Silicon Carbide is a crystalline compound of silicon and carbon, which is produced synthetically. It is also known as carborundum. Silicon carbide is not attacked by any acids or alkalis or molten salts. Superior properties such as low density, oxidation resistance, excellent thermal shock resistance, high strength, high thermal conductivity, high temperature strength, high hardness and wear resistance, excellent chemical resistance and low thermal expansion are expected to be key factors for silicon carbide market development. It has its wide applications in industries such as steel and energy, automotive, electronics and semiconductors, aerospace and aviation, medical and healthcare and military and defence. One of the key drivers for silicon carbide market demand is the high demand for steel manufacturing and steel processing along with its recycling units. Increasing substitution of existing pure silicon technology semiconductors is also expected to drive silicon carbide market demand. High precision needed for manufacturing components and the low level of tolerances in its applications serves as restrains for the development of this market. As silicon carbide made devices are more expensive due to low manufacturing yields and low manufacturing volumes, this expensive nature turns to be a restrain for growth of this industry.
Based on the different types of products, silicon carbide is mainly classified into categories such as green, black, refractory, coated, metallurgical, metallurgical briquettes and micro grit. Black and green silicon carbide are the dominant product segments and are expected to witness steady demand. Black silicon carbide market is expected to experience significant gains over the forecast period due to its increasing usage in steel manufacturing, abrasive wheel and refractory and ceramic industry.
Steel and energy is the fastest growing application segment for the silicon carbide market. High sublimation temperature makes SiC useful for bearings and furnace parts; while properties such as hardness, high thermal resistance and high temperature strength are extremely useful in grinding wheels and in abrasive paper and cloth products. Semiconductors and electronics is another segment expected to drive market demand owing to wide band gap, larger critical electric field, and higher thermal conductivity for SiC. SiC devices are replacing pure silicon devices as they operate at higher temperatures and voltages and provide high power density and higher current density. The silicon carbide devices also reduce electricity losses due to conduction and switching thereby offering higher efficiency in electronic systems. Automotive applications include high performance ceramic brake discs and in addition use as an oil additive to reduce friction, harmonics and emissions.
Asia Pacific was the largest silicon carbide regional market, in terms of volume, due to driving in the sales of various driver segments such as steel and energy, electronics and semiconductors and automotive. Asia Pacific and other emerging regions are expected to high-growth markets, driven by growing industrialization and infrastructure spending. Silicon carbide market demand in North America and Europe is expected to grow in-line with end-use industries.
The global silicon carbide market is moderately concentrated. Key companies in this market include AGSCO Corporation, Entegris Inc., Dow Chemical Company, ESD-SIC, ESK-SIC GmbH, Carborundum Universal, Gaddis Engineered Materials, Grindwell Norton, Snam Abrasives and Saint-Gobain Ceramics Materials GmbH.