Global Silicon Carbide Market: Overview
Silicon carbide (SiC) (or carborundum) is extremely hard compound of crystalline compound of silicon and carbon produced synthetically and has been popularly used as abrasives and in cutting tools world over. More recent applications driving the market are in refractory linings for industrial furnaces and in wear-resistant parts for pumps. The extensive usage of SiC as semiconducting substrates for LED has led the compound to occupy as a crucial role in semiconductor industry world over. Products made of silicon carbide find commercial usage in engineering applications. Owing to the extreme hardness SiC displays comparable that of diamond, along with exciting semiconductor characteristics it has, bolsters its uptake in applications that demand high corrosion resistance.
The range of applications of SiC in end-use industries such as automotive, steel and energy, aerospace, aviation, military and defense, electronics and semiconductors, and medical and healthcare is driving the silicon carbide market. The advances being made in these end-use industries is also catalyzing the growth of the silicon carbide market. Furthermore, the advent of advanced manufacturing processes has further expanded the specialized applications of silicon carbide.
The silicon carbide market is projected to proliferate at a robust CAGR of 15.3% during 2013– 2019. The valuation of the market was pegged at US$1.45 Bn in 2012.
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Applications in Medical and Healthcare Sector and Automotive Industry to rise at Substantial Pace
Among the various end-use applications, the troika of electronics and semiconductors, steel and energy, and automotive sectors accounted for a majority of the global share in 2012. However, the medical and healthcare sector in combination with the automotive industry is expected to be an attractive segment. The combined segment is poised to rise at the highest CAGR over the forecast period. SiC as performance ceramic is prominently used in ceramic brake pads for various high-end vehicles, including sports cars, which is boosting the product demand in the automotive industry.
Black and Green Silicon Carbide Segments rule the roost
Broadly, based on product, the silicon carbide market can be segmented into black and green, along with the ‘others’ segment comprising coated SiC, refractory SiC, metallurgical SiC and metallurgical briquettes, and SiC micro grit. Black and green SiC jointly accounted for the lion’s share of over 90% in the global market in 2012 and is expected to hold their sway through 2019. The combined segment is also forecast to rise at the highest CAGR over the assessment period. The types of SiC that fall under the other category has niche applications and the scenario is not likely to change anytime soon.
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Asia Pacific and RoW Region to rise at Prominent Growth Rate, Europe home to Lucrative Avenues
The various regional segments in the global silicon carbide market are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the region called Rest of World (RoW). Of these, Asia Pacific led the pack and held over half the share the global market in 2012. The prominence of this regional market is attributed to the presence of a robust distribution infrastructure. Of the remaining regional segments, Europe and RoW contributed a share of over 30% in the global market.
The substantial demand for SiC products in the automotive sector is a key factor driving the demand in Europe market. The rapid rise in demand for SiC in several developing countries such as China, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, and India has resulted in the RoW region and Asia Pacific showing vast lucrative opportunities for market players to capitalize on. These regions are anticipated to expand at CAGR greater than all others over the assessment period.