The global thermal ceramics market size was valued at USD 4,186 million in 2021, which is envisioned to grow at a CAGR of 5.0% and reach USD 6,185 million during the forecast period. Thermal ceramics are ceramics with thermal shock resistance, thermal insulation, a high tolerance for high temperatures, and thermal expansion. Thermal ceramics, also known as ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) or ultra-high temperature refractory ceramics, retain their strength at temperatures exceeding 2,000 degrees Celsius. Thermal ceramics exhibits low thermal conductivity. Installation is quick and straightforward, reduces expenses, and is simple to maintain. Due to their chemical stability, thermal ceramics can be utilized in high-temperature applications. They have exceptional sound absorption and corrosion resistance. In addition, opposition to most alkaline and acidic substances provides numerous advantages. Thermal ceramics are utilized for hot face lining on heat treatment surfaces in the steel industry. In addition, they are used as supplementary furnace insulation. Similarly, thermal ceramics are used to lining melting furnaces for non-ferrous applications.
In the oil and gas industry, thermal ceramics are used in boilers and heating centers, reactors and crackers, burner insulation, and other applications. In the energy industry, thermal ceramics are in high demand due to the expansion of solar energy generation. Combined with photovoltaics, they are utilized in solar panels for efficient power generation. This implementation of thermal ceramics in the power generation sector serves as a market growth driver. In addition, an increase in building and construction activities in the Asia-Pacific region stimulates the demand for thermal ceramics, thereby driving the market growth. Nevertheless, the carcinogenic nature of ceramics acts as a market restraint for thermal ceramics.
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Demand From Solar Energy Industry and the Increased Construction Activities in Asia Pacific Region
Ceramics with thermoelectric properties can be used in tandem with photovoltaic cells to generate solar energy. This synergistic approach results in the production of electrical power that is more effective than that of conventional solar panels. The thermal insulation provided by thermal ceramics helps prevent heat loss. Using thermal ceramics in solar panels increases the production efficiency of solar energy. Therefore, the application of thermal ceramics and the benefits they provide in solar power generation increase the product's requirement, which propels the growth of the thermal ceramics market.
In the Asia-Pacific region, there is a presence of economies at various stages of development. The economies of China and India have a significant bearing on the overall state of the region's economy. Both of the countries have substantial populations as well as economies that are expanding. The governments of the countries in the area are increasing the amount of money they spend on infrastructure development activities. The applications of thermal ceramics in the construction of infrastructure, like dams, buildings, rails, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, and electrical grids, among other things, further drive the thermal ceramics market growth.
Carcinogenic Nature of the Ceramic Fibers
Insulation brick and ceramic fibers are both common forms of application for thermal ceramics. Ceramic fibers have a wide variety of applications, including those in the iron & steel, oil and gas, manufacturing, aerospace, chemical, aluminum, and glass industries, as well as others. The respirable components of ceramic fibers have been found in the bodies of many people working in industries that use ceramic fibers in various applications. Animals were used in a test to determine what effects ceramic fibers have when exposed to them. According to the findings, the fibers had a potentially cancer-causing component. Ceramic fibers' possible carcinogenic effects on humans are a significant factor impeding market expansion. Additional research is currently being conducted to investigate further whether or not ceramic fibers are carcinogenic.
Manufacture and Production of Low Bio-Persistent Material
There is a significant cause for concern regarding the utilization of persistent organic chemicals in the production of thermal ceramics. Toxic chemicals, also called persistent organic pollutants, have negatively impacted people's health and the environment. As they ascend the food chain, they can be transported by wind and water, remain in the environment for extended periods, accumulate, and are passed from one species to the next. In addition, businesses are working on creating low bio-persistent materials that can be used in ceramic fibers. For instance, Superwool is a soft bio-persistent fiber developed by Morgan Advanced Materials. It has been cleared of all charges by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and is regarded as being free of the potential to cause cancer. The development of such materials presents valuable opportunities for the industry's growth.
The global thermal ceramics market is classified based on type, end-use industry, and region.
Based on type, the segments are Ceramic Fabrics and Insulation Bricks.
