Transparent ceramics are a visually transparent category of ceramics. Transparent ceramics are crystal-like and glassy in nature. These ceramics are used as optically transparent materials in different forms. They are derivatives obtained from silica-based glass through crystallization. Transparent ceramics are used as a substitute to conventional glass. New product launches and acquisitions are some of the key strategies adopted by the market players to achieve a competitive edge in the transparent ceramics market.
Increasing demand from optoelectronic segment is a major driver for the transparent ceramics market. The high production cost associated with transparent ceramics prove to be a stumbling block for the growth of the transparent ceramics market. High prices of raw materials such as sapphire lead to an increase in cost of transparent ceramics, thus elevating the prices of end products. As a result, industries prefer to use cheaper substitutes.
Transparent Ceramics Market Taxonomy
The global transparent ceramics market is segmented on the basis of type, materials, and end use as follows:
On the basis of type;
- Monocrystalline Transparent Ceramics
- Polycrystalline Transparent Ceramics
- Other Transparent Ceramics
On the basis of materials;
- Yttrium Aluminum Garnet
- Aluminum Oxynitride
- Other Materials
On the basis of end use;
- Optics & Optoelectronics
- Aerospace, Defense & Security
Monocrystalline transparent ceramics is the largest market segment for transparent ceramics due to its excellent optical transparency and mechanical strength. Owing to these properties, they are widely used in optoelectronics and aerospace, defense & security applications. They are also used as insulators. Sapphire, due to its high transparency properties, is used instead of standard glass to meet the high transparency demands in specific applications. The excellent mechanical and optical properties of transparent ceramics have elevated its demand in the optics & optoelectronics industry, which in turn has bolstered the market growth. It is used to develop CMOS, CCDs, and transmitters. The use of transparent ceramics across aerospace & defense industry has been increasing due to the availability of capital and robust technology in this industry. The material is used to produce armors, windows, and hemispherical domes for aircrafts and missiles.
- Asia Pacific is a major market for transparent ceramics due to low labor cost and high demand for transparent ceramics across numerous applications. The rising demand from electronics and defense industries in major economies such as China and India drives the market growth in this region. Asia Pacific is also estimated to be the fastest-growing market for transparent ceramics. The region offers potential opportunity due to its strong customer base, strong manufacturing base, and governmental regulations that favor foreign investments, leading to market growth in the emerging countries. The strong electronic market in the region further creates growth opportunities for transparent ceramics over the forecast period
- Availability of capital for technological advancements in the aviation & defense sector in the Middle East, is expected to drive market growth in this region. The Africa market is projected to witness growth over the forecast period owing to the presence of numerous untapped markets in the region, which attracts manufacturers to highly invest in it
- The ceramic & glass refractory and iron & steel industry drive the market growth in Europe. Europe provides the global transparent market with opportunities for technological advancements due to the presence of global players such as Saint Gobain
- In North America, the U.S. is the major consumer of transparent ceramics. This is due to the increasing use of transparent ceramics in defense sector. The market is entering maturity owing to the already developed market for transparent ceramics in the region
- For instance, in December 2014, CoorsTek, Inc. acquired Covalent Materials Corporation, a Japan based engineered ceramics manufacturer. This acquisition has helped CoorsTek, Inc. to increase customer base and overall market presence in Asian market.
- For instance, in May 2015, CeramTec acquired DAI Ceramics Inc., a American based ceramic manufacturer. DAI Ceramics provides ceramics to the gas turbine components and medical engineering applications. This acquisition has helped CeramTec to strengthen its presence in American market.
- For instance, in February 2017, CeramTec acquired UK electro-ceramics business from Morgan Advanced Materials. The acquisition comprises two manufacturing sites at Ruabon and Southampton, from Morgan Advanced Materials plc. This acquisition has helped CeramTec to increase customer base and product portfolio in European market.
Some of the key players operating in the transparent ceramics market include CoorsTek Inc. (U.S.), Schott AG (Germany), Surmet Corporation (U.S.), II-VI Optical Systems (U.S.), Brightcrystals Technology Inc. (China), CILAS (France), and CeramTec-ETEC GmbH (Germany), among others, who have adopted various strategies to increase their market shares.