The global refractories market generated revenue of $27.8 billion in 2021, and the market size will advance at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period, to reach $42.2 billion by 2030. This can be ascribed to the rising infrastructure development activities and increasing use of non-ferrous materials.
Another major factor that drives the industry is the growing demand for this material from the glass industry. Owing to their high temperature resistance, refractories are used on a large scale in the glass industry, in different parts of furnaces, including the bottom and lower sidewalls, superstructures, regenerators, and crow. The performance of the furnaces affects glass manufacturers in terms of the production cost and quality of the glass. Refractories in different areas of a glass furnaces suffer different operating environments; therefore, different types of refractories are used in different parts of the furnace.
Refractories are used on the interior linings of furnaces in which iron and steel are heated before further processing; hence, the iron and steel sector accounts for the greatest proportion of refractory consumption. These materials are also used to retain and move metal and slag, as well as in flues or stacks that carry hot gases. The need for metallurgical goods is increasing as infrastructure develops.
Refractories made from clay are the most widely used because of their lower price and suitability for many applications, such as kilns, furnaces, stoves, and regenerators. Clay refractories have wide-ranging applications, are the cheapest among all the refractory bricks, and used in huge volumes in the iron and steel industry, non-ferrous metallurgy applications, glass industry, pottery kilns, and cement industry. With the increasing demand for them from various industries, clay bricks are being used in large amounts, and this trend will continue over the forecast period.
Key players in the refractories market have been involved in a variety of strategic developments to remain competitive. For instance:
Some of the major players operating in the market are Alsey Refractories Co., Corning Incorporated, Harbinson Walker International, Krosaki Harima Corporation, Morgan Advanced Materials, Puyang Refractories Group Co. Ltd., RHI Magnesita GmbH, Ruitai Materials Technology Co. Ltd., Saint-Gobain, and Shinagawa Refractories Co. Ltd.