Global Ceramic Balls Market: Introduction
Spherical in shape, ceramic balls are rolling elements that offer higher stiffness, light weight, lower thermal expansion, higher electrical resistance, and increased corrosion resistance than steel balls. Ceramic balls are made of various ceramic materials that can withstand heat and friction at a higher level than that of standard ball bearings. These balls are much stronger and provide greater shelf life. Ceramic balls offer greater chemical resistance and are faster than steel balls. Therefore, they can be used in various applications. However, ceramic balls are more expensive and lack electrical conductivity.
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Ceramic balls are manufactured by pressing a ceramic powder binder mixture in a preform shape. After the ball is sintered, the part lines are removed via finish-grinding. Lapping and precision finishing is then used to design or grade dimensions and product specifications such as diameter, sphericity, and surface finish. Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) may be used after sintering for applications that require a fully-dense material with specific material properties. HIP produces ceramic balls with pore-free microstructure and micron-sized grains.
Global Ceramic Balls Market: Segmentation
The global ceramic balls market can be segmented based on function, material, application, end-use industry, and region. Based on function, the global ceramic balls market can be bifurcated into inert and active. In terms of material, the global ceramic balls market can be classified into silicon, alumina, zirconia, and others. Silicon-based ceramic balls exhibit superior properties such as high temperature resistance, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Thus, these play an important role in the automotive industry. Ceramic balls provide better performance and superior properties compared to their substitutes such as metals and alloys. This is projected to drive the silicon segment of the global ceramic balls market during the the forecast period.
Based on the application, the global ceramic balls market can be segregated into bearing, grinding, valve, and others. In terms of end-use industry, the ceramic balls market can be categorized into automotive, chemical, aerospace, and others. Ceramic balls are lightweight, resistant to corrosion & heat, and durable. These properties make them one of the preferred products of the automotive end-use industry. The automotive industry requires materials that offer reduced weight and increased efficiency for vehicles. These requirements have encouraged various players in the automotive industry to use ceramic balls as turbochargers, check balls, bearings, gauges, engine components, and other automotive parts. Thus, increase in usage of ceramic balls in the automotive industry is expected to be a major factor driving the global ceramic balls market during the forecast period.
Global Ceramic Balls Market: Trends & Developments
Rise in demand for ceramic balls, owing to their superior properties in comparison to other alloys and metals, is one of the significant factors expected to drive the global ceramic balls market during the forecast period. Growth in the automotive industry is also boosting the demand for ceramic balls in applications such as valves, bearings, and turbochargers. Furthermore, increase in spending in the chemical sector is contributing to the growth of the ceramic balls market. However, high manufacturing costs associated with ceramic balls acts as a major factor restraining the global ceramic balls market.
Substitution of steel balls with ceramic balls is another major factor propelling the global ceramic balls market. Ceramic balls are increasingly replacing steel balls in various applications such as bearings valves, and grinding media.
Global Ceramic Balls Market: Regional Outlook
Based on region, the global ceramic balls market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is estimated to dominate the global ceramic balls market in the near future. Growth of the global ceramic balls market in Asia Pacific can be ascribed to the expansion of the automotive industry in countries such as China, India, and Japan; and presence of well-established automotive manufacturers in the region.
Global Ceramic Balls Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global ceramic balls market include Honeywell International, Saint-Gobain, Axens, Ltd., Coorstek Inc., Toshiba Materials Co., Fineway Inc., Metalball, Devson Catalyst Private Limited, Global Precision Ball & Roller, Industrial Tectonics Inc., and Topack Ceramics Pvt. Ltd.