Refractory materials or refractories are materials that are resistant to high temperature, pressure, and chemical corrosion or decomposition. Refractory materials can endure very high temperatures, in excess of the 1,000 °F mark, which is important for many different manufacturing processes and are by nature more heat-resistant than metals. Refractories are therefore to line the inside surfaces of furnaces, kilns, incinerators, and reactors which are used commonly for many industrial processes. Refractory materials are also used in making moulds or crucibles that are used commonly in casting glass and metals, surfacing flame deflector systems, rocket launch structures, among other applications. Refractories can be produced from both natural and synthetic materials. They are generally non-metallic by composition and may be produced by using combinations of compounds and minerals such as fireclays, bauxite, chromite, dolomite, magnesite, silicon carbide among others. Oxides of aluminium, magnesium, calcium, and zirconium can be used for producing refractories.
COVID-19 scenario analysis:
- Coronavirus has affected the import and export of construction materials. China is the largest exporter of construction materials globally. Negative trends in the economy of China are anticipated to reduce the global import and export throughout the globe.
- Demand for new construction materials have witnessed a massive negative shift since the corona outbreak in December 2019, with manufactures and investors fearing an excessively receding economic growth.
- Travel prohibitions around the globe have affected the trade of construction materials. Thus, the supply and demand for construction materials are almost halted throughout the globe.
- Construction materials manufacturing companies located in China, are the major sufferers of from the virus outbreak, owing to lockdown and unavailability of logistics in the region.
- The major hindrance for the global construction materials market comes from the orders of home quarantine by respective governments, which has led to the discontinuing of production of construction materials.
- Decreased consumer demand and consumption has led to reduction and slowdown of sales of construction materials all over the globe over the course of the current economic year.
- Therefore, the global refractories market is expected to be negatively affected in 2020.
Top impacting factors: Market Scenario Analysis, Trends, Drivers, Opportunities, Restraints and Impact Analysis
The global iron and steel industry, metal casting and metallurgy industries are important end users of the global refractories market. Refractories are extensively used in the production of cement. Refractories are also essential to the manufacture of petrochemical products and are widely used in petroleum refineries. Refineries are used to serve as a thermal barrier between a hot medium and the wall of a containing vessel, withstand thermal and physical stresses, protect against corrosion and provide thermal insulation. Refractories are used for lining furnaces, kilns, reactors, boilers, and other such applications. They are even used to form heat shields for the re-entry of space shuttles. Refractories are widely used in various applications to contain extreme heat and protect equipment from intense temperatures. Refractories come in various different shapes and sizes and can be pressed or moulded to specification as per their use in different insulation applications. However, the brick shape of refractories is the most used. The major restraining factor of the global refractories industry is the emission of particulate matter and harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, fluorides, and volatile organic compounds during the manufacturing process of refractory materials. Various governments all over the world and concerned international bodies have imposed environmental regulations and restrictions on the global refractories industry as a result. The opportunities for growth of the global refractories market come from the growing global construction market and the growing use of iron and steel in various applications and industries. The recyclability of refractory materials is also an important factor for the growth of the global refractories market.
The global refractories market trends are as follows:
Recyclability of refractory materials and use of refractory grogs
The production of refractory materials cause environmental degradation and pollution as particulate matter and harmful gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), fluorides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted during the manufacturing processes of refractories. Processes commonly used in the manufacture of refractories, such as crushing, grinding, calcining, and drying among others, cause emission of particulate matter (PM). Various harmful gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted during firing and tar & pitch operations. Various environmental regulations, regulations imposed on the waste disposal of refractory materials and guidelines regarding the use of refractories in various applications encourage recycling of refractories. Chrome-based refractories which are commonly used in the iron & steel industry are heavily recycled around the world. The various environmental pollution concerns and global awareness regarding the need to reduce global carbon footprint have led to the recycling of refractory materials with environmental sustainability in mind. Apart from preventive rules and regulations, various governments have put in place various tax incentives to promote waste recycling as a practise. Other similar motivating factors include increased taxes on landfill sites and emissions. Used refractory materials can be recycled to form secondary raw materials and are commonly known as refractory grogs. The recyclability of refractories depends on the quality of the refractory materials being recycled. High quality refractories can be easily and completely recycled for use in other processes, but low-quality refractories cannot be completely recycled. The need for recycling of refractory products has increased not only due to the environmental regulations imposed on the refractories market but also due to the increase in the cost of raw materials. Certain essential raw materials can be difficult and costly to procure. Therefore, recycling of refractories is expected to aid the growth of the global refractories market.
Rising global population, disposable income and urbanisation (Cement industry and iron-and-steel industry)
Iron & steel industry is one of the largest end-users of the global refractories market. Refractories are essential for the lining of various furnaces, ladles, kilns, boilers and incinerators which are essential to the steel and iron production processes. These production techniques require high operating temperatures (in excess of the 1,000 °F mark) and thus thermal insulation is very important. Cement production also requires application of refractories in the kilns for similar reasons. The rapid growth in iron & steel industry and the global cement industry in tandem with the growth of construction activity globally are important drivers for the global refractories market. Rising global population and urbanisation are causes behind the rapid infrastructural development worldwide. Non-ferrous metals possess excellent mechanical properties and material characteristics, are therefore used extensively in structural applications because they weigh less, have higher strength, and are resistant to chemical and atmospheric corrosion. They are also used to manufacture castings for use in construction industry applications among other industries.
Key benefits of the report:
- This study presents the analytical depiction of the global refractories market industry along with the current trends and future estimations to determine the imminent investment pockets.
- The report presents information related to key drivers, restraints, and opportunities along with detailed analysis of the global refractories market share.
- The current market is quantitatively analyzed to highlight the global refractories market growth scenario.
- Porter’s five forces analysis illustrates the potency of buyers & suppliers in the market.
- The report provides a detailed global refractories market analysis based on competitive intensity and how the competition will take shape in coming years.
Refractories Market Report Highlights
By Industry verticals
Key Market Players
Corning Incorporated, HarbisonWalker International, Vesuvius, Chosun Refractories, Morgan Advanced Materials, CoorsTek, Krosaki Harima, Saint-Gobain, Shinagawa Refractories, RHI Magnesita