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Hard coatings are a coating technique by anodization of sulfuric acid with the electrolyte concentration, temperature and electric current parameters altered to produce the hardened surface. Hard coatings are resistant to corrosion, hardness and wear, electrical and temperature resistant. Hard coatings have low friction coefficient after lubrication. Owing to these properties, the global hard coatings market is expected to have an increased demand.
Hard coatings are used for coating the lenses to make them scratch resistant thereby, improving the durability and longevity. Hard coatings find applications in cutting tools, decorative coatings, optics, gears, bearings, cams, cylinders, hydraulic and pneumatic components, injection moulding dies, implants and firearms.
The hard coatings process is mainly performed in two ways: physical vapor deposition (PVD) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Physical vapor deposition is a vaporisation coating technique where the base material is used to form a thin coating layer on an object by evaporating and condensing the material used. Hard coatings comprise ceramics or metals such as oxides, nitrides and carbides. The technology used in the physical vapor deposition are electron beam, sputter deposition, evaporative deposition, physical vapor deposition, pulsed laser deposition and cathodic arc deposition. Owing to its hardness and wear resistance, reduced friction and improved oxidation resistance, the PVD technique is in demand in various end-use industries such as aerospace, automotive, cutting tools and others.
CVD is an atmosphere-controlled coating technique wherein the precursor, in solid state, is coated in a gaseous form in a CVD reactor. It is used for surface coating process to produce high purity, fine grained and impervious bulk materials that are used across various industries. Such coatings are used in optical fibre industry, in semiconductor and related devices, nanomachines and others. Other techniques include dipping, sol gel, micro-oxidation, packed diffusion, ionic beam surface treatment and laser assisted techniques.
The global hard coatings market is expected to witness a significant growth during the forecast period (2017-2023). The growing demand from the automotive and healthcare sectors is the key driver for the global market. Borides are expected to be the largest material type segment in the global market during the forecast period. Based on application, the manufacturing segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. Based on deposition technique, physical vapor deposition (PVD) is expected to be the fastest growing segment in the global hard coatings market during the forecast period.
The rising focus on new product development, innovations and research and development activities are expected to generate opportunities for the key players operating in the global hard coatings market during the forecast period. Additionally, new advancements in several developing countries are expected to showcase a positive trend in the hard coatings market. In automotive industry, lightweight materials are being chosen owing to less fuel consumption and decreased carbon dioxide emissions. Policies for restricting hex chrome electroplating owing to environmental concerns in economies such as Europe and the U.S. is likely to further boost the growth of the hard coatings market.
The rapid development of the healthcare market across the globe is expected to fuel the growth of the global hard coatings market during the forecast period. Additionally, the growing awareness among consumers regarding the efficiency and benefits of using hard coatings is anticipated to accelerate the growth of the market during the forecast period.
The global market for hard coatings is expected to gain traction in Asia-Pacific region owing to the increased demand for decorative coatings and cutting tools. Cutting tools is the fastest growing application segment in India, China and Malaysia. The steady application, durability and less time exhaustive properties of PVD technology is utilized in cutting tools industry thereby, allowing it to replace the conventional deposition technology.
The rising awareness towards the benefits of hard coatings has led to the usage of such coatings in a varied range of end-user industries such as automotive, general manufacturing and construction. Hard coatings are used for wear protection of machine components. They also find applications in general manufacturing industry owing to its greater functionality, increased lifetime, increased energy efficiency thereby, reducing the fuel consumption and lubricant requirements.
The key restraints hampering the growth of the global hard coatings market are high total cost of ownership and high capital investment market. Additionally, developments of cost effective substitutes are expected to pose challenges for the growth of the global market.
The major companies operating in the global market include IHI Ionbond AG, CemeCon AG Germany, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Sulzer Ltd., IHI Hauzer Techno Coating B.V, Duralar Technologies, MBI Coatings, Platit AG, Exxene Corporation and ASB Industries, Inc.
By material type
By deposition technique
By end-use industry