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Transparent Ceramics: Technologies and Global Markets

  • April 2017
  • 124 pages
  • BCC Research
Report ID: 2779319


Table of Contents

• The global market for transparent ceramics reached $194.1 million in 2016. The market should reach $227.3 million in 2017 and $548.7 million by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.3% from 2017 to 2022.
• The optics and optoelectronics segment of transparent ceramics reached $172.4 million in 2016. The market should reach $204.4 million in 2017 and $510.7 million by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 20.1% from 2017 to 2022.
• The aerospace and defense sector of transparent ceramics reached $18.6 million in 2016. The market should reach $19.4 million in 2017 and $30.3 million by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 9.3% from 2017 to 2022.

Study Goals and Objectives
Transparent ceramics is a category of ceramic materials that has attracted increasing interest from both the scientific community and industry due to a combination of unique optical, mechanical, physical and chemical properties of these materials, which make them suitable for several demanding applications.

There is growing interest in the application of these materials as a replacement for single crystals as well as for the fabrication of new generations of devices within the optoelectronics and energy sectors. In this study, BCC Research provides a current and detailed assessment of the transparent ceramics market, including an objective analysis of industry and technological trends, and prospects for future growth. In addition, an updated review of the most significant advances in transparent ceramic technology and fabrication methods is offered, with a focus on those technologies that will contribute to market growth during the next five years.

Specifically, the major objectives of this study are to:
• Identify various commercially available transparent ceramic materials, including a description of their types and manufacturing methods.
• Provide an update on the most advanced processes employed for the fabrication of transparent ceramics.
• Highlight new technological developments during the past two years, while outlining current technical issues.
• Review existing fields of application for transparent ceramics and examine emerging applications.
• Estimate current global markets for transparent ceramics by material type, application, and region, with growth forecasts through 2022 for each market segment.
• Identify important technology and industry trends within each market segment.
• Offer an updated review of current industry players, including manufacturers of transparent ceramic materials and fabrication equipment, technology developers, and future market participants.
• Provide a description of the most relevant research and development activities.
• Determine trends in recently issued U.S. patents.

Reasons for Doing This Study
Transparent ceramics are defined as inorganic, non-metallic polycrystalline materials that transmit light with wavelengths in the visible electromagnetic spectrum. In recent years, the definition has expanded to include materials that also allow light with wavelengths in the ultraviolet and infrared regions of the spectrum to pass through.

The global transparent materials industry is currently valued at over $250 billion and continues to expand at a moderate rate. Transparent ceramics represent a very small share of this vast market (less than 1%) but are expected to grow at an accelerated rate during the next five years. The increased market penetration of these materials can be attributed to various factors, including rising demand for solid-state lighting, solar cells, and other devices requiring advanced optical properties.

Over time, many types of transparent ceramics have been introduced, made from different materials such as oxides, non-oxides, and mixed systems. These products are manufactured using a variety of processes aimed at obtaining a microstructure that is free from microscopic defects which negatively affect optical, mechanical and chemical properties. One aim of these new processes is to manufacture ceramics with high transparency at low cost in order to make these materials more affordable for an increasing number of emerging applications.

The principal objective of this report is to present a current assessment of the transparent ceramic industry from both a technological and market point of view and to outline future trends and key developments.

There is also a need to evaluate the current status and future trends of this market from a global standpoint. As the use of these materials expands and new fields of application emerge, information on suppliers and developers of transparent ceramic materials and their regional distribution becomes more valuable.

An equally important reason for undertaking this report is to convey technical insights into the manufacturing of transparent ceramics by:
• Providing a review of materials, compositions, and applications.
• Identifying current technological trends.
• Presenting an overview of the main global R&D activities related to transparent ceramic materials, resulting in the issuance of patents.
• Illustrating the latest technological developments.

This information can assist companies in identifying opportunities for process and productivity improvements and new product development, resulting in a positive impact on future market growth.

Intended Audience
This study will be of primary interest to all organizations that:
• Manufacture, sell and distribute transparent ceramics.
• Supply raw materials for production of transparent ceramics.
• Manufacture process equipment utilized by producers of transparent ceramics.
• Fabricate products based on transparent ceramics (such as lasers, optoelectronic devices, smart military systems, armors, medical instruments, and light-based sensors).
• Manufacture testing and characterization equipment for transparent ceramics.
• Provide technical or marketing services in conjunction with transparent ceramic products.
• Are planning to enter the transparent ceramics industry as a supplier, manufacturer, service provider, or consumer.

Overall, this study applies to industry sectors such as aerospace and defense, energy, healthcare, mechanical and chemical, optics and optoelectronics, sensors and instrumentation, and consumer. This research report is primarily designed for executives, directors, operations managers, sales and marketing managers, and strategic planners working within the transparent ceramics industry.

Universities and research facilities may also find this study to be a good source of technical information regarding transparent ceramic materials and their applications, which can be used as a baseline for new or expanded R&D activities. Librarians of technical information and research centers can also use this report to provide critical data to product managers, market analysts, researchers, and other professionals needing detailed and updated insights into the transparent ceramics industry.

Scope of Report
This report provides an updated review of transparent ceramic materials and their fabrication processes and identifies current and emerging applications for these technologies.

BCC Research delineates the current market status for transparent ceramics, defines trends, and presents growth forecasts for the next five years. The transparent ceramic market is analyzed based on the following segments: material type, application, and region. In addition, technological issues, including key events and the latest process developments, are discussed.

