Medical segment driving LSR growth

Cleveland, Ohio — The range of products and applications for liquid silicone rubber is growing, especially in the medical use end market.

This is positioning the market for continued growth through 2023, according to a new study from the Freedonia Group.

The study estimates that the LSR market could grow as much as 8.3% annually for the next four years.

This growth is strengthened by processors, who are adopting LSR manufacturing capabilities and more complex moulding techniques, such as micromoulding and 2-component moulding.

Fabricators also contribute to the market’s strength, Freedonia said, as they develop their understanding of LSR’s importance.

Freedonia expects LSR sales to grow, especially for high transparency grades and other speciality grades.

High transparency grades are used for new high-power LED lighting technologies, including applications such as automotive headlights and street and stadium lighting.

Speciality grades, including self-lubricating, self-adhesive and non-post-cure types, can improve efficiency by reducing fabrication steps.

Further, the medical end use market will outpace the automotive market for LSR use by 2023, according to the Freedonia analysis.

The medical segment also will outstrip smaller markets, such as consumer and baby care, electrical and electronic, and industrial.

Rising applications in the medical sector include implantable devices, wearables to track blood pressure or heart rate, and smaller medical devices with more intricate designs and micro parts.

LSR, Freedonia said, is particularly suited for the medical market as it provides shorter cure times, higher durometers, lower flash, lower curing temperatures and improved consistency for medical device fabricators.

As it is well-suited to automation, it can limit contamination in clean room manufacturing operations. LSR also has enhanced purity and biocompatibility compared to high consistency rubber silicone.