Silicone defoamer or silicone antifoam are polymers with silicon backbones and are used to prevent foam from developing. Foaming is a phenomenon which frequently occurs during several manufacturing processes. Foam formation during the manufacturing process interrupts the production processes, reduces the effective volumes in the production plant, leads to unnecessary downtimes and at times even interferes with the application process. This creates the need for the use of defoamer or antifoaming agent to prevent the foam formation. Foam is tough to breakdown as they are stabilized by the surface viscosity and surface elasticity of their film. Silicones have low surface and interfacial tension which enables them to flow easily over the film.
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Apart from aqueous foaming mediums, the silicone defoamers are also suitable in non-aqueous foaming systems like crude oil, which provides for their usage in mining applications as well. Silicone defoamers provide few additional benefits over other organic types of defoamers since they are insoluble in most systems, they tend to react less with other process ingredient and perform longer and more efficiently in the foaming medium. Silicone defoamers find promising applications in several industries including effluent treatment, paper industry, paint industries, fertilizers, textiles, agrochemicals, detergent, cement processing, polymerization reactions, oil & natural gas production, latex manufacturing, and glass cleaners among food & beverage.
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Demand for Defoamer to Rise in Repose to Increasing Use of Water Treatment Chemicals
The increase in the use of water treatment chemicals in various end-use industries like paper & pulp, wooden board, paints & coatings etc. and the fact that silicone defoamers do not add to the biological oxygen demand (BOD) in the water is further expected to increase the usage of silicone defoamers for water treatment applications. The need to reduce the growing manufacturing and processing time involved in the food & beverage industry owing to the foam formation is anticipated to boost the growth of silicone defoamer market during the forecast period. The growing consumer preference for water-borne coatings, instead of oil based paints and coatings is expected to provide lucrative opportunities for the use of silicone defoamers in the paint and coatings industry.
The stringent policies and regulations laid down by the government on the use of silicone defoamers in various end-use applications and the availability of internal substitutes like non-silicone and other types of defoamers are expected to restrict the growth of the silicone defoamer market to some extent in the coming years.
Paints and Coatings Sector Reported Significantly High Demand for Silicone Defoamers
The global silicone defoamer market is studied based on the applications and geography. Based on the applications, the global silicone defoamer market is segmented into: paper & pulp, water treatment, paint & coatings, food & beverage and others. The paint & coatings segment accounted for the largest share of the global silicone defoamer market in 2016, followed by the food & beverage segment. This high growth rate of the paint & coatings segment is mainly attributed to the booming automotive sector across the world and the growing construction industry. The growing global population and the shift in the food consumption patterns of people are mainly responsible for the increasing use of silicone defoamers in the food & beverage industry.
Market to Witness Incremental Opportunities in Asia Pacific
The food & beverage segment is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period, particularly in Europe and North America owing to the rapid growth of food, beverage and beer industry in these regions in the next few years. In terms of geographical regions, Asia Pacific is expected to offer incremental opportunities for the growth of the silicone defoamer market during the forecast period. This growth is mainly ascribed to the rise in demand for containerboard, packaging, and tissue paper in the region and the growing automotive and paint & coatings industry in the region. The silicone defoamer market in Middle East & Africa is expected to grow, but at a sluggish rate during the forecast period.
The global silicone defoamer market is consolidated with a few key players and some other competitors. Supreme Silicones, Resil Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., Wacker Chemie AG, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Evonik Industries AG, Dow Corning Corporation, Clariant International Ltd.,Elkem Silicones, BASF SE, Ashland and Dew Specialty Chemicals Ltd. are few players operating in this market.