Ceramic textiles are fabrics impregnated with ceramic. Products made from ceramic materials are often used as components in mechanical and plant engineering processes which require thermal and chemical resistance. These ceramic textile composites can be further mixed with magnetic powders, leading to higher permeability in the product thus developed. Polymer-ceramic composites exhibit high permittivity with restricted loss tangent, depending on the mix ratio. Conductive textiles coated with carbon nanotubes and gold carry promising features to achieve high conductivity and mechanical flexibility, which are critical aspects of load bearing antennas. The strong adhesive bond between the conductive textile and the polymer-ceramic surface aids the creation of flexible, conformal, lightweight ceramic textile products.
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Ceramic textiles or ceramic matrix composites are non-brittle refractory materials designed for severe (high corrosive, pressure, temperature, and stress levels) environments. As opposed to structural materials, ceramic textiles are still at a nascent stage but there do exist a few developed and tested ceramic-reinforced textile materials operating in extreme conditions.
Ceramic textiles or smart fabrics are far more complex than a blend of wools, cottons, and polyesters. Fiber-reinforced ceramics are a key technology employed in the manufacturing of rocket engines. Some of their advantages include low specific weight, high specific strength over a large temperature range, and excellent damage tolerance, especially compared to monolithic ceramics, making them tremendously interesting as a construction material.
Ceramic cloth is touted to be a major market due to the extraordinary properties demonstrated by the textile such as heat insulation and good performance at low temperatures. It has wide applications in welding foundry works, aluminum and steel mills, boiler insulation and seal, shipyards, refineries, power plants, and chemical plants. Its ability to eliminate heat in high temperature applications is anticipated to drive this market, apart from its usage in a range of emerging industries, such as aerospace and alternate energy. Refractory ceramic fiber (RCF) is a prominent segment of the ceramic textile market. RCF is a versatile material which can be spun or blown into bulk, air-laid into a blanket, folded into modules, converted into papers, boards, and shapes, die-cut into gaskets, twisted into yarns, woven into rope and cloth, and blended into liquid binders for mastics and cements. The ceramic textiles market is dominated by industrial end-users including petrochemicals, iron & steel, and other metals.
The ceramic textile market can be divided into the following segments: alumina-silica ceramic fiber and refractory ceramic fiber in terms of the type of ceramic fiber; ropes, cloth, and tapes by textile type; North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa) based on region; and petrochemicals, iron & steel, aluminum, and power generation by end-user.
Asia Pacific is a major, rapidly growing market for ceramic textiles, owing to the infrastructural growth in this region, besides the presence of emerging economies and increasing industrialization. It is followed by North America and Latin America.
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Key players include Morgan Thermal Ceramics, KEIR Manufacturing Inc., Ibiden Co. Ltd., Luyang Energy-saving Materials Co. Ltd., Kyocera Corporation, Mineral Seal Corporation, Morgan Advanced Materials Plc., Rath Inc., Rauschert Steinbach GmbH, The 3M Company, Unifrax Corporation, Zircar Zirconia, Inc., and Toyo International.
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