Abrasives are hard materials used for wearing/shaping the soft surfaces of the work piece. Here, the friction between the abrasive materials when rubbed against the work piece, is used to obtain a smooth final product. Abrasives are hard and brittle and are found naturally or can be produced synthetically. Calcium carbonate (calcite), diamond dust, and emery are some naturally occurring abrasives. These abrasives are useful for processes such as polishing, grinding, sharpening, drilling, sanding, buffing, and cutting.

Market Dynamics

Properties such as hardness (harder than the surface to be rubbed), durability, flexibility, and brittleness are major factors that boost demand for abrasives during the forecast period. These properties are of utmost use in case of end-user industries such as automotive, machinery, and metal fabrication.

However, volatile prices of raw materials required for production of abrasives like silica sand and carbon is one of the major factors restraining growth of the market. Moreover, low availability of natural abrasives as compared to their synthetic substitutes and various health hazards like silicosis lung cancer and breathing problems when exposed to silica sand (a type of abrasive) are some challenges that are expected to hinder the market growth during the forecast period.

Market Outlook

  • Among material type, the synthetic segment accounts for a major market share. Synthetic abrasives are easily available as compared to naturally occurring ones. An alternative for emery is silicon carbide.
  • Although synthetic abrasives consist of certain impurities, these abrasives are preferred against natural abrasives such as emery and corundum due to their higher grain sizes.
  • Among end-use industry, automotive segment is expected to witness a major market share over the forecast period due to the emerging technological innovations in terms of this segment. Some innovations like Tesla, driverless tractors, etc. are examples of emerging technologies which will continue to develop during the forecast period owing the growing digital era.
  • According to Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), in 2017, Indian infrastructure sector witnessed 91 mergers and acquisitions deals worth US$ 5.4 billion. This will have an impact on the logistics industry of the region.
  • In 2016, as per the World Bank's Logistics Performance Index, India ranked 35th among 160 countries. This is due to the growing industrialization, construction and automation in emerging Asian economies like China and India. Since then, the Asia Pacific abrasives market is expected to dominate the market positioning followed by Europe and North America. Major players like Robert Bosch, Saint-Gobain and 3M have their headquarters in Europe and North America respectively owing to the increasing market share from these players during the forecast period.

Key Players

Key players operating in the global abrasives market include, Robert Bosch, 3M, Saint-Gobain, Henkel, Fujimi, Asahi Diamond Industrial, and others.

Key Developments:

  • In December 2017, Saint-Gobain Abrasives, global leader in manufacturing abrasives, launched a new product named Ultra-Thin Grinding Wheel. The Ultra-thin grinding wheels will extend the company’s high performance grinding range, of ceramic abrasives which are long-lasting and delivers high material removal rates.
  • In June 2017, Saint-Gobain Abrasives signed a contract with Darex to supply small specialty abrasives belt. Darex is a manufacturer of custom tool sharpening machines, headquartered in Ashland, Oregon, United States.
  • Various companies are focusing on adopting strategies such as partnership and collaborations in order to increase their presence in the global market. For instance, in February 2016, Saint-Gobain Abrasives had partnered with Detroit Speed to supply their Norton brand abrasives for refinishing applications in Detroit Speed. Detroit Speed is a high-quality automotive components and systems manufacturer. Moreover, Detroit Speed had also agreed to promote, display, and sell Saint-Gobain Norton brand of products at all the shows and events.
  • In November 2016, Robert Bosch GmbH, a Germany based multinational engineering and technology company, had launched a new product under their abrasives range of products. The new M480 net sanding sheet was an open net which enabled dust extraction across the surface owing to its open net structure.

Market Taxonomy

On the basis of material type, the global abrasives market is segmented into:

  • Natural
  • Synthetic

On the basis of product type, the global abrasives market is segmented into:

  • Bonded
  • Coated
  • Super Abrasives

On the basis of end-use industry, the global abrasives market is segmented into:

  • Automotive
  • Machinery
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Construction
  • Electronic and Electrical Equipment
  • Others

On the basis of region, the global abrasives market is segmented into:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • France
    • Russia
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • ASEAN
    • Australia
    • South Korea
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East
    • GCC
    • Israel
    • Rest of Middle East
  • Africa
    • Northern Africa
    • Central Africa
    • South Africa
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