Globally, 117,000 tons of silicone product is used in the transport sector annually, which includes automotive, marine, aviation, and aerospace. 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.
The world’s automotive industry alone employs more than 6.8 million and uses silicone 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 estimate that for every 10% reduction in vehicle weight, fuel economy improves by between 5-7%
- In new energy vehicles, silicone encapsulates the entire battery pack for stabilization, vibration protection, heat dissipation, and water and dust proofing. Silicone is also used for bonding and positioning of power battery cells and thermal management of lithium batteries
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 and reducing the need for maintenance.
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 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
- 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