A total estimate of 550,000 tons of silicone product is sold to the construction sector each year, among the largest volumes sold to any sector. Silicone materials have revolutionized construction since they were first introduced on the market in the 1960s. The global construction sector had a market value of $8.7 trillion in 2015 and is expected to reach $10 trillion by 2020. The below video from CES – Silicones Europe shows why many construction companies rely on silicones’ unique properties for structural glazing:
Silicone products used in construction include sealants, adhesives, and protective coatings.
These silicone products help protect, strengthen, preserve, and provide aesthetic and innovative features to buildings.
Silicones are used widely in construction because they:
- Bond with many materials, like concrete, glass, granite, marble, aluminum, steel, and plastics
- Are durable and resist decay caused from rough weather conditions, moisture, or sunlight
- Make buildings energy efficient by preventing humidity and hot or cold air from coming through joints and cracks when applied as sealants
- Provide flexibility, reducing damage from small to medium-scale earthquakes
Thanks to these unique properties, silicones are essential not only in residential and office buildings, but also in bridges, oil rigs, industrial plants, and pipelines. Silicones are particularly well-suited to meet the technical requirements of high rise buildings and glass facades and make some of the most spectacular modern architectural projects possible.
Silicones coatings are also used to preserve monuments around the world, and on a smaller scale, many residential do-it-yourself projects would not be possible without silicones.
Silicones used in construction materials can contribute to sustainability and energy efficiency:
- Silicone sealants can last three times longer than organic materials used in the same applications
- Applying silicone resin emulsion paints to an unprotected building façade can reduce heat loss by up to 40%
- Silicone additives or coatings can reduce uptake of water by up to 80% compared to traditional building materials. This reduces degradation and lengthens the operational lifetime of the material treated.