The global ceramic balls market is anticipated to grow at a significant rate over the forecast period on account of its increasing demand from modern machinery manufacturing applications. Benefits offered by these products such as high strength, corrosion resistance, high-temperature resistance, reduced weight, increased operation speed, and minimum noise are likely to be the key factors driving the demand for manufacturing applications.
Ceramic balls also possess lightweight properties that are essential factors for the latest technology manufacturing processes in the automobile and aerospace industries. Moreover, manufacturers’ shifting preferences from steel balls towards ceramic balls owing to their benefits are anticipated to drive its demand over the forecast period. Higher demand for lightweight electric vehicles is likely to contribute to the ascending demand for the products.
Ceramic balls are used as absorbent bed support media and catalysts in applications including gas processing, petrochemical, and refining processes. Higher crush strength, survivability, and impact-resistant property of these products are likely to ascend its demand in the above-stated application industries in the estimated time. Increasing hydroprocessing applications that demand ceramic components to withstand extreme pressure and temperatures are further expected to support the demand for ceramic balls.
Higher investments for the manufacturing of ceramic balls coupled with the high cost associated with the utilization of these products are expected to hamper the market growth. Moreover, increasing environmental and health hazards such as chronic inhalation, asthma, and other respiratory problems caused by the manufacturing operations are anticipated to impose stringent regulations that can negatively impact the ceramic balls' market growth over the forecast period.
Silicon-based ceramic balls are likely to drive the demand on account of their superior resistance to corrosion and extremely high temperatures. These are electrically insulated, anti-magnetic, and can perform efficiently in extreme working conditions. Growing demand for durable and superior performance components in industries such as aerospace, chemical, and automotive are projected to ascend the demand for silicon-based ceramic balls in the estimated time. These ceramic balls are also used in mechanical centrifuges, missiles, radar systems, machine tools, compressors, pumps, and others.
Inert ceramic balls are widely used in application industries such as chemical engineering, petroleum, natural gas, fertilizer production, and others. Properties including a low rate of water absorption, stable chemical features, and resistance to corrosion from alkali, acid, and organic solvents are the factors for its ascending demand. Active ceramic balls are used as tower packing and covering supporting materials in the reactors. Moreover, these balls possess rolling resistance triggered with a round and uniform shape than steel balls, thus they are a popular choice in bearing applications.
Ceramic balls are widely used in automobile and aerospace manufacturing industries owing to their benefits including shock resistance, higher strength, and faster operational speed. Automotive applications are anticipated to drive the demand for ceramic balls on account of their advantageous applications in roller bearings, ball bearings, spark plugs, airbags, seat slides, valves, engine components, and locking mechanisms. In aerospace manufacturing, ceramic balls are used in gyroscopes, flow meters, airframes, flow meters, and others.
The ceramic bearings in mechanical components are composed of steel races and ceramic balls. These balls are used in bearings owing to factors such as durability and the need for minimal lubrication. Also, these products are non-porous, virtually frictionless, and capable of spinning faster than their steel counterparts, thus having wide application scope in the automobile and machinery manufacturing industries.
The Asia Pacific is likely to be the largest market for ceramic balls, wherein, a majority of demand is derived from China, India, Australia, and Japan. The rapidly growing automotive industry in the region coupled with the increasing adoption of electric vehicles is likely to increase the consumption of ceramic ball products for manufacturing applications. Moreover, increasing medical applications in the region are expected to provide substantial growth opportunities over the forecast period.
Favorable regulations, supportive FDI policies, and the availability of a skilled workforce in the Asia Pacific countries have propelled the foreign players to establish manufacturing units in the region. Furthermore, government support for domestic manufacturing coupled with easy export policies has influenced the local manufacturers to increase production, which in turn has positively impacted the demand for ceramic balls.
Europe accounted for a significant market share in 2018 owing to the well-established automotive manufacturing sector in the region. Continuous development and adoption of the latest technologies in manufacturing practices have propelled the demand for advanced technology materials in the region. Thus, it has positively influenced the market for ceramic balls in automobile manufacturing industries.
The companies operating in the ceramic balls market compete based on product size, materials, and prices. These players are focusing on the expansion of the product portfolio by offering ceramic balls of different sizes and materials specific to different operations to cater to the wide application range. Moreover, product enhancement and technology adoption are the factors considered to gain a competitive edge in the market.
Major players operating in the ceramic balls market include Saint-Gobain, Scream Ceramics, CoorsTek Inc., MetalBall, Industrial Tectonics Inc., and others. Technological advancements made by these companies have introduced high-end ceramic balls with precision for specific applications in aerospace, automotive, medical, oil & gas industries. Scream Ceramics produces ceramic balls with materials including silicon nitride, zirconia, alumina, and silicon carbide in different diameters ranging from 0.44 mm to 15.87 mm.
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The shortage in supply of raw materials from Chinese manufacturers has resulted in a severe demand-supply gap. The manufacturers are further expected to be stranded on raw material orders owing to the logistics industry being significantly impacted due to lockdown amid COVID-19. However, the producers are expected to move away from China aiming to reduce the future risks that would affect the business and to reduce the manufacturers' cluster in a single country in order to smoothen the supply chain. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.