BCC Research estimates that the global consumption of advanced and nanoscale ceramic powders will rise from $9 billion in 2013 to $12.1 billion in 2018, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% over the next five years.
This report provides:
An in-depth analysis of the advanced ceramics and nanoceramic powders market.
Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2012, estimates for 2013, and projections of compounds annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2018.
Identification of suppliers, major user industries, and major issues related to the production and commercialization of advanced ceramic and nanosized ceramic powders.
Examination of the technological as well as business issues related to the commercial production and use of advanced ceramic and nanoceramic powders.
Comprehensive company profiles of key players in the market.
Advanced ceramic and nanoceramic powders generally refer to inorganic nonmetallic granular materials that are fabricated from chemical processes, as differentiated from what are termed industrial minerals. The latter group is mined directly from the earth and purified and reduced in size to particular specifications. The advanced ceramic and nanoceramic powders covered in this report are oxides, carbides, nitrides and borides that, with a few exceptions, are sold as starting materials for solid commercial articles.
The origination of advanced ceramic powders in the post-World War II era was due to two factors: (1) a need for higher purity of ceramics for dielectric applications and (2) a need for a lower and smaller-size defect population for higher-temperature performance parts. These properties were not obtainable with processed minerals and therefore necessitated starting powder production by chemical precipitation and other methods. The fact that precipitated aluminum oxide (alumina) is an intermediate via the Bayer Process in the Hall-Heroult plating of aluminum metal contributed an already existing Advanced Ceramic Powder for utilization in advanced ceramic applications.
From the initial uses of alumina powder for ceramic substrates, where reproducible electric properties were required, use of precipitated powders spread to areas such as the barium titanate family of high-dielectric-constant capacitor materials, where in order to produce the proper ceramic material, pure small-particle-size precursors of barium and titanium oxides are necessary. Structural ceramics such as silicon carbide and silicon nitride had long been identified as favorable materials in high temperature strength applications, but due to the small internal or surface defect size, which can cause fracture of these materials, more uniform chemically pure starting materials became desired than were commonly available in the mid-twentieth century.
The two critical properties of advanced ceramic powders that dominate the quality of fabricated ceramics derived from them are (1) particle size distribution and (2) chemical purity. The use of chemical precipitation or other controlled powder synthesis techniques enable the tailoring of particle size, size distribution and shape, while at the same time the purity can be established at the level of the starting chemicals utilized in the powder manufacturing. These properties are important in controlling every step of the ceramic manufacturing process including ceramic slurry rheology, particle compaction during pressing, initially formed article (green body) strength and drying behavior, microstructure development during heat treatment (sintering) and any subsequent annealing, and finally the properties of the finished part. The latter include the critical performance property(ies) of the finished part for which controlled starting powder is necessary.
The combination of the factors of reduced production costs and identification of appropriate markets has enabled nanoscale ceramic powders to find a commercial presence. Initially only obtainable in microgram quantities via vapor phase condensation techniques, more economical production methods have surfaced, including those adapted from chemical precursor methods developed for ceramic powders.