More specifically, the market analysis conducted by BCC Research for this report is divided into five sections.

In the first section, an introduction to the topic and a historical review of transparent ceramics are provided, including an outline of recent events. Current and emerging applications for transparent ceramics are also identified and grouped into segments of aerospace and defense, consumer, energy, healthcare, mechanical and chemical, optics and optoelectronics, sensors and instrumentation, and other industries.

The second section provides a technological review of transparent ceramic materials, with a description of their types, and an outline of the most commonly used materials. This section concludes with an analysis of the most important technological developments since 2015, including examples of significant patents recently issued or applied for, as well as highlighting the most active research organizations operating in this field.

The third section consists of a global market analysis of transparent ceramics. Global revenues (sales data in millions of dollars) are presented for each segment (material type, application, and region), with actual data referring to the years 2015 and 2016, and estimates for 2017.

The analysis of current transparent ceramics revenues is followed by a detailed presentation of market growth trends based on industry growth, technological trends, and regional trends. The third section concludes by providing projected revenues for transparent ceramics within each segment, together with forecast compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) for the period 2017 through 2022.

In the fourth section of the study, which covers the global industry structure, the report offers a list of the leading manufacturers of transparent ceramics, together with a description of their products. This analysis includes a description of the geographical distribution of these firms and an evaluation of other key industry players. Detailed company profiles of the top players are also provided.

The fifth and final section includes an analysis of recently issued U.S. patents, with a summary of patents related to transparent ceramic materials, fabrication methods, and applications. Patent analysis is performed by region, country, assignee, patent category, application, and material type.

Methodology and Information Sources
To analyze the overall market and its segments, both primary and secondary research methodologies were used to obtain market data.

The technology section of this report is based on information derived from technical literature, related BCC Research reports, professional journals, the author’s field experience, and online sources.

Global market analysis was performed by a thorough investigation of manufacturers of transparent ceramics, raw materials suppliers, producers of fabrication equipment, and developers of new technologies, accounting for at least 90% of the global market. Data were obtained from the direct contribution of primary sources, including company executives, managers, engineers and other technical personnel representing manufacturers, developers, and users of transparent ceramics and related technologies; representatives of academia and trade associations; and industry market analysts.

Additional data for each company were obtained by thoroughly analyzing Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, websites, annual reports, industry directories, industry magazines and catalogs, government sources, and other public sources.

Secondary sources of information include, but are not limited to:
• U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Filings.
• U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
• European Patent Office.
• Company websites.
• Company annual reports.
• Thomas Register.
• Moody’s Directory.
• S & P Industry Survey.
• Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory.
• Foreign Chamber of Commerce Directories.
• Foreign Stock Exchange Listings.
• American Ceramic Society Publications.
• American Chemical Society Publications.

In addition to utilizing the above primary and secondary sources, market growth trends and forecasts were compiled by gaining additional insights from relevant financial and market information, relevant BCC Research reports, and the author’s own in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the collected information.

Geographic Breakdown
In this report, the geographic regions considered for market analysis include, and only include:
• United States
• Europe
• Asia-Pacific
• Rest of the World

Executive Summary
Transparent ceramics are inorganic, non-metallic, polycrystalline materials characterized by light transmission in the visible as well as ultraviolet to infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The introduction of raw materials with improved characteristics (e.g., nanomaterials) and advanced fabrication processes that are more efficient and cost-effective have resulted in ceramics with enhanced optical properties being produced, helping to drive the popularity of these materials for applications in various industrial fields.

BCC Research has identified seven key sectors where transparent ceramics have a current and potential use: aerospace and defense, consumer; energy, healthcare, mechanical/chemical, optics and optoelectronics, and sensors and instrumentation.

This study provides an updated and comprehensive review of these materials, including their compositions and applications, and also outlines current technical issues and the latest technological developments. It also offers a detailed market analysis for transparent ceramics by segment (material, application, and region), describing technical aspects and trends that will affect future growth of this market.

As shown in the Summary Table, the global market for transparent ceramics increased from $165.8 million in 2015 to $194.1 million in 2016 and is estimated to reach $227.3 million by the end of 2017, corresponding to a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.1% during the two-year period.

Transparent ceramics for optical and optoelectronic applications currently represent the largest share of the market at an estimated 89.9% of the total in 2017, corresponding to $204.4 million in sales. Within this segment, transparent ceramics are primarily used for fabrication of lighting devices, lasers, and optical components.

The aerospace and defense sector also account for a significant share of the market with estimated revenues of $19.4 million in 2017, or 8.5% of the total. All the remaining applications combined (e.g., consumer, energy, mechanical/chemical, sensors and instrumentation, and healthcare) represent 1.6% of the total.

Demand for transparent ceramics is projected to continue growing at a rapid pace during the next five years, due to a variety of factors, including the following:
• Increased penetration in different sectors, particularly optoelectronics, sensors and instrumentation, and energy.
• Healthy growth of certain industry segments, such as light-emitting diode lighting and solar cells, where transparent ceramics are being introduced.
• Availability of advanced raw materials and processing methods which will facilitate the manufacturing of products with improved properties.
• Rising levels of research and development activity.

As a result, the total market for transparent ceramics is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 19.3% from 2017 to 2022, reaching global revenues of $548.7 million by 2022.

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