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The global ceramic balls market size was valued at USD 513.3 million in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 533.9 million in 2023 to USD 757.7 million by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period.
Ceramic balls are rolling, spherical elements providing lighter weight, higher rigidity, reduced thermal expansion, intensified resistance to corrosion, and more excellent electrical resistance than steel balls. They are produced from a mixture of several ceramic materials. A mixture of ceramic powder binder is pressed in a preformed shape for manufacturing; precision finishing and lapping are essential for determining product design and specifications. A combination of diverse ceramic compounds can be opted for producing these balls according to the requirements of the end-users. Some combinations are aluminum silicate, alumina-zirconia, aluminum nitride, silicon nitride, alumina, boron carbide, and boron nitride.
In addition, these balls are used in widespread application areas supporting the growth of the market. Alumina-based balls provide extremely high strength, abrasion resistance, and furnace atmospheres resistance. These balls are useful in conveyors, ball transfer units, roller tables, casters, roller or lazy Susan applications. In petrochemical refineries, it is used as a covering and support material for the catalyst in the reactor. It can buffer the impact of the gas and liquid entering the reactor on the catalyst, protect the catalyst, and improve the distribution of liquid and gas in the reactor. It is widely used as automotive bearings, with seat slides, seatbelt locking mechanisms, and safety restraints. The superior properties offered by ceramic spherical balls and their increasing use in the automotive industry are significant drivers for the growth of the market. However, high production costs may hamper the ceramic balls market growth.
Halted Supply Chain & Logistics Restrictions Impacted Market Growth during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused unprecedented social and economic disruption. According to some experts, this global crisis has caused more problems than any other historical event, which will be remembered as one of the most significant black swan events. COVID-19 has had a significant economic impact on the automobile and petrochemical industries. Various scenarios such as disruptions in cash flow breaks in supply chains, shifts in resource allocation, the requirement for social distance, and others will bring about change on every level. The COVID-19 crisis widely affected manufacturing activities all over the world. As the government imposed lockdowns, all production activities were halted, leading to a massive loss for the country and the advanced ceramics manufacturers. The work stoppage impacted the revenues, jobs, and order delays of the companies.
Manufacturers have resumed work and begun production activities with appropriate safety measures to ensure their employees are not infected with the virus. While most nations import advanced ceramics from China and other countries, restrictions on exporting goods from one country to another significantly impact production activities due to the high dependence on the Chinese supply chain. But after learning from harsh times, many end-use firms are developing strategies to build long-term availability by identifying the alternate possibility of material suppliers.
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Increasing Demand from Wind Farms will Create New Opportunity for Market Growth
Due to growing urbanization, the need for wind turbine farms increases in size and power generation; as a result, the blade length, tower height, and generator size have increased load and size requirements. Silicon nitride ball bearings have the longevity and load-carrying capacity to bring the best solution to meet these demands. The durability of silicon nitride balls further lends itself to reducing the risk of unscheduled maintenance. SKF remains at the forefront of manufacturing ceramic bearing balls, application, industrialization, and standardization. Development work is ongoing, especially in the more extensive ball size range. There are opportunities to cater to the new material composition for specific requirements of the product application. This will help to get effectual output from the generator motors. Moreover, it saves the environment and reduces energy consumption.
Rising Demand from EV Automobile Manufacturers to Drive Market Growth
Ceramic hybrid electric motor quality bearings have steel races and ceramic materials. Ceramic balls are suitable for applications where high speeds, loads, and temperatures are maintained. Longer life and the need for sufficient lubrication make this material appropriate for extreme applications. Ceramics is lighter than steel, non-corrosive, non-magnetic, and non-porous material. In ball form, ceramic balls are more rigid than steel, virtually frictionless, non-porous, and capable of spinning at fast rate than steel balls. EV engineers prefer to reduce weight wherever required. These balls cause lower friction in the bearing assembly, hence they experience less wear, require less lubricant, and cause less raceway stress. The Electric Vehicle (EV) industry is still developing and will undoubtedly find ways to innovate and improve its key technologies like chargers, batteries, and electric motors. Thus the critical requirements in the automobile will revolve and help to grow the product expansion.
Availability of Substitutes and Fluctuation in Raw Material Prices to Hinder Market Growth
The primary alternatives to ceramic balls are steel bearing balls, stainless steel balls, ballpoint balls and other metal balls, which can be used in various end-use industries, majorly in the automobile sector. Price fluctuations in raw materials used for making these balls are a significant concern for the market's consistent growth. Rapid fluctuations in the prices of raw materials such as alumina, silicon, zirconia, and boron and a lack of product availability are expected to impact the global market in the near future. Furthermore, rising environmental concerns and health risks such as asthma, chronic inhalation, and other respiratory problems from manufacturing operations are expected to impose strict regulations, limiting the growth of products over the forecast period.
Alumina Material to Hold Largest Share Due to its Superior Properties
The market is segmented based on material: alumina, silicon, zirconia, and others. Alumina material held a leading ceramic balls market share in 2022 owing to its characteristics over the other materials in the market. Alumina balls have tremendous benefits in higher density, having a regular shape, efficiently classifying, assorting, and superior grinding efficiency. The selection of high-quality alumina balls allows perfect control at the firing temperature and reaches the proper crystalline structure.
