The fumed silica market is anticipated to experience an upward growth trajectory, owing to its plethora of applications in various industries. Fumed silica is a synthetically produced material consisting of microscopic droplets of amorphous silica. The rheological and reinforcement properties of fumed silica are the primary drivers for the growth of the global market. There are two kinds of fumed silica found in the market, hydrophobic and hydrophilic fumed silica. The product, backed by its versatile properties, is a primary functional material used in applications, such as adhesives, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, food, and many others.
Increased consumer spending and the ever-growing population, particularly in developing markets, is significantly contributing to the high demand for automobile and personal care products. The growing populace of working women is further booming the demand for cosmetic and skincare products. The fumed silica particle offers superior performance benefits in manufacturing adhesives, paints, and sealants due to its unique particle characteristics with high surface area and purity. Additionally, it is widely used as an anticaking agent and thickening agent in the burgeoning food and beverage industry.
The demand for fumed silica is projected to grow at a faster pace, with massive demand from the beauty and personal care sector. A recent survey of the Cosmetics Europe explains the consumer insights that cosmetics helps build up the self-esteem of almost 74% of people. Furthermore, more than 94% of consumers gave importance to oral care products in their daily lives. Fumed silica is an ideal element that is used in a variety of cosmetic products, including hair, body, skincare, fragrances, and oral care. Several leading cosmetic manufacturers’ desire fumed silica for rheology control and anticaking functionality.
In 2018, Germany accounted for the largest market share for cosmetics products, valued at USD 15.87 billion, followed by France with USD 13.11 billion. Changing consumer perspectives and the higher purchasing power of people have influenced the demand for personal care products. Moreover, cosmetics using fumed silica provide distinctive advantages, such as superior oil absorption and fragrance retention options. The ability of fumed silica to give an optical matting effect to cosmetics is gaining popularity among cosmetic manufacturers. Rising awareness among consumers regarding the benefits of using cosmetics and personal care products is prompting higher demand for fumed silica in the coming years.
The automotive industry across the globe is the largest contributor to the growing environmental pollution and CO2 emissions. Rising consumer awareness and government schemes are promoting higher adoption of electric vehicles worldwide. Auto-makers are continuously searching for additives and paints and coatings to reduce the overall weight of the car. There is a significant surge in demand for automobiles, particularly battery-operated vehicles globally, which is further driving the demand for automotive coatings.
Today, consumers are willing to increase their spending on improved aesthetics and robust functional properties of the vehicle. To capitalize on the opportunity with lower costs, the auto-makers are demanding coatings that are visually attractive, offer greater gloss and color, and easy to handle and apply. Leading coating manufacturers prefer the hydrophobic fumed silica rheology modifiers to deliver products as per customer’s demand. Fumed silica rheology modifiers are sag-resistance and prevent the settlement of pigments during production and storage, thus fuelling market growth.
The hydrophilic silica segment is projected to register the highest market share. The demand for hydrophilic silica is escalating at a faster rate on account of its easy dispersion in water and high purity levels. The nano-powder is suitable and is utilized as a thickening agent for applications in the food and beverage, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical sectors. Unlike its counterparts, hydrophilic silica is untreated and pure, while hydrophobic silica is chemically treated with silane.
The hydrophilic silica is cheaper as compared to the hydrophobic type, which is further expanding the segment growth. Hydrophobic silica possesses water repellent characteristics and is primarily used in plastic and powder glidants, such as fire extinguisher agents, for its rheology function.
Asia-Pacific is at the forefront of the fumed silica market as it is backed by the presence of leading economies such as India, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. As the urban population in India and China continues to expand, it is mounting stress on existing infrastructure and government, further driving the need for construction and infrastructure development.
India is projected to grow almost as fast as China by the year 2030, providing potential opportunities for fumed silica in the emerging markets. As per the statistics, India’s urban population is projected to grow by 165 million by 2030. The government of India is undertaking smart city projects and aims at the development of sustainable cities, which will create massive demand for paints and coatings, adhesives, concrete, and other construction materials.
China is expected to witness significant growth and development in the coming years, leading to the growth of the fumed silica market. It is a critical element largely consumed by the high-performance concrete manufacturers for achieving greater strength and durability in the material. China’s share in the global construction industry is increasing gradually, owing to government initiatives and opportunities in new types of construction in healthcare, education, and social infrastructure. For instance, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is expected to reach a value of USD 1.3 trillion by 2027. The below-mentioned info-graph depicts the estimated market potential for the regions during the forecast period, 2017–2029.
North America is a pioneer in the development of technologies and processes. As per the International Trade Administration (ITA), the U.S. automobile sector is one of the biggest in the world, accounting for over 17 million-unit sales in 2018. There is a surge in demand for lightweight vehicles in the region, which is further creating demand for fumed silica as a rheology additive that improves the properties of paints, making them scratch and abrasion-resistant. Moreover, the material is used in paints and coatings to give it a glossy and premium finish and durability and consistency.
The demand for fumed silica is witnessing tremendous growth from the U.S. construction sector. Increased private and public spending on the commercial and residential construction sector is pushing the demand for fumed silica. The U.S. economy is undergoing geopolitical turmoil on account of the trade wars and increased tariffs on imported products. This has had a positive impact on the Mexican economy and surged the FDI in the country, further improving the manufacturing sector.