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The carbon brush is a support factor used in motors, and generators to transfer electrical current between rotating and stationary components of a motor. The copper wires used in the manufacture of carbon brushes help in the transfer of electric current across the loop, which is used to rotate devices. Furthermore, these brushes have good resistance to high temperatures, which is an important point from a product utility standpoint. Rising industrial growth, notably across developing countries, and increasing product adoption as household equipment are the primary factors favoring market expansion. The rapidly increasing demand from the automotive industry is also likely to boost the product demand in the forthcoming years.
The beneficial properties of copper including high electrical conductivity and lower modules of elasticity enhance the use of copper-based brushes across industries. Carbon brushes are used to clean the contact surfaces in all types of machines and the protective carbon layer on these brushes maintains close contact as the machine operates, which is key to effectively transmitting electrical current. The global carbon brush market’s growth is also driven by rapid advancements in the electric motor production space. Furthermore, the usage of generators and alternators, notably in the industrial electric system, is expected to drive the market’s growth.
The global economy and industrial activity continue to be impacted by the novel COVID-19 pandemic. Industrial operations have been significantly impacted due to severe supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and inconsistencies in manufacturing activities. Such factors can hamper the product demand significantly throughout the forecast timeframe. However, the product demand is expected to return to post-pandemic levels in the coming years as governments across countries loosen up lockdown restrictions.
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The graphite segment accounts for the largest market share. Carbon graphite brushes are constructed by combining artificial or natural graphite. These brushes are frequently used in slip rings and commutators. Their low absorption and high densities are effective in reducing commutator threading in a contaminated environment. Furthermore, they are economically viable as they are natural materials. They are also good thermal conductors compared with other brushes when it comes to dissipating heat away from the moving parts in machines.
The automotive segment holds the largest market share in the global carbon brush market owing to increasing product adoption in electric vehicles. Auxiliary and small carbon brushes are used in automobiles for direct current (DC) motors, alternators, and starters. Alternators are devices that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. They are usually made of wire-coiled rotors that generate a magnetic field when electric current flows through them. Carbon brushes are often used in the automotive industry to supply electric current to the wire coils in alternators and are typically found in most motorcycles, passenger vehicles, diesel & oil-fueled cars, and trucks. On the contrary, industrial carbon brushes are used in battery-driven cars, trolleybuses, and cable cars, and they are usually designed to resist high temperatures in machines.
The signal & power transmission segment accounts for the largest market share in the global carbon brush market. Carbon brushes used for signal & power transmission are typically used in windmills, metallurgy, and elevators. The increasing need for renewable sources of energy, such as wind, is contributing to the segment’s growth.
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Led by countries such as China, Japan, and India, Asia-Pacific accounted for the most significant market share in 2020 and is expected to continue its growth trajectory in the coming years. The increasing growth of the automotive and electronic industries has led to the surge in demand for carbon brushes over the years. However, the sale of carbon brushes in North America is expected to increase significantly, owing to the popularity of electronic equipment in the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, the increasing product demand across industrial and automotive applications is driving the market growth.
Carbon brush manufacturers have been investing in expanding manufacturing capacity and also introducing new technologies to stay competitive. For instance, Helwig Carbon offers its proprietary silver graphite brush designed to provide extra protection to kits and rings for motor shaft grounding. Silver Graphite Brush grade is 5 times lower in resistance compared with carbon fibers and easily reduces shaft voltage to less than 1 Volt, a safe level for motor bearings.
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