What is Silicone and Why is it Important?
Silicone rubber is a valuable elastomer for a plethora of applications. It is an incredibly hearty material that has great weather and ozone resistance and can perform in temperatures as low as -80°F and as high as 420°F1. It can be FDA compliant and food safe, is a great electrical insulator, and is the dominant rubber type used in the medical field1. It is also incredibly effective in keeping dirt and moisture out of electronics1. You can find it in almost anything from sealants and adhesives to bakeware, radiator hoses, medicine and more. What’s important to note is that silicone can be found in more than just a rubber-type state. It can also be found in the form of an oil, grease, resin, or caulk, making the market for this material so much larger than the rubber industry alone.
Why is there a Silicone Shortage?
Given this wide range of silicone usage across a variety different industries and applications, it can be easy to see how the demand for silicone may outweigh the supply at times – especially after a year and a half of navigating the COVID-19 global pandemic that brought with it a halt or decrease in operations for some monomer suppliers, market uncertainty, supply chain issues, and labor shortages2,3,4,5. While there is no one reason for the current silicone shortage, all of these aforementioned factors contribute to the fact that in the current market, silicone is in short supply, its raw material form – silicon – has become more expensive3, and overseas shipments are facing logistical hurdles2,4. On top of that, the demand for silicone is rising back to normal levels after a decrease in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic2,5, but supply has been slow to restock, and isn’t increasing at a rate suitable to cover this rise in demand. It was projected that by the end of 2021, this issue would be resolved5, but current predictions now show that this shortage could last into 20222.
What is TMI Doing to Navigate this Silicone Shortage?
TMI strives to always do what is best for our customers. While we, as much as anyone else, are feeling the hardships of this shortage, we promise to uphold our values of communication, integrity, and innovation as we work to provide solutions to this issue.
Communication- It is a priority for us to provide our customers with accurate and up-to-date information on the difficulties we currently face and keep them informed of any changes or issues that may arise from this shortage.
Integrity – As always, integrity comes first. We will continue to be transparent and honest in our pricing, turnaround time, and manufacturing abilities without offering false promises or creating a foundation of unrealistic expectations that we cannot fulfill.
Innovation – We will work tirelessly to come up with new solutions for your project if possible, including the potential use of other synthetic materials to provide a more cost effective product with a faster turnaround time without sacrificing quality.
You can rest assured that here TMI, we will do whatever we can to create, present, and implement the most cost effective and timely solution for our customers.
We are so thankful for all of our customers and encourage them to contact us with any questions or concerns about this issue. If you are a new or current customer, we’d love to discuss your project one-on-one to come up with the best solution for you at this time.
You can reach out at https://www.teamtmi.com/contact-rfq/. We look forward to hearing from you.
- Silicone. TeamTMI.com.
- Silicone Shortage: Causes and Solutions | Elasto Proxy https://www.elastoproxy.com/silicone-shortage/ (accessed Nov 17, 2021).
- Silicon’s 300% Surge Throws Another Price Shock at the World.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-01/silicon-s-300-surge-throws-another-price-shock-at-the-world 300% Surge Throws Another Price Shock at the World – Bloomberg. October 1, 2021.
- Silicone Supply Chain Challenges Update – 4th Quarter 2021 https://www.stockwell.com/blog/silicone-supply-chain-challenges-update-4th-quarter-2021/ (accessed Nov 17, 2021).
- Liquid Silicone Rubber Market | 2021 – 26 | Industry Share, Size, Growth – Mordor Intelligence https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/liquid-silicone-rubber-market (accessed Nov 17, 2021).