Graphite is an allotrope of carbon with crystalline structure and has both metallic and non- metallic properties. Metallic properties of graphite include thermal and electrical conductivity and its non-metallic properties include lubricity, chemical inertness, and thermal resistance. Furthermore, extrusion process is used to produce extruded graphite. Extruded graphite has coarser grain size, and higher electrical and thermal conductivity as compared to isotactic graphite.
Production process of extruded graphite includes pressing of fine graphite powder through a die, under high pressure. The resulting shape is then fired and graphitized at high temperature (around 2000 degree Celsius).
Extruded graphite is economical to produce and is used in various applications. For instance, electrodes made with extruded graphite, are used in electric arc steel production. Extruded graphite is also used in the manufacturing of various hot zone parts, used in the furnaces such as heating elements, rails, shelves, plates, and fasteners. Owing to its high temperature stability and chemical resistant properties, extrude graphite is extensively used in the chemicals industry. It is used in various corrosive applications such as vessel linings, bricks, tiles, heat exchangers, wear plates, and bearing among others. Thus, the wide applicability of extruded graphite is a major factor propelling growth of the global extruded graphite market.
Extrusion process is used to produce larger particle size (around 0.45 inch), as compared to the isotactic graphite (4-10 micron). The production of very fine isostatically molded graphite involves additional steps to mill the raw material to fine powder thus, taking longer to manufacture than extruded graphite. Additionally, the manufacturing cost of extruded graphite is about half the cost of the isostatically molded graphite. Thus, the economical production of extruded graphite is another factor, supporting growth of the global extruded graphite market.
In terms of revenue, Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing market for graphite during the forecast period. Rapid industrialization in the emerging economies such as China and India is fuelling the demand for graphite in the region. This in turn, is expected to boost growth of the extruded graphite market in Asia Pacific.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), in 2013, China contributed 50% of the global consumption of graphite, accounting for the world’s largest consumer for graphite. In China, graphite is majorly used in manufacturing of steel metallurgy and refractory materials, and other applications include foundry and forging graphite.
In 2013, according to CSGS, China recorded highest production of graphite, worldwide. Owing to the high production of graphite in the country, China also exports graphite worldwide. In terms of volume (Tons), China accounted for 80% of total world graphite exports in 2014, and the major exporting countries were Japan, Germany, United States and the Republic of Korea, according to USGS.
Further, according to the data provided by the Indian Bureau of Mines, Government of India, the total consumption of graphite in India has been increased from 40,700 tonnes during 2010-2011 to 52,700 tonnes during 2012-2013. In 2013, out of the total consumption of graphite in India, refractory industry accounted for 7,300 tonnes and foundry industry accounted for 1,000 tonnes, according to the Indian Bureau of Mines, Government of India.
Key Players & Business Strategies
Major players operating in the global extruded graphite market include Beijing Great Wall Co. Ltd., SGL Group, NAC Carbon Products Inc., Cera Materials Inc., Mersen S.A., Fangda Carbon New Material Co. Ltd., GrafTech International Holdings Inc., Graphite India Ltd., Nippon Kornmeyer Carbon Group, Schunk Group, Toyo Tanso Co. Ltd., Tokai Carbon Group, and Weiji Carbon–Tech Co., Ltd.
Key players operating in the global extruded graphite market are adopting various business strategies such as product developments, collaborations, and mergers & acquisitions in order to retain their market share.
- For instance, in November 2017, the Tokai Carbon Company Ltd. announced the acquisition of a U.S.-based subsidiary, SGL GE Holding GmbH, which is involved in the manufacturing of graphite electrodes. The acquisition is expected to enhance the company’s business in North America.
- In January 2018, SGL Group, one of the leading player in global extruded graphite market, invested US$ 27.74 Million to expand its specialty graphite production at the Bonn site, to meet an increasing demand from automotive industries. The expansion is set to be completed by 2020. Furthermore, in July 2018, SGL Carbon, one of the leading player in global extruded graphite market, expands its graphite production capacities for lithium ion batteries.
- In December 2019, Mersen S.A, one of the leading manufacturer of extruded graphite, has announced that they will invested US$ 65 million to expand its graphite production facility in Tennessee.
Extruded Graphite Market Taxonomy
Based on the product type, extruded graphite market is segmented into:
Based on the Application, extruded graphite market is segmented into:
- Chemical Processing
- Foundry & HY Metallurgy
- Refractory Materials
Based on the region, extruded graphite market is segmented into:
- North America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- South America
- Rest of South America
- Middle East and Africa