Densified silica fume, also known as DSF, is a fine pozzolanic material produced as a byproduct in the arc furnace method while manufacturing elemental silicon and/or ferro-silicon alloys. Densified silica fume is called so because of its high density, which lies in the range of 400 – 720 kg/m3. It is one of the key components used to manufacture concrete and refractories. Densified silica fume is added in concrete to augment its mechanical properties including better compressive strength, increased abrasion resistance, increased corrosion resistance and superior sulphate resistance. The addition of densified silica fume improves the durability of concrete mixture to a certain extent and reduces its permeability. The higher density of densified silica fume permits bulk handling and reduced transportation cost. Hence, dry densified silica fume is an inexpensive product form in terms of transportation.
The handling and storage of densified silica fume does not pose a health hazard when normal safety rules are applicable; however, it may cause eye irritation and prolonged contact may lead to skin irritation. Densified silica fume may cause respiratory irritation on inhalation and can be harmful if swallowed.
Densified silica fume is a versatile material that can be used to produce almost all grades of concrete. It significantly improves the strength and high temperature performance of refractories. Apart from being used in cement, concretes and refractories, densified silica fume finds applications in the rubber industry and waterglass industry.
Densified Silica Fume Market: Dynamics
Silica fume is available in three basic forms, namely slurried, undensified and densified. Slurried silica fume is reported to be discontinued in the North America region. Undensified silica fume finds limited application in precast or ready-mixed concrete. Thus, densified silica fume remains the only alternative that offers the benefits of silica fume in concrete. This factor is anticipated to boost the densified silica fume market throughout the forecast period. Densified silica fume prevents the corrosion of steel reinforcements in concrete, due to its properties such as particularly low permeability to chloride ion and high electrical insulation. With the growth of the construction industry around the world, the demand for densified silica fume will be driven by the construction industry in chloride-rich environments, especially coastal regions.
However, due to its very fine particle size and the fact that densified silica fume is a highly reactive pozzolan, it is essential to store densified silica fume in a dry environment. Stocking densified silica fume in humid or wet environments may potentially reduce its shelf life and this acts as an obstacle in the supply chain.
The manufacturers of densified silica fume have entered into agreements with admixture suppliers to enable concrete producers to procure densified silica fume and several other additives from the same suppliers.
Densified Silica Fume Market: Segmentation
The densified silica fume market can be segmented on the basis of application and end use.
On the basis of application, the densified silica fume market has been segmented into:
- Wet Cementing
- Refractories & Ceramics
- Repair Products
On the basis of end use, the densified silica fume market has been segmented into:
- Mining & Metal Processing
- Marine Industry
- Construction Industry
- Glass & Ceramics Industry
- Rubber Industry
Densified Silica Fume Market: Regional Outlook
Regionally, the densified silica fume market is anticipated to grow in tandem with the construction industry. Currently, North America is pegged to be a prominent market as the construction industry in the region is gaining traction in countries such as the United States of America. After North America, China is likely to hold a big share in the global densified silica fume market by the end of 2028. The Middle East & Africa region is anticipated to be the fastest growing densified silica fume market due to the growing public investments towards infrastructure development in countries such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America are also expected to be key markets during the forecast period. Fast-paced industrialization, coupled with rapid urbanization, is anticipated to propel the densified silica fume market in this region.
Densified Silica Fume Market: Market Participants
Some of the market participants in the global densified silica fume market identified across the value chain include Norchem Inc., Xypex Australia, Target Products Ltd., Chryso Inc., Di-Corp, Cementec Industries Inc, BASF SE, RussTech, Inc, Sika Corporation, Kryton International Inc., Scancem Materials (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Elkem ASA and Wuhan Newreach Microsilica Co., Ltd.
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