Fluorosilicone rubber is a type of elastomer which is used in a wide range of applications due to its excellent mechanical and physical properties akin to silicone rubber. In brief, fluorosilicone rubber is called as modified version of silicone rubber which has been fluorinated to finish up the polymer chains so that its chemical resistance is improved. However, fluorosilicone exhibits higher resistance to mineral oils and fuels but lower hot air resistance than silicone rubber. Fluorosilicone rubber is highly resistant to ozone, weathering, and di-ester lubricants. As per the ASTM D 1418 designation, fluorosilicone is also known as FVMQ (fluorovinylmethylsiloxane). Conditional on the application, FVMQ technologies compete with fluorocarbon rubber (FKM) which is a carbon-based fluoroelastomer. Due to its superior properties, fluorosilicone rubber is a popular material used in an extensive range of sealing applications. It can be processed by compression molding, calendaring, extrusion, and liquid injection molding.
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Fluorosilicone rubber displays a working range between -60°C and +225°C. Since it is obtainable from molded and extruded articles and exhibits excellent performance at low temperatures, it is used in aerospace, automotive, and military applications particularly in fuel systems for static sealing applications. Other technical applications include pipes for recycling of exhaust gas, O-ring gaskets, and electric connectors for airplanes. The increasing usage of automobiles across all regions is predicted to be a major driver of the fluorosilicone rubber market during the forecast period.
Based on application, the automotive sector held the maximum share in 2016 and is likely to be the dominant segment during the forecast period. Fluorosilicone rubber is used for fuel-resistant sealing & gasket applications and in flexible valves for vapor recovery. It is advantageous for usage in chemical-resistant liners on turbochargers hoses which are open to temperatures exceeding 180°C. The automotive industry is also anticipated to record a significant growth rate compared to other applications. The rising usage of automotives across all regions followed by the adoption of new technologies by major manufacturers are key drivers of the fluorosilicone rubber market. Use of fluorosilicone rubber in the aerospace sector is also expected to report a moderate growth rate.
On the basis of region, Asia Pacific constituted a significant share in the fluorosilicone rubber market in 2016 and is estimated to remain a major market between 2017 and 2025. The world’s leading automotive market is present in emerging countries such as India and China, where use of automobile is higher compared to other parts of the world. Also, the aerospace industry in this region is flourishing at a significant rate.
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These are the major factors projected to contribute to the development of the fluorosilicone market during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is also likely to reflect a more significant CAGR compared to other regions between 2017 and 2025. North America was another major market for fluorosilicone rubber in 2016, driven by the recovery of the region’s economy and the presence of major automotive & aerospace industry players in the U.S. Europe and Latin America are projected to display sluggish growth due to the gloomy economic conditions and political instability in these regions.
The global fluorosilicone rubber market is highly fragmented with the presence of several global and regional players. Key players in the market include Dow Corning Corporation, Keystone Inc., Elastomer Engineering, James Walker, Marco Rubber, and Silex Silicones Ltd.