Aerospace and Automotive Markets Provide Opportunities for High-Performance Ceramic Coatings
The North American high-performance ceramic coatings market was valued at $1.1 billion in 2012 and increased to $1.2 billion in 2013, according to a new market research report entitled “High-Performance Ceramic Coatings: Markets and Technologies” from BCC Research. The market is expected to grow to nearly $1.7 billion by 2018, and register a five-year compound annual growth rate of 6.6% from 2013 to 2018.
Surface modification using ceramic coatings has achieved some prominence in the industrial environment over the past several decades. High-performance ceramic coatings constitute a mature but still expanding industry, with a range of current and potential applications, continuously emerging coating techniques and a growing list of material compositions.
The structure of the ceramic coatings industry from raw materials to end-use products includes suppliers of ceramic coating consumables, suppliers of coating systems, job shops providing coating services and end users, including those with in-house coating facilities. The availability and commercialization of high-performance coatings have already changed the internal specification patterns of certain industries such as cutting tool inserts. The useful life of coated inserts is many times longer than the life of uncoated inserts. This, in turn, has reduced the cost of cutting tool inserts and at the same time increased productivity. Similarly, the use of ceramic-coated components for aircraft turbine engines has resulted in construction of large aircraft. Currently, auto enthusiasts are coating certain components to improve auto engine performance. In addition, ceramic coatings have made it possible for certain large machine components to be repaired in situ.
The high-performance ceramic coating service industry runs the gamut from companies with sales in the tens of millions of dollars to small job shops. Due to the decline in the aerospace industry, some smaller companies have downsized or struggled to stay in business or have gone out of business completely. During this period, several acquisitions and mergers occurred. In addition, some companies sold their coating service business as a separate entity. However, by the late 1990s, there was increased activity in high-performance ceramic coatings using thermal spray, especially in aircraft engines and automotive applications. These increased activities have resulted in more licensing and development/marketing activities.
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