Synthetic marble is a blend of fillers such as calcium carbonate and silica; and synthetic resins such as polyester and acrylate, pigments, and gel coat. Marble powder, calcium carbonate, and fine grained sand are the primary raw materials for the manufacture of synthetic marble. Synthetic marble has high tensile strength compared to natural marble and is more durable. It is also known as cultured marble or engineered marble. It is resistant to stains, water, and cleaning chemicals. Other key features of synthetic marble are low shrinkage, resistant to aging, high abrasion resistance, and minimum water absorption. Synthetic marble is employed in residential as well as non-residential sectors owing to their ease of transformation into desired shape and size. Furthermore, the cost of this marble is low. It also provides elegant and luxurious appearance. Synthetic marble is largely used in flooring, roofing, and wall products. The marble is gaining wide acceptance in the building & construction industry.
The global synthetic marble market can be segregated based on product and application. In terms of product, the market can be categorized into acrylic type, polyester type, sintered type, and composite type. The polyester type segment is expected to dominate the synthetic marble market, followed by the acrylic type segment, during the forecast period. Sintered and composite types are also gaining momentum due to their beneficial properties such as durability and resistance to chemicals. Based on application, the synthetic marble market can be divided into vanity tops, shower bases, window sills, wall panels, and tub & shower stalls. Vanity tops and showers are the leading application segments of the market. Demand for synthetic marble in tubs and shower stall is anticipated to rise significantly during the forecast period due to the increase in demand for leak-proof materials. Growth in interest in interior decoration coupled with rising demand for quality products is boosting the demand for synthetic marble
Expansion in the construction industry and rise in the number of residential complexes are prominent factors driving the synthetic marble market. Rising demand to maintain luxurious look in various commercial buildings such as hotels, memorial buildings, and churches is also propelling the synthetic marble market. Synthetic marble is lighter in weight and easy to process. Therefore, it is cheaper as compared to natural marbles. These features are fuelling the market for synthetic marble. Synthetic marble is prone to stress cracking and vulnerable to stain if manufactured without gel coats. Therefore, production of synthetic marble with inadequate gel coats or poor quality of raw material may hamper market growth. However, rise in investment in research & development activities to improve the quality of the product with substitute raw materials may open up new opportunities for synthetic marble manufacturers.
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Key players operating in the synthetic marble market include DuPont, Staron, LG Hausys, and Kuraray.