Global silicone surfactants market size was estimated at over USD 230 million in 2015 and is likely to be more than USD 300 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of over 3%. Global surfactants market size was estimated at 15 million tons in 2015 and is likely to reach more than 25 million tons by 2023, with gains at over 5%.
Silicone surfactants are preferred in applications demanding sustainable ingredients and unique properties such as low surface tension, surface activity in nonaqueous media, wetting, low toxicity and polymeric nature. They are used as emulsifiers, wetting agents, pigment coatings and demulsifiers
Increasing polyurethane (PU) foam demand from end-use industries such as construction, automobiles, packaging and furniture is likely to drive silicone surfactants market growth. Global Rigid & flexible PU foam market size was estimated at over 9 million tons in 2014 and is likely reach more than 14 million tons by 2023, with gains more than 5% from 2016 to 2023. Silicone polyether copolymers are used in applications to manufacture PU foams. It functions to emulsify mixture of incompatible materials, prevent aggregating of urea particle and helps in stabilizing the blowing foam.
They also help in stabilizing and control drainage of thin films separating growing bubbles in PU foams. Flexible PU foams are used in cushioning material applications such as bedding, furniture, carpet & automobiles whereas rigid PU foams are used as insulating material in piping and construction.
Growth in person care industry, particularly in Asia Pacific and Latin America is likely to drive silicone surfactants market share over the forecast period. Increasing disposable income coupled with population growth is likely to drive demand for personal care applications such as hair care and skin care. Global beauty & personal care market was estimated at over USD 450 billion in 2014.
Silicone polyethers are mainly used for aqueous formulations such as shampoos and shower gels. It is more sustainable than other polyether & alkyl moieties. They are used to provide glossy effects and impart dry silky feel for hair. They also reduced eye irritation effects caused by anionic surfactants.
Polyether based surfactants are used for formulating water-in-oil emulsions at low viscosities in lotions and at high viscosities in creams. For lotions, they impart softness and smoothness to skin thereby minimizing the whitening effect. They are also useful for crack prevention in soaps and syndet bars.
Increasing application scope in manufacturing paints, coatings and inks is likely to drive silicone surfactants market share growth. They are used to deaerate, defoam, enhance slip properties and improve substrate wetting. They are used for replacing polydimethylsiloxane, particularly in water based coatings technology to prevent craters and pinholes effect. They are used in as wetting agents in place of hydrogen surfactants in coating applications owing to properties such as low surface & interfacial tension which facilitates spreading.
Foam control application represents an important aspect in numerous applications. Silicone polyalkylenoxide copolymers in the form of foam controlling agents are used for application such as diesel fuel defoaming, in plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVA), paints & coatings and in polymer dispersions.
Diesel fuel contains some amount of water which affects function of foam controlling additives. They are used in diesel fuel defoaming applications as they are neither fully absorbed nor deactivated by water nor they are completely soluble in fuel.
Silicone surfactants are used for preparing supercritical CO2 which is an important solvent used for cleaning and chemical reaction applications. Mixture of water & CO2 with copolymers exhibit phase inversion temperature with minimum interfacial tension.
Textile manufacturing applications play a role in the silicone surfactants market, with uses including wetting and facilitate dispersion of water insoluble substances. They are also used as spinning and sewing lubricants. They are preferred in this application as they poses property of being thermally stable lubricants along with good wetting and low friction coefficients at high speeds. They help lubricant spread quickly and completely at low pickup amounts during fibre production.
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