Synthetic Sapphire Market 2017–2027
Synthetic sapphire are gemstones which are created from a method known as flame fusion and are gaining huge demand as an industrial materials due to their chemical, mechanical, optical, structural, and thermal & dielectric properties. They are widely used in the production of the window due to its exceptional properties of scratch-resistance and high transparency to the wavelength of light. Moreover, it is also used as a substrate for the semiconductor circuits. Furthermore, synthetic sapphire is also used in the manufacturing of Ultra Violet (UV) and Infra-red (IR) optics, electrical insulators, watch crystals, thin film deposition, watch glasses, and transparent electronic substrates.
The global synthetic sapphire market is projected to reach around US$ 11.8 billion by the end of 2027, in terms of revenue, growing at CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period (2019-2027).
Rising adoption of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lightning over incandescent and CFLs due to their energy efficiency and longer life span is expected to foster the market growth of synthetic sapphire. Sapphire substrates are widely used in the production of LEDs and rising awareness regarding the benefits of LEDs and increasing implementation of strict rules and regulations are exepcted to propel the market growth of synthetic sapphire over the forecast timeframe.
Growing demand for sapphire from the semiconductor industry is expected to foster the market growth of synthetic sapphire. According to the Coherent Market Insights, sapphire substrate accounts for approximately 95% of substrate material used for manufacturing LED. Sapphire is widely used in the production of chips and Fab materials. Moreover, the high demand for pattern sapphire substrate (larger diameter- 4’’, 6’’, 8’’) is another major factor projected to augment the growth of the global synthetic sapphire.
On basis of the region, Asia Pacific dominated the global synthetic sapphire market in 2018, accounting for 50.3% share in terms of volume, followed by Europe and North America, respectively.
Figure 1. Global Synthetic Sapphire Market, Revenue Share (%), By Region, 2018
The market of synthetic sapphire is characterized by the presence of a large number of players and also the entry of new players which lowers the price of sapphire and this factor is expected to hinder the market growth over the forecast. According to the Coherent Market Insights, the price of a two-inch equivalent (TIE) sapphire wafer price dropped from US$ 25 billion in 2015 to US$ 1.25 billion in 2016. Moreover, in 2014–2015, some of the major players in the market exited the market due to intense price pressure.
With the advent of technology, the value of synthetic sapphire will only go down because as the technology improves the cost of production will reduce. However, natural gems are rare and this will keeps their value high. Therefore, with the advancement in technology the prices of synthetic sapphire will reduce which is expected to hinder the market growth.
Rising application of synthetic sapphire from the medical industry where it is used to manufacture devices is expected to augment the market growth of synthetic sapphire over the forecast period. They are used to produce endoscope lenses, laser hair removal systems, blood cell counters, insulators, and blades. Therefore, growing demand from the healthcare industry will favor market growth over the forecast period.
Due to its excellent optical and mechanical properties sapphire are widely used in UV to IR ranges which has a wide range of application in aeronautical jewel applications is expected to augment the market growth. Viewports, infrared countermeasure lamps, FLIR (forward looking infrared) systems, salt / sand blowing environments, vibration sensors, fire/flame sensors for aircraft, and instrumentation/aircraft gauges are some of the emerging applications of synthetic sapphire in the aerospace industry.
Figure 2. Global Synthetic Sapphire Market– Opportunity Analysis
The rising launch of advanced electronic goods such as smartphones produced from sapphire is exepcted to foster the market growth of synthetic sapphire over the forecast timeframe. For instance, in November 2019, Xiaomi launched its new MIUI watch that has a rectangular design instead of a circular one. Moreover, the images show that the Xiaomi watch include four-curve sapphire glass display designs which will give it a completely different look.
The rising trend of introducing novel and new sapphire products will favor the market growth of synthetic sapphire over the forecast timeframe. For instance, in February 2015, Rubicon Technology Inc., a provider of sapphire substrates and products to the LED, semiconductor, consumer electronics, and optical industries, has launched the first synthetic sapphire crystal of its size and thickness, meeting a key milestone in its Large-Area Net-Shape Crystal Extraction (LANCE) project. At 36" x 18" x 2", this sapphire product will serve the demanding needs of defense applications, along with future commercial and industrial applications.
Figure 3. Global Synthetic Sapphire Market, Revenue Share (%), By Application, in 2018
On the basis of application, in 2018, optical segment has accounted the largest market share of 32.6% in terms of value, followed by sapphire substrates and display respectively.
Figure 4. Global Synthetic Sapphire Market – Value Chain Analysis
Key players operating in global synthetic sapphire market are Rubicon Technology Inc., KYOCERA Corporation, Saint-Gobain S.A., SCHOTT AG, Monocrystal, Inc., Rayotek Scientific Inc., CRYSTALWISE TECHNOLOGY INC., ILJIN Display CO., Ltd, Namiki Precision Jewel Co., Ltd., Juropol Sp. z o.o.
Few Recent Developments
Rubicon Technology, Inc.
- In September 2016, the company announced to shut down the production and processing plant of sapphire at Penang, Malaysia.
- In October 2015, the company manufactured 36 x 18 x 2 inches sapphire crystal for applications in aerospace, defense and military through its LANCE project.