Acumen Research and Consulting, a global provider of market research studies, in a recently published report titled “Refractory Market (Type: Shaped Refractory Materials, Unshaped Refractory Materials; Application: Iron & Steel, Cement /Lime, Nonferrous Metals, Glass, Ceramics, Teeming Ladle) - Global Industry Analysis, Market Size, Opportunities and Forecast, 2018 - 2025”, forecasts that the global refractory market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 3.4% from 2018 to 2025 and reach the market value of more than $37 billion by 2025. A refractory is a heat-resistant material, a mineral that is resistant to decomposition by pressure, heat, or chemical attack. Mainly it refers to a mineral that retains strength and form at high temperatures and is physically and chemically stable at high temperatures. The use of refractory is directly dependent on the operating environment as it must be chemically inert, and have specific range of thermal conductivity; it must be resistant to thermal shock, and coefficient of thermal expansion. Refractories are produced from natural and synthetic materials, frequently nonmetallic, or combinations of compounds and minerals such as fireclays, alumina, dolomite, silicon carbide, bauxite, chromite, and zirconia. Refractories are used to manufacture crucibles and moulds for casting glass and metals. Some of the major consumers of refractories are manufacturers of iron and steel, cement, glass and ceramic. The major factor driving the market growth is the rise in development of infrastructure in developing countries. Non-metallic minerals industry is witnessing a high growth owing to increasing construction activities and efficiency and reliability of these materials, which is another important factor driving the growth of this market. Additionally, increasing demand for high grade refractories from iron & steel industry is also supporting the growth of this market. Furthermore, the factors hampering the growth of market are growing environment concerns and monopoly of China over raw material supply. Recycling of refractory materials is expected to create opportunities for market players in near future.
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Increasing Demand of Unshaped Refractory Materials
Rising demand of unshaped refractory material has increased the market share of refractory industries over the last year and is anticipated to continue over the forecasted period. Key factors driving the market growth are economic considerations such as rapid installation and reduced down time of a given application, less manpower required in installation, and low cost of raw materials; and availability of skilled employees within the industry. Furthermore, its effective and substantial usage in glass, cement, and ceramic industries is driving the demand for unshaped refractories, globally and the demand is expected to continue due to its availability in various compositions and morphologies.
Major Application Of Refractory In Iron & Steel Industry
Applications in Steel Industry:
Teeming Ladle And Its Application In Refractory Lining
Application of steel teeming ladle (STL) is mostly in a steel plant to contain and transport liquid steel from the steel making furnace to the casting facility. Compared to older steel, where they were used simply to transport liquid steel from a melting point to the slab moulds, recently steel teeming ladle is used in extensively more complex manner. Steel teeming ladle has other major functions such as deoxidation, temperature control, additions of carburizer and ferro-alloys and exclusion floatation. The demand for various grades of steel, few years back has considerably increased with stringent specification. A secondary refining process is used to produce these steels where the lining of teeming ladle must resist with increasing severe services such as higher liquid temperature, longer holding time, and arc/chemical heating.
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The demand of steel teeming ladle refractories has boosted the market due to its activities like alloying, rinse with inert gas and degassing of the liquid steel and also the use of synthetic slag to accelerate the wear of lining. Steel teeming ladle is necessary to insulate the ladle as it is designed to be heat resistant and strong. The liquid steel contained in the steel teeming ladle should maintain proper temperature and hence there is a need of proper insulation. The maintenance of lining is carried out by removing steel teeming ladle from circulation and this can affect adequate supply of ladles for the steel production. Furthermore, the cost of refractories for teeming ladle is significant and disposal cost is also important. The major factors for the selection of most suitable refractory lining includes steel quality, circulation cycle of STL, ladle availability, new refractory developments, shop logistics, secondary steel making processes, and the cost of refractory per ton of crude steel produced.
Developing Areas Having Fastest Growth in Market Sales
In developing areas refractory sales will expand most quickly, while reflecting an ongoing shift in metals and other heavy industry production to countries among low cost structures. Asia-Pacific region held largest market share, followed by the Africa region, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America. China alone accounted for more share of all refractory volume gains, due to increasing growth in its huge steel, other heavy manufacturing, and cement industry. Other major factors contributing to this growth are the use of less sophisticated production methods in steel making and other important market utilized in economically advanced nations. The U.S., Western Europe, and Japan will rise in the volume of refractories consumed, as the economic conditions is strong in these areas and output of ferrous metals and other refractory-using products rebounds. Rise in the output gains in these areas are more likely to result in higher refractory demand owing to efficient manufacturing techniques and will be more difficult to reduce consumption in developing countries than in less developed countries. The U.S., Western Europe, and Japan accounted for larger share of the world refractory market, due to the use of more costly and high quality products.
Some of the key players operating in the global refractory market, profiled in the report include RHI AG, VESUVIUS, Magnesita, KROSAKI, SHINAGAWA, Imerys, HWI, MORGAN CRUCIBLE, Resco, Qinghua, Puyang Refractory, Sinosteel, Lier, Jinlong, Sujia, and among others.
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