The Global Transparent Ceramics market was valued at US$355.287 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.93% to reach a market size of US$1,687.321 million in 2027.
Transparent ceramics are a class of advanced materials with exceptional mechanical qualities and unique transparency. In contrast to optical resins and glass materials, transparent ceramics are polycrystalline substances that have a specific amount of light transmittance. They are stronger, tougher, and more corrosion-resistant. The utilisation of these cutting-edge ceramics for thermal imaging applications is possible, particularly in demanding operational environments and with personal protective gear like face shields, helmets, and goggles. In comparison to conventional optical glass and resins, they offer strength, hardness, and great heat and scratch resistance. As a result, they have numerous applications in non-linear optics, transparent armour, solid-state lasers, scintillator components, transparent armour, and bulletproof glasses.
Given their major contributions to sectors including consumer electronics, optics and optoelectronics, aerospace and defence, and so forth, transparent ceramics have drawn a lot of attention in the past ten years. The two main drivers anticipated to drive market expansion are the rising demand for their use in sensors and the use of ceramic technology in lasers.Traditional glass is being replaced with new products created by prominent players that combine low cost and cutting-edge technology. Transparent ceramics are being used in a wide range of industries because of their reduced weight, improved visibility, and high durability.
The Transparent ceramics’ application range has expanded as a result of ongoing research and development activities by key stakeholders. Recent innovations have made it possible to shape ceramics into many shapes, including tubes and rods. The growing demand for transparent ceramics as an alternative to conventional glass technologies, the expansion of the optics and optoelectronic industries, increased efficiency, and rising defence spending are some of the other factors influencing the growth performance of the transparent ceramics market.
Defence and Aerospace sectors to boost the Transparent Ceramics market
In industries such as aerospace, defence, and military vehicles, there is a considerable rise in demand for transparent ceramics. The transparent ceramics market is projected to expand due to an increase in new aircraft production. Transparent ceramics can withstand temperatures significantly higher than those of high-grade technical plastics and are lighter than the majority of metals. Therefore, thermal protection systems in rocket exhaust cones, missile nose cones, insulation tiles for space shuttles, and engine components are some of the examples of structural ceramic applications. Due to their properties, including stiffness, high strength, and resistance to chemicals and heat, transparent ceramics, especially ceramic armors, are suitable for use in the defence and security industry.
Due to the increased demand for security around the world, the global military and security industry has been expanding recently. Defence spending has surged in countries like China, the US, Russia, and India. During the projected period, rising defence spending across the globe is anticipated to fuel the expansion of the transparent ceramics market. According to a research by the World Bank, China and India’s military expenditure surged from USD86.2362 billion and USD33.002 billion in 2008 to USD249.997 billion and USD66.51 billion in 2018 respectively, demonstrating growth rates of nearly 190% and 101%, respectively. Transparent ceramics are expected to have significant growth in the coming years due to their numerous advantages over other types of materials.
Key market developments
Advanced expansion activities, research and development, market investments, and mergers and acquisitions will thereby increase the demand for transparent ceramics. For instance,
- September 2021: Magnesium aluminate spinel ceramics were developed by ARCI(International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials) researchers using colloidal processing followed by the HIP technique, which simultaneously applies pressure and heating. The substance is suitable for thermal imaging applications, particularly in demanding operational environments. These transparent ceramics produced in India are anticipated to be a step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) with possible applications in infantry personal protection systems including thermal imaging such as helmets, face shields, and goggles.
- September 2022: The opening of Surmet’s upgraded North Buffalo Facility was announced by Surmet Corp. and Gilbane Building Company. Surmet’s site at 699 Hertel Ave. will receive a $14.5 M investment, which will be used for facility rehabilitation, the addition of particularly engineered space, and the setup of new manufacturing equipment for transparent ceramics. Gilbane Building Company oversaw the expansion project’s construction. The largest of its kind in the United States, the expanded facility will include new production furnaces and specially developed ceramic processing machinery.
- April 2021: The transparent ceramics segment and the PERLUCOR brand were acquired by Fraunhofer IKTS from the ceramics firm CeramTec-ETEC. A research and development facility for transparent ceramics is to be set up at the IKTS site in Hermsdorf due to the technical infrastructure secured through the acquisition. It enhances the capabilities of the current facilities and makes it possible to produce high-purity, clear ceramics for optical systems, medical technologies, and ballistic defence.
- July 2022: Technology Assessment and Transfer, Inc. was acquired by SINTX Technologies, Inc., an original equipment manufacturer of advanced ceramics. The TA&T’s technologies and goods include hot pressing of technical ceramics; complicated fiber-reinforced ceramic-matrix composites, chemical vapour infiltration and deposition, and 3D printing of medical equipment and heat exchangers made of ceramic. The acquisition of SINTX enables product expansion for use in aerospace, commercial, and medical applications.
The North American region is expected to hold a significant share of the market in the coming years.
Given the region’s significant expenditures on the military industry, North America had a significant share of the global market. This expansion is related to the presence of significant market participants as well as increasing regional defence R&D spending. Most of the product’s demand comes from this region as it is heavily used in the defence industry. Another factor is the region’s abundance of manufacturers, including Surmet Corporation and Coorstek Corporation. Due to its developed optoelectronics and defence industries, the United States held the greatest share of the North American transparent ceramics market. The United States spent roughly $55.4 billion on defence research and development in 2017, more than four times the total amount spent by the other OECD nations combined, according to Congressional Research Service agency. As a result, over the course of the forecast, North America is anticipated to expand significantly.