The global advanced structural ceramics market is poised to witness a healthy growth over the forecast period. Rising application coupled with the advent of new materials plays a significant role in the industry growth.
Advanced structural ceramics are materials which exhibit demanding properties under specific conditions and may be used as alternatives to metal or polymer material, where applicable. Properties such as high wear resistance and chemically inert nature make them suitable for applications such as mineral processing and bone replacement. These material find extensive applications in aerospace and automobile, owing to such properties, which may spur demand over the next few years.
Manufacturers face challenges in lowering the production cost due to the rising fuel prices. The massive energy required for the production processes leads to dependency on fuel suppliers which affects the profitability of the companies. Factors such as variability in the properties of ceramics and the brittle nature exhibited by them may impede industry growth as it limits the applications of these products. However, the ongoing research may soon provide solutions to these issues, favoring industry growth.
The market by end-user is segmented into electrical & electronics, biomedical, environmental, transportation, chemical, defense and other sectors. Further, applications classify them into nuclear, bio, tribological (high wear resistance) and automotive. Although all areas have a healthy growth potential, the biomedical sector is expected to witness the strongest growth owing to active research being undertaken and wider application of bio-ceramics in the human body. The type also segments the industry into alumina, titanate, zirconate and cordierite. The increasing use of alumina ceramics in applications such as sea-water desalination provides ample growth opportunities.
These materials find extensive use in the electronics industry; Asia-Pacific accounts for the highest share in the global market. The ongoing development in the fields of electronics, transportation and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, coupled with the growing population, provides an excellent growth opportunity for the companies.
The market faces challenges owing to rising costs of production and transport although efficient logistics and manufacturing setup may offer avenues for growth to suppliers. Another factor impeding industry growth is the ongoing globalization, leading to the availability of superior quality ceramics at substantially lower prices. It affects the local suppliers leading to subdued growth. Government regulations on emissions instigate manufacturers to adopt state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities which come with hefty investments leading to low profitability for emerging players in the industry. However, increasing utilization of energy efficient manufacturing techniques and availability of renewable energy such as solar and wind power is anticipated to fuel demand over the forecast period.
The growth in the global market is also dependent on the ceramic coatings industry, in North America and Asia-Pacific accounting for the largest consumption of these coatings. The high consumption in the U.S. and the China is expected to continue, fueling growth. Developing economies in the Asian and African continents exhibit a strong potential for demand and may propel market growth over the coming years.
The market poses challenges for new entrants owing to the high investment in manufacturing facilities and value chains. Key players include CoorsTek, CeranTec, Kyocera, Morgan Advanced Materials and Saint-Gobain Ceramic Materials. With continuous product development, reduction in manufacturing cost and high demand, the ceramics market is expected to witness stable growth over the forecast period.
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