The ceramics fibers segment is expected to hold the largest market share while advancing at a CAGR of 5.1% throughout the forecast period. Ceramic fibers are a form of fiber refractory that is manufactured through melting and blowing in furnaces. These fibers are lightweight and provide thermal stability. Owing to their exceptional thermal insulation, they are also utilized in fire protection systems. Ceramic fibers offer outstanding resistance to thermal shock. In addition, they are quick and easy to install and have low heat storage. Ceramic fibers have excellent sound permeability and high corrosion resistance. They are used as a substitute for asbestos due to their high chemical stability. They can be molded into any shape and size according to the need. The application of ceramic fibers in various industries, including oil & gas, chemicals, aluminum, transportation, glass, and general engineering, acts as a driving factor for ceramic fibers and promotes the growth of the thermal ceramics market.
The insulation bricks segment will hold the second-largest share. Lightweight and low-density refractory materials constitute insulation bricks. They have a high level of thermal insulation in addition to low thermal conductivity. In addition, they offer superior thermal shock resistance and competitive strength. The primary raw material used to produce these bricks is clay. They are available in different varieties depending on the specified properties. Insulation bricks can come in various forms, including the mullite insulation brick, the alumina bubble brick, the lightweight clay insulation brick, and the lightweight silica brick. They find use in various industries, including non-ferrous metals, glass, electrolytic aluminum, iron and steel, ceramics, and power generation. The expansion of the thermal ceramics market share is propelled by the applications and advantages of insulation bricks.
Based on the end-use industry, the segments are Mining & Metal Processing, Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Construction, Manufacturing, Power Generation, Aerospace, and Others.
The mining & metal processing industrial segment is expected to hold the largest share during the forecast period while growing at a CAGR of 5.2%. Fire outbreaks in mining and metal processing are challenging and must be dealt with expeditiously and effectively to minimize loss. Gases and flammable materials must be handled with the utmost care and caution when mining and processing metals. Any slight leak or mishandling of combustible materials can cause a fire outbreak in a mine and result in a substantial loss. To prevent thermal leakage in furnaces, kilns, and blasters, ceramic fibers manufacture seals. Mining & metal processing is the largest end-use sector for thermal ceramics due to the high demand for thermal ceramics in developing and processing metals. A significant increase in metal production led to the need for thermal ceramics used in kilns, furnaces, and other high-temperature insulation applications. In addition, they are utilized in hot-face lining for heat-treatment furnaces, secondary insulation for reheating furnaces, annealing furnace cover seals, and covering casting nozzle. These applications of thermal ceramics fuel the market expansion.
The chemical & petrochemical segment will hold the second-largest share during the forecast period. Thermal ceramics are becoming increasingly popular in the chemical and petrochemicals industry. They are utilized in the linings of reformer and cracker furnaces, as filtration and catalyst carrier media for radioactive particles, and as high-temperature sealing materials. Several chemical and petrochemical activities involve thermal reactions and release. Thermal ceramics have excellent resistance to thermal shock, chemical stability, thermal insulation, and resistance to corrosion, among other beneficial properties. Thermal ceramics with these properties are both efficient and desirable for chemical and petrochemical industries. The demand for these products is continuing to rise, helping to propel the market's overall expansion.
The region-wise segmentation of the global thermal ceramics market includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America and the Asia Pacific Will Dominate the Regional Market
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North America will command the market with the largest share while growing at a CAGR of 5.15% during the forecast period. The region's dominance is attributable to the United States' robust growth in the refractory industry, which is facilitated by the presence of large corporations. The United States accounted for approximately 60% of the region's revenue, followed by Canada. Thermal ceramics are extensively employed in the aerospace industry because of their high resistance to high temperatures. This allows them to meet stringent performance, temperature, and weight specifications required by spacecraft. This, in conjunction with the region's governments' increasing investment in space exploration, is one of the key factors driving the expansion of the thermal ceramics market in North America. In addition, there has been an increase in the use of hypersonic missiles and weapons due to the growing geopolitical tensions and investments in the defense sector, both of which positively influence the market in North America.
Asia Pacific will hold a share of USD 1,854 million while growing at a CAGR of 5.31%. The Asia-Pacific is witnessing high growth and demand for thermal ceramics, which can be attributed to the increasing investment in infrastructural activities. These activities boost the market for thermal ceramics in the region. Furthermore, there is a surge in the number of activities in the region's industrial sector, particularly in India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as China and India, are also at the vanguard of the ongoing industrial revolution. Demand for chemicals in a wide variety of end-use applications is driving expansion in the region's chemical and petrochemical end-use industry. The chemical industry segment in the Asia Pacific region will be propelled forward as a result of countries such as India, Indonesia, and Thailand investing in new projects to reduce the number of chemicals imported and satisfy domestic demand.
List of key thermal ceramics market manufacturers profiled