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Market Trends: Advanced Ceramics on the Upswing

The global advanced ceramics market is projected to exceed $75 billion by 2020.

The global market for advanced ceramics is projected to exceed $75 billion by 2020, driven by resurgence in global manufacturing activity, legislation of strictglobal advanced ceramics market environmental regulations, technology innovations, and expanding application areas, according to a new report from Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA).

Advanced ceramics, also known as industrial ceramics, fine ceramics, engineered ceramics and enhanced/technical ceramics, are reinforced ceramic compounds characterized by excellent thermal, magnetic, optical, and electrical properties. Due to these properties, advanced ceramics have emerged as effective alternatives to high-performance plastics and steel in various applications. Advanced ceramics find applications primarily in industrial processing equipment, power generation, aeropropulsion, E/O packaging, and personnel protection. The material is used in structural applications such as wear components, armor, cutting tools, and engines, among others. High quality and performance are key benefits of advanced ceramics that drive their use in myriad applications.

Growth in the market comes from both traditional and new application areas. Projected widespread use of advanced ceramics in automotive heat engines (e.g., diesel components and gas turbines), industrial heat exchangers, electrochemical devices, and medical implants/devices, among others, bodes well for the market. Extensive use of coated machinery components, shifting preference for advanced coatings, and breakthroughs in deposition processes are expected to magnetize commercial opportunities for ceramic coatings. Key factors expected to challenge market growth include environmental and regulatory issues, as well as competition from alternative materials.

The monolithic ceramics market continues to sustain its leadership position, primarily gaining from expanding applications in the medical sector. Recovery in industry sectors such as automotive, machinery and electronics in developed countries is expected to boost market growth. Also fuelling demand is robust sales of consumer electronic products in developing countries, along with a growing focus on enhancing efficiency and productivity of machining equipment.

Demand for ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) is expected to be stimulated by their growing use in high-temperature, corrosion-intensive applications. CMCs reinforced with carbon nanotubes are predicted to help contribute to overall demand growth. Smart ceramics and bioceramics are expected to find ample opportunities for growth in the medical sector. While smart ceramics power sophisticated drug delivery systems and enhance the performance of MRI devices, bio-ceramics are increasingly becoming indispensable in manufacturing artificial organ implants in fields ranging from orthopedics to cardiovascular surgery.

Japan represents the largest market worldwide, while Asia-Pacific is forecast to emerge as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 8.1% over the analysis period, according to the report. Growth in the Chinese market is expected to remain steady, supported by abundant chemicals and metallurgical bases and government initiatives. Besides industrialization, rising production of automobiles in countries such as India and China bodes well for advanced ceramics. 

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