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Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) Market Overview
The global ceramic matrix composites (CMC) market is estimated to account for $2.2 billion in 2016 and is projected to witness a CAGR of 13.74% between 2016 to 2024. Growing demand for ceramic matrix composites in aerospace, defense, and electronics industries is driving the growth of the ceramic matrix composites market.
On the basis of product, the ceramic matrix composites market has been segmented into oxide, silicon carbide (SiC), carbon, and others. Silicon carbide matrix composite is estimated to hold the largest share in the market, accounting for more than 25% in 2017. The wide applications of SiC in industries including aerospace, defense and electronics is the key reason behind the large share of the category in the ceramic matrix composites market.
On the basis of application, the global ceramic matrix composites market has been segmented into aerospace, defense, electrical and electronics, energy and power, and others. Of these, aerospace is estimated to hold the largest share in the market, accounting for more than 15% in 2017. This can be attributed to the ability of CMCs to withstand high degree of heat and abrasion generated in defense environment. In addition, CMC materials offer high degree of hardness, tensile strength, and excellent impact resistance. These properties make these materials suitable for manufacturing defense equipment, bullet-proof armor, and insulation components in firearms and guns.
Globally, North America is expected to lead the ceramic matrix composites market in terms of size, during the forecast period. This can be ascribed to the strong presence of the aviation industry, which is one of the major consumers of CMC materials in this region. In addition, increasing investment in the defense and aerospace sectors by governments in the region is further fueling the consumption of CMCs in North America.
Ceramic Matrix Composites Market Dynamics
CMCs have been drawing the interest of the aerospace and automotive sectors owing to high strength-to-weight ratio, superior mechanical properties, and vast application scope. Such increase in interest on CMC materials is expected to shape the future of the ceramic matrix composites market dynamics during the forecast period. Increasing fuel prices have triggered the need for lightweight CMC materials-based components in order to boost fuel efficiency. This results in increased demand of this material in the automotive industry.
In recent years, key market players have increased their research expenditures to develop an efficient filtration process. Efficient and cost-effective processes will play a key role in the standardization of these components for serial production. Further, key players in the market are focusing on the cost-effective generation of matrix, which currently requires costly batch processes at high temperatures. This is identified as a major trend in the ceramic matrix composites market.
Increasing environmental concerns and stringent pollution control norms have forced automotive and aerospace component manufacturers to control automotive emissions. One of the most important factors affecting fuel efficiency and vehicular pollution is the curb weight, the reduction of which drastically increases fuel efficiency and eliminates pollution. CMCs are also increasingly being used in various aircraft, rocket ships, and aerospace shuttles to create lightweight, fuel-efficient, and durable structures, which in turn is driving the growth of the ceramic matrix composites market.
Ceramic composites have been widely used in various defense applications such as engine components, armor, missile radome, etc. Distinct characteristics such as lightweight, ability to withstand high temperatures, and resistance to corrosion offer growth opportunities to ceramic composites. A majority of ceramic materials are transparent to certain types of kinetic and photonic energy, which makes them suitable for use in sensor protection, infrared domes, and multi-spectral windows; thus, driving the growth of the ceramic matrix composites market.
Governmental regulations for lightweight and fuel-efficient systems are an important factor driving the growth of the ceramic matrix composites market. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) regulations are aimed at restricting vehicular emissions, thereby reducing their effect on human health and environment. The agency also requires automobile and aircraft manufacturers to provide emission test results under the ‘Clean Air Act’. Reduction in automotive emission requires the vehicle to be fuel efficient. Decrease in vehicular curb weight increases its fuel efficiency. Demand for CMC materials is growing as it decreases vehicular curb weight.
Despite the many benefits offered by CMCs, the difficulty in manufacturing and processing these materials calls for high initial investment. The high price of the product restrains its use in jet fighters, racecars, spacecraft, missiles, aircraft engines, and similar high-temperature applications; thereby, impeding the growth of the ceramic matrix composites market.
Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) Market Competitive Landscape
Some of the major players operating in the global ceramic matrix composites industry are The 3M Company, Applied Thin Films Inc., COI Ceramics Inc., General Electric, CoorsTek Inc., CeramTec, KYOCERA Corporation, Lancer Systems LP, SGL Carbon SE and Starfire Systems Inc.