U.S. Advanced Ceramics Growth Continues
Table 2 shows the market shares for structural ceramics, electronic ceramics, ceramic coatings and ceramics for chemical processing and environmental-related applications. In terms of market share, electronics constituted 65.7% of the market in 1999. With increased use of ICs and capacitors in computers and telecommunication applications, the electronic market share will increase to 68.2% by the year 2004. While structural ceramics will slightly increase its market share, ceramic coatings and ceramics used for chemical processing applications will decrease their shares by the year 2004. Ceramics used in environmental-related applications are expected to grow at a rate above the overall growth rate of advanced ceramics. Figures 1 and 2 show market segment shares for 1999 and the year 2004.
Structural CeramicsThe U.S. advanced structural ceramics market is expected to grow from $460 million in 1999 to $695 million in 2004, with a similar growth rate to that of electronic ceramics. In the structural ceramics market, wear-resistant parts hold the largest market share. Applications within this segment include bearings; mechanical seals and valves; dies, guides and pulleys; liners, grinding media, and components for the pulp and paper making industry; nozzles; and reticulated ceramics for molten metal filters.
The ceramic cutting tool markets got a boost due to the commercialization and increased availability of SiC whisker-reinforced alumina and silicon nitride tools inserts at competitive prices. Ceramic cutting tool inserts include alumina (Al2O3),Al2O3/TiC, SiC whisker-reinforced alumina, silicon nitride and SiAlON.
The market for engine ceramics has not taken off as was predicted in the 1980s. Ceramic parts are currently used in aircraft and aerospace engines, land-based turbine engines, marine engines, and limited automobile applications such as turbocharger. Some of these components include ceramic matrix composites, which are being tested in prototype quantities.
Since no more space shuttles are planned, the replacement market is the only market for shuttle tiles. Other aerospace applications include radomes, antenna windows, nozzles, exhaust ducts and leading edge applications. The major defense-related application is ceramic armor used in helicopters and land-based vehicles.
Markets for energy applications include heat exchangers, heating chambers and other high temperature applications, and reticulated ceramics for molten metal filters.
Bioceramic applications include ceramics and glass-ceramics implants and glass-ceramic dental crowns and posterior materials.