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The global ceramic foam market is mainly driven by the large-scale use of the material as a metallurgical industry filter and as a thermal or sound-insulating material in the metal casting, automotive, and construction industries. In addition, the increasing use of the material for controlling soot emissions from automotive diesel engines is supporting the growth of the market. Besides, ongoing research and development and advancements in production and fabrication methods to create low-cost, high-quality material are expected to provide growth opportunities to the players in the ceramic foam market during the forecast period.
Ceramic foam is a material with low thermal conductivity, enhanced filtration capabilities, and high temperature resistance; it is made up of different oxide and non-oxide ceramic varieties, such as aluminum oxide, titanium oxide, and silicon carbide. It is used in a wide range of applications, such as absorption of pollutants, filtration of molten alloys, and acoustic and thermal insulation. It is also used for supporting stiff, lightweight structural materials and reflecting telescope mirrors. It is produced by impregnating open-cell polymer foam with ceramic slurry and then burning it in a furnace.
Based on type, the ceramic foam market is categorized into silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, titanium oxide, zirconium oxide, and others. The demand for silicon carbide type is increasing owing to the high-quality and advanced-grade ceramic used in the manufacturing of foam. This imparts various superior properties to it, such as high strength, great wear and thermal shock resistance, low thermal expansion, and high protection against chemicals, thus making it suitable for a wide range of applications.
Ceramic foam is widely used in molten metal filtration, automotive exhaust filters, flame stabilization, thermal and acoustic insulation, catalyst reactors, biomedical, and other applications. The growing demand for the material for the thermal and acoustic insulation of residential and non-residential structures is anticipated to drive the market growth during the forecast period. Besides, growing awareness on thermal and acoustic insulation in developing economies and increasing residential re-insulation in developed economies for saving energy costs are the factors supporting the ceramic foam market growth, globally.
An insulated residential building can save up to 20.0% of routine energy costs, as it considerably brings down the heating and cooling costs during summers and winters, respectively. A study conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) concluded that the installation of an insulation system in a building can reduce up to 18.0% of cooling and heating costs. Besides, the U.S. federal government offers tax credit to qualifying insulation purchases.
In addition, many European countries have passed legislations with respect to the grades of insulation materials to be installed at homes, based on the climatic conditions in the country. The European Commission’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) focuses on the usage and grades of insulation materials and their environmental impact. These government initiatives have led to the increased usage of home and commercial insulation materials, mostly retrofit, in recent years. Thus, the growing demand for insulation materials is expected to continue driving the growth of the ceramic foam market in the coming years.
Some of the major players operating in the global ceramic foam market are Ultramet, Vesuvius plc, SELEE Corporation, ERG Aerospace Corporation, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A., Pyrotek, Induceramic, LANIK s.r.o., Drache GmbH, and American Elements.