in LSR Demand
Applications for LSR are rapidly expanding in the medical market, where the material is favored for its superior purity and biocompatibility compared to high consistency rubber (HCR) silicone. Among the fastest growing applications are these that also require high precision molding, such as implantable devices and wearables used to monitor variables such as blood pressure or heartrate. LSR materials used in additive manufacturing (i.e., 3D printing) are also expected to find growth opportunities in the medical market, where 3D printing will be increasingly employed for developing small-batch, custom devices.
Market Leaders Invest in Specialty LSR Materials
The LSR materials industry remains highly concentrated, with the top five suppliers – Dow, Elkem Silicones, Momentive Performance Materials, Shin-Etsu Chemical, and Wacker Chemie – vying for a competitive edge by way of pricing, product performance, and customer service. Each of these firms is investing in the development of specialty LSR grades – such as types used with 3D printing and faster curing types – that offer unique benefits, particularly for the quickly expanding medical market.
This Freedonia industry study analyzes the $460 million US liquid silicone rubber market. It presents historical demand (2008, 2013, 2018) and forecasts for 2023 by market (automotive, medical, consumer & baby care, electrical & electronic, industrial & other). Analysis and growth forecasts are also presented for specialty LSR grades (self-lubricating, non-post-cure, self-adhesive, high-transparency, LSR coatings). Demand data are provided in dollars; total LSR demand is also given in pounds. In addition, the study offers demand data for LSR molded parts and total silicone elastomers by product (HCR, LSR, and RTV) in dollars. The study evaluates company market share and analyzes industry competitors including Dow, Elkem, Momentive Performance Materials, Shin-Etsu Chemical, and Wacker Chemie.