Platinum catalysts are also used to make silicones, in a process known as ‘curing’, which enables silicone rubber in a liquid or gel form to toughen and harden. This produces silicone where performance characteristics such as high purity, tear-resistance, transparency and low toxicity are important. Platinum-cured silicones are known to be especially useful in processes that require detailed customisation or extreme hardness. Rising nitric acid and silicone production during 2019 is also expected to contribute towards demand growth for platinum, especially in Western Europe.
Forecast for 2020
Early indications are that platinum demand from the chemical sector will continue to grow during 2020, albeit at a more modest rate, with a 10 koz increase forecast. Growth next year is expected to come from ongoing expansion in PDH capacity plus rising nitric acid and silicone production across Asia.