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Global Ceramic Manufacturing Industry

The global ceramic manufacturing industry (often integrated in the more general materials sector) can be divided into two key categories: construction ceramics and industrial ceramics. The former includes ceramics used in building construction (such as for vitrified clay pipes, refractory products, and bricks and roof tiles), while the latter includes inorganic bonded abrasives, technical ceramics, sanitaryware, ornamentalware, and wall and floor tiles.

Ceramic products are nontoxic, strong, long wearing and resistant to heat, fire and electricity porous. Kilns are necessary for the manufacture of ceramic products, which use a range of raw materials. Because the creation of ceramic products results in emissions into land, air and water, companies in the industry have to abide by environmental regulations.

Overall, the ceramic manufacturing sector is relatively sheltered from fluctuations in economic growth.

Key Market Segments

The global ceramic capacitor market is expected to reach almost $18 billion by 2017, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. Industry performance is fuelled by technological innovation and demand from new end-use markets.

Global Industry Analysts predicts the global ceramic tile market will grow to a volume of almost 93 billion square feet by 2015. The building construction industry is an important end-use market for ceramic tiles, and demand is sensitive to the economic climate, consumer purchasing power, construction industry activity and GDP. Industry players need to constantly innovate to satisfy demand, which is influenced by style and sustainability factors. The market must also adapt to ever-strict environmental regulations.

Technical and structural ceramics are used in the transportation, aerospace and process industries as well as in military applications and power generation, reports BCC Research. These ceramics are highly resistant, lightweight and can withstand high temperatures. Key benefits of technical and structural ceramics are that they help cut down on energy consumption and limit pollution.

Regional Market Share

Freedonia estimates that US demand for advanced ceramics will record 6% annual growth through 2015 to exceed $14 billion. The economic recession saw demand decline, though recovery in US original equipment manufacturing (particularly in electrical equipment and motor vehicles) will have a knock-on effect on the ceramic manufacturing industry. Environmental markets will also help industry performance, with new regulations driving demand for pollution control systems that rely on advanced ceramic filters and membranes. Strong growth in the US transportation equipment market through 2015 along with recovery in the automotive sector, and particularly higher levels of production of medium and heavy vehicles, should boost demand for ceramic parts for commercial diesel and gasoline engines. Government initiatives to limit pollution and protect the environment will see the launch of new regulations to deal with pollutants like diesel particulate emissions. This will drive market expansion in the filtration and catalyst segments. Demand for advanced ceramic materials in the US will also rise as jet engine manufacturing industry players concentrate their efforts on making quieter products with increased efficiency. The aviation industry is witnessing higher use of coatings that contain advanced ceramics. In addition, ceramic turbine blades are proving popular for their light weight, durability and heat resistance properties.

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