Globally, 165,000 tons of silicone products are used in the transportation sector annually, which includes automotive, marine, aviation, and aerospace industries.

Silicone rubber, resin elastomers, sealants, lubricants, and plastic additives are used extensively in spacecraft, automotive, aviation, and marine vessels, due to their strength, adhesion, and durability. Silicones contribute immensely to the safety of modern vehicles, from enabling airbags in cars to preserving the cabin pressure in airplanes.

Silicones in the Automotive Industry

The world’s automotive industry uses silicones to make transportation more efficient, safer, and more reliable. Silicone components contribute to weight reduction in automobiles, which results in increased fuel efficiency and lower emissions of pollutants. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that for every 10% reduction in vehicle weight, fuel economy improves by between 5-7%.

Silicones improve aerodynamics by reducing surface wind-drag and the related silanes reduce rolling resistance in tires, further improving fuel efficiency

In new energy vehicles, silicones encapsulate the entire battery pack for stabilization, vibration protection, heat dissipation, and water and dust proofing. Silicones are also used for bonding and positioning of power battery cells and thermal management of lithium batteries.

Silicones can help provide airbags with airtight seals and fabric strength, contributing to increased safety and reductions in road fatalities by helping airbags inflate with precise timing and pressure, without rupturing.

Silicones can withstand exposure to high temperatures, salt, and rain, so they are used to protect and insulate engine parts, which improves lifetime vehicle safety.

Performance, Safety and Efficiency

Watch the video below to see how silicones contribute to the performance, safety, and efficiency of all types of transportation.

Reducing Repairs and Maintenance

Silicones can help reduce the buildup of dirt and film, and reduce attachment of marine organisms to the ship’s hull, helping to improve fuel efficiency.  In doing so, silicones also reduce the need for repairs and maintenance for ocean-going vessels as well as shipping barges and boats on our inland waterways.

Because silicones can withstand astonishing stress and temperature extremes and have flame retardant properties, they are also used in many aspects of aircraft and spacecraft assembly and maintenance. Silicones in paint and coatings reduce drag, reducing friction and increasing fuel efficiency.  Silicones can also help protect spacecraft from UV radiation and extremes of cold in space and heat during launch and as they return to earth through earth’s atmosphere.