Future Development Trend of Silicone Industry

- Apr 20, 2020-

At present, the global silica gel production capacity has reached 400,000 t / a, annual sales are about 800 million US dollars, and there are more than 60 production companies, mainly including American Grace Company, SCM Company, PQ Company, German E Merck Company, and British Ineos Rollsfield Corporation, Japan Mizusawa Chemical Co., Ltd., Fuji Silysia Chemical Co., Ltd., Toyota Chemical Co., Ltd., Tokai Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., South Korea Jidong Chemical Co., Ltd., Rising Star Silicate Co., Ltd., etc. Nearly half of European and American companies belong to multinational companies. They divide the world into several regional markets based on geography, population, resources, industrial distribution, development trends, and market needs, and set up R & D centers and branches in more than 50 major countries or central cities. , Production plants or representative offices, through which their products and services expand to neighboring countries, regions and cities. Following the footsteps of European and American companies, Japanese and Korean companies have also expanded into Southeast Asia. The products of Chinese enterprises have been exported to 30 countries and regions in the world, which has expanded the overseas markets of the products and improved the market coverage of the products, but has not yet invested in overseas establishments, and non-branded products account for more than 50% of the exports. Conducive to the improvement of competitiveness in the future; basic silica gel exports account for more than 90%, with little influence on foreign markets. Companies in Europe, America, Japan, and South Korea have strong brand awareness, and the focus of competition is on high-end products. Micropowder silica gel and functionalized silica gel are the focus of competition between them, while the focus of competition for basic silica gel is in China.

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In recent years, the production of silica gel has shown a rapid development trend, the specialization of labor tends to be refined, and technological progress has prompted the continuous expansion of application fields. North America, the European Union, China, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia are the main technical research and development and market locations, with concentrated production capacity. The characteristics are obvious. China is still dominated by low-end products. In 2005, China ’s silica gel output was 250,000 tons, of which 230,000 tons were basic silica gel, accounting for 92% of the total; micronized silica gel and functionalized silica gel produced about 20,000 tons, accounting for only 8%; exports About 120,000 tons; annual sales of 1.25 billion yuan, accounting for about 1/6 of total global sales. At present, there are 25 silica gel production enterprises in China, and the industry concentration is about 60% (see Table 1 for the status of silica gel enterprises above 10,000 tons in China). Qingdao Ocean Chemical Co., Ltd. is a silica gel production enterprise with an output of 42,000 tons in 2005, including 37,800 tons of basic silica gel, 0.42 million tons of micro-powder silica gel and functionalized silica gel. Foreign-funded enterprises have visited China for as long as 10 years, but have not yet established silicone production enterprises in China.


The trend of specialized division of labor has been evident over the years. Silica gel technology has shown a clear development trend of specialized division of labor. The basic silica gel with a particle diameter of 0.5 to 0.8 mm has developed rapidly in China, and the micropowder silica gel with a particle diameter of 1 to 15 μm has been developed in Europe and America Great progress has been made with Japan and South Korea. The difference in the shape and performance of basic silica gel and micro-powder silica gel has become a direct driving force for the development of diverse applications. Although Chinese enterprises actively carry out technological R & D, R & D investment is less than 3% of sales, and developed countries represented by the United States generally reach more than 5% or even higher. If converted into value, the gap is very obvious. In addition to the traditional desiccant application, basic silica gel also has good performance in key fields such as petrochemical industry, and it has also expanded into some emerging fields. Therefore, the current technical research and development of basic silica gel is the focus of Chinese enterprises, and the technical level is comparable to foreign companies. No worse than. In recent years, the export volume of basic silica gel has continued to increase. Foreigners have purchased basic silica gel in China, some of which are directly applied, and some are processed into fine powder silica gel. The increase in exports has increased the dependence of foreign companies on China's basic silica gel, further increasing the degree of specialization. Micropowder silica gel is affected by resources, environment and national policies. In recent years, companies in Europe, America, Japan and South Korea have shifted the focus of development from basic silica gel to micropowder silica gel. First, micropowder silica gel consumes less resources and has little impact on the environment. Second, it has high added value; The third is advanced technology, easy to keep secret, and occupying high-end, which helps to improve the core competitiveness of enterprises. Enterprises in these countries are at a technical level and their professional advantages are obvious. For the production of micropowder silica gel, Chinese enterprises have also made efforts, but regardless of capital investment or technical level, there is a big gap with Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea and other countries.