The factory of the Lanhua Silicone Company in China, one of the primary producers of raw materials for silicone, suffered an explosion on August 4th. The factory blast occurred in Xiantao, near Wuhan, and resulted in six deaths as well as the factory shutting its doors to undergo an investigation. What's critical about this incident is the plant produces nearly 80% of the silanes used in the production of oxime silicone for commercial roofing. This could result in significant material shortages for roofers around the globe.
The silanes produced in the factory not only account for at least 80% of the global silicone supply for commercial roofing but also account for 80% of the world supply of certain silicones of which roofing materials are a small part. Silanes are also a key component for many everyday materials, from fiberglass and plastics to paints and sealants.
While shortages in oxime silicone are expected in the wake of the explosion, the good news is that the disruption won't affect the production of the second type of silicone used in commercial roofing—alkoxy. Here at Everest, we're one of the few global manufacturers of alkoxy silicone. This means not only will our supply not be affected, but it's our mission to make sure no contractor or specifier faces work disruptions.
To help avoid shortages, we recommend contractors keep an eye on lead times from other manufacturers. Longer lead times could signal the beginning of a material shortage. To ensure you have the silicone you need for your commercial roofing projects, Everest has doubled its silicone production. We also plan to add an additional mixing capacity of silicone by the end of the year to accommodate the increased demand for alkoxy.