Bioceramics Driving Overall Growth in Ceramic Market
Advanced structural ceramics have the potential to resolve many material-based challenges in a host of commercial and industrial markets. The total technical and advanced structural ceramics market in North America is projected to reach nearly $6.7 billion in 2020, according to a recent study from BCC Research. Growth rates in the various sectors of technical and advanced structural ceramics range from 13.1-15.3%.
Bioceramics comprise the largest sector, with about 67% of the total dollar value in 2014. Medical implants and dental uses are both major contributors to this sector. The bioceramics sector is projected to retain its lead in 2020, with about 67% of the value of the market.
The advanced armor and military sector is expected to remain the second-largest segment, although its growth rate will be lower than in the recent past due to the U.S. disengagement from Iraq and Afghanistan and lower overall defense expenditures. Wear-resistant applications, particularly ceramic bearings, comprise the third-largest segment, reflecting growth of the wind energy sector. Energy and high-temperature-resistant components as a segment should demonstrate the highest five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR), at 15.3%, reaching a total value of $263 million in 2020, up from $129 million in 2015.
Continued improvements to the fabrication and synthesis of advanced technical and structural ceramic materials and the use of more complex mixes to produce desired properties are projected to drive industry growth, particularly in the bioceramics sector. There is a trend toward using alumina-based reinforced and/or composite materials and using alumina in combination with other materials to optimize properties.
“Alumina-based ceramics are commonly used in tool inserts, wear-resistant components and energy and high-temperature-resistant components in which ceramic components are used in solid oxide fuel cells to convert a feed of natural gas into electricity," said Andrew McWilliams, analyst. “An interesting and relatively new application for alumina-based ceramics is ceramic membranes for seawater desalinization. Alumina-based ceramics constitute roughly 42% of the market for advanced structural ceramics by material type, followed by zirconia with 30%.”
For more information, visit www.bccresearch.com.