Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are a class of materials that show considerable promise to provide fracture-toughness values similar to the one needed for metals such as cast iron. Ceramic matrix composites primarily of two types are being developed, wherein the first type includes continuous reinforcement such as fiber, and the second type includes discontinuous reinforcing phase such as whiskers. Failure behavior is the major difference between the two types of CMCs that are under development. Continuous-fiber-reinforced materials can support a load even after matrix failure. On the other hand, incorporating whiskers into ceramic matrix improves their resistance to crack growth. High-temperature silicon carbide reinforcements have been particularly important for the technology of toughened ceramics.
CMCs display the distinguishable property of being as strong as metal, yet are lighter that can withstand high temperatures. CMCs are designed to substitute refractory metals and other materials in high temperature applications that have erosion or deformation concerns. This is because their design and functional configuration is suitable for a several propulsion and thermal protection applications. Excellent structural performance, resistance to thermal shock, lower thermal conductivity and lower density than refractory metals, and erosion and oxidation resistance provided at high temperatures due to environmental barrier coating are some of the added features of ceramic matrix composites.
CMCs are increasingly being used in military and commercial jet engines and industrial turbines as their weight is one-third of nickel super-alloys that were previously used and can operate at temperatures as much as 500°F higher than nickel super-alloys.
Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are a type of composite material as well as a kind of technical ceramic. The increased application for CMCs in electrical power generation, aerospace, and maritime propulsion is projected to increase the demand for ceramic matrix composites to a great extent over the coming period.
The report discusses key information about major growth drivers, restraints, opportunities, and trends observed in the global ceramic matrix composites market. Factors such as market projections, the supply-demand ratio, market size, market attractiveness, technological advances, and key segments have been studied in detail. The eramic matrix composites market shares, product portfolios, and business strategies of the major market players have been revealed, along with authentic statistical data, figures, charts, and tables.
Some manufacturers have come up with CMCs that are fabricated through a fast melt infiltration process, which is time and cost efficient when compared with traditional chemical vapor infiltration process. This reduction in cost and time will contribute towards higher production of ceramic matrix composites. Governments of several countries such as the U.S. have been making large-scale investments in the manufacturing of CMCs. Moreover, rocket engines, jet engines, furnaces, nuclear components, welding tools, refractory components, spacecraft re-entry shielding, gas turbines, and engines for automobiles also incorporate CMCs. Replacement of superalloys also requires CMCs. The aforementioned applications will significantly fuel growth of the eramic matrix composites market.
Since CMCs are good conductors of electricity, are light weight, and stable even at high temperatures, they are becoming increasingly adopted across various industries such as electronics, defense, and thermal management. Furthermore, ceramic matrix compounds are likely to replace conventional alloys on account of their thermal stability, increasing their demand.
However, the eramic matrix composites market growth will be obstructed by the costs of ceramic matrix composites, which are heavily dependent on the cost of ceramic fibers. Besides this factor, high costs of raw materials used for ceramic matrix composites on account of energy intensive production will also restrain market expansion. Nonetheless, substantial opportunities will be presented by the energy and power sector, as it is a rapidly growing application segment.
The defense segment is another application segment which will adopt CMCs to a great extent. CMCs have exceptional impact strength and thermal stability, both of which qualities are treasured by the bulletproof armor producing industry. As they can operate at a temperature as high as 1300 C, CMCs will be increasingly preferred by several technologically advanced engines, widening growth opportunities.
Based on geography, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and MEA can be the major regional segments. Of these, Europe and North America, on account of the presence of most number of the leading market players, are at the headmost position. Moreover, high development of defense and aerospace sectors in North America is also responsible for growth in this region. Asia Pacific is projected to advance rapidly because of large-scale investments by multinational companies in order to meet the continuously rising demands from various applications. The increased defense expenditures of China and India will also benefit the global market for CMCs.
Key market vendors are emphasizing cost efficiency, as current production requires high amount of capital. In 2013, GE Aviation, one of the leading companies in the market for CMCs, announced its intention of building an advanced composite component factory in North Carolina, where CMC components will be manufactured. This is expected to lead to an increase in competition amongst the leading companies.
Some of the major companies operating in the global eramic matrix composites market are Applied Thin Films, Inc., 3M Company, General Electric Company, Ube Industries, Ltd., and CoorsTek, Inc.
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