Silicon balls find applications in car clutches, car brakes, and ceramic plates in bulletproof vests. The demand for silicon nitride balls is attributed to their excellent mechanical properties. This would increase their adoption in oil & gas, industrial wear, molten metal handling, chemicals, and metal forming. These factors boost the growth opportunities for this industry in the forecast years.
Inert Function to Hold Larger Share Due to its Resistant to High Temperature and Pressure
The market is bifurcated based on function: inert and active function. Inert ceramic balls held a larger share with the rising demand from the automotive industry and the growing installation for the application of bearings and valves. Inert ceramic balls can sustain high pressure and temperature and are largely used in chemical, petrochemical, fertilizer, and environment-sustainable manufacturing companies. The major application is the increase in the level of gas and liquid distribution points to support the low-strength active catalyst.
Inert function balls will not react with the material and participate proactively with the major market demand. In contrast, active ceramics, like activated alumina, can react with the material and are primarily used as the absorbent. Activated balls are strongly attracted to oxide, and alkali, with defluorination effects that are easy to maintain. These factors show the major uptrend opportunity in the market during the forecasted period.
Bearing Application to Account for Largest Share Due to Product’s Enhanced Strength, and Active Shock Resistance
The market is segmented into bearing, grinding, valve, and others, on the basis of application. The bearing segment dominates the market due to expansion in the aerospace and automotive industries with the increased strength and shock resistance capabilities. Ceramic spherical balls are high-purity materials used in grinding with alumina compounds and some proportionate zircon manufactured with the isotactic procedure. The major advantage of using ceramic grinding balls rather than steel balls is the efficient energy saving, which reduces 20-30% in main motor current, decreases cement temperature and reduces the environmental noise.
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Automotive Industry is Dominating the Segment owing to High Product Usage in Various Auto-Components
Based on the end-user, the market can be segmented into automotive, oil & gas, chemical, aerospace, medical, and others. Driven by the sustained demand for automobiles and supportive government policy, the market will see a strong rebound in 2022 and robust growth over the coming decade. Ceramic balls are widely used in automobile manufacturing for their benefits, including higher strength, shock resistance, and faster operational speed. Automotive applications are anticipated to drive the demand because of their practical applications in ball bearings, spark plugs, roller bearings, airbags, valves, engine components, seat slides, and locking mechanisms. In aerospace manufacturing, they are used in flow meters, gyroscopes, and airframes. All these factors will help to generate the demand for the balls across various industries.
Asia Pacific Ceramic Balls Market Size, 2022 (USD Million)
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The market size in Asia Pacific accounts for USD 248.4 million in 2022 and it is expected to register the fastest growth rate during the forecast period. The market's growth is associated with the expansion of the regional automotive industry, which boosts the different sectors in the area. China is the leading country driving the market growth in the region due to the growing product demand from automotive, oil & gas, and chemical industries.
NNorth America's growing petrochemical and aerospace industry will grow this region’s ceramic ball market. Major commercial aircraft player, such as Boeing, dominate aerospace manufacturing and equipment sourcing. Also, the major oil & gas companies, such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Marathon Petroleum, also lead to the growth of ceramic materials in the U.S. petrochemical market.
The market growth in Europe is associated with the rapid increase in the region's biggest automobile sector in Germany. The rapid growth in the automotive industry and the increasing adoption of electric vehicles due to the rising CO2 emission will boost European product use. Additionally, the presence of a few giant materials manufacturers in the region is expected to boost the consumption of ceramic spherical balls.
The growth of the market in Latin America is due to increased industrialization. The growth is attributed to the rising use of silicon carbide and silicon nitride in industries such as chemicals and the medical industry.
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Meanwhile, the Middle East & Africa is expected to have significant market growth driven by Saudi Arabia, due to increased consumption in the oil & gas industry.
Key Players to Strengthen their Position by Offering Products to Ceramic Balls Industries
The foremost producers, including Saint-Gobain, SKF, CoorsTek, Inc., Tsubaki Nakashima Co Ltd., and Tipton Corp., are company trademarks for the materials business. Amongst them, Saint-Gobain is a leading manufacturer of ceramic balls with strong presence in Europe. The company has adopted new product development and expansion strategies to gain competence. Similarly, the other key market players have adopted strategies such as capacity expansions, partnerships, and product enhancements to increase their presence.
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The market report provides a detailed market analysis and focuses on crucial aspects such as material, function, application, end-users, and leading companies. It provides quantitative data in terms of value, research methodology for market size estimation, and insights into market trends. It highlights vital industry developments and the competitive landscape. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market’s growth over recent years.
CAGR of 5.1% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Million)
Material, Function, Application, End-User, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 513.3 million in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 757.7 million by 2030.
In 2022, the market value stood at USD 513.3 million.
Registering a significant CAGR of 5.1%, the market will exhibit rapid growth in the forecast period (2023-2030).
Alumina material is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Growth in electric vehicle production is propelling the material demand.
China held the highest share of the market in 2022.
Saint-Gobain, SKF, CoorsTek, Inc., Tsubaki Nakashima Co Ltd, and Tipton Corp. are the major players in the market.
The rising demand from automotive industry drives product adoption.
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