Refractories Market Overview
The Refractories Market size is estimated to reach US$32.8 billion by 2027 after growing at a CAGR of around 4.1% during the forecast period 2022 to 2027. The refractories are materials such as polycrystalline, inorganic, non-metallic, polyphase, and heterogeneous and are resistant to pressure, heat, and chemical attacks, and retain the strength and used for various applications. These are composed of aluminum oxide, corundum, and other non-oxide compounds. The increasing development in the mining of steel, large-scale projects in the cement sector, and industrial glasses is boosting the demand for refractory materials, thereby driving the Refractories Market. Furthermore, with the flourishing application of refractories across major end-use industries such as metallurgy, power generation, chemicals, and others, the refractories industry is anticipated to grow during the forecast period. The covid-19 outbreak created a slowdown in the market due to the closure of metallurgy sites, halted production of chemicals, and others, thereby hampering the growth. However, with robust growth and demand for refractory materials across major end-use industries, the refractory industry is growing rapidly.
The report: “Refractories Market Report– Forecast (2022-2027)” by IndustryARC covers an in-depth analysis of the following segments of the Refractories Industry.
Shaped or Brick Refractory and Unshaped or Monolithic.
By Alkalinity: Acidic, Neutral, and Basic.
By Raw Material: Silica, Magnesia, Alumina, Zirconia, Carbon, Carbides, and Others.
By Manufacturing Method: Hand Molding, Fused Cast, Dry Press, and Others.
By Application: Furnace Lining, Metal Casting Molds, Reactors, Utility Boilers, and Others.
By End-Use Industry: Power Generation (Nuclear Power Plants, Coal-fired Plants, and Others), Chemicals, Paper & Pulp, Metallurgy (Iron, Steel, and Others), Glass, Cement, and Others.
By Geography: North America (USA, Canada, and Mexico), Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Rest of APAC), South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Rest of South America), Rest of the World (Middle East, and Africa)
- The Asia Pacific region held a significant share in the refractories industry owing to the established base for refractories, rising steel production, and production base in this region.
- The Refractories Market size is growing due to the flourishing demand for refractories across major end-use industries such as power generation, chemicals, metallurgy, and others during the forecast period.
- The metallurgy industry has high demand in the refractory market due to the increasing application of refractory material for metal castings, lining, processing, and others, thereby offering lucrative growth.
- The potential environmental and health hazards such as pollution, respiratory issues, and others associated with refractories and raw materials, including carbon fibers, carbides, and others are creating a challenge in the market, thereby leading to a slowdown and growth hamper.
Figure: Asia-Pacific Refractories Market Revenue, 2021-2027 (US$ Billion)
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Refractories Market Segment Analysis – By Type
The unshaped or monolithic segment held a significant share in the Refractories Market in 2021 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period 2022-2027. The unshaped or monolithic refractory material types have major usage in metal and non-metal sectors. This is due to excellent features of monolithic refractories such as insulation, less lining, and better replacement of brick refractory in steel metal-based applications, thereby having major demand in the market. The high demand and production of metals such as iron, steel, and others are boosting the growth in the market. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, domestic raw steel production accounted for 1,834,000 net tons in May 2022, 0.2% up from the previous week in May. Furthermore, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. mine production of iron ore in February 2022 was 3.4 million tons compared to 3.2 million tons in December 2021. Thus, with an increase in growth for steel and iron metal-based applications for automotive, construction, and others, the unshaped or monolithic refractories will experience high demand in the refractories industry during the forecast period, thereby driving the unshaped or monolithic segment growth.
Refractories Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The metallurgy segment held a significant share in the Refractories Market in 2021 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period 2022-27. The refractory materials have major applications in furnaces, kilns, the casting of iron and steel, and others in the metallurgy industry. The refractories such as zirconium silicate, corundum, calcium silicate, and others have high demand in the steel and iron metallurgy sector due to their superior features such as high temperature withstand capacity, thereby making them ideal for the furnace in steel and iron processing. The increasing production of metals such as iron and steel owing to high demand across various industries is boosting the growth of refractories. According to the World Steel Association, the global production of steel reached 1950.5 metric tons in the year 2021, showing an increase of 3.7% compared to the production value in 2020. The flourishing metal production due to high demand from other end-users is propelling the demand for refractory materials. According to the CARE Ratings, crude steel production in India is expected to reach 112-114 million tons, an increase of 8.9% in 2022. Thus, with flourishing metallurgical productions, the demand for refractories in furnaces, kilns, and other applications is growing rapidly, thereby driving the Refractories Market in the metallurgy industry during the forecast period.
Refractories Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
The Asia-Pacific held a significant share in the Refractories Market in the year 2021 up to 42%. The high demand for refractories in this region is influenced by flourishing power generation, metallurgical, cement, and other sectors, which is boosting the demand for refractory materials. The increasing application of refractories in cement production for preheaters, kiln hoods, riser ducts, grate coolers, and others offers major growth in the market. According to the World Cement, China's cement output is expected to stabilize at 1-1.5 billion tons by 2030. The rise in cement production for usage in various construction and infrastructural projects propels the growth of refractories. According to the International Trade Administration, the cumulative construction orders from the private residential sector in South Korea accounted for US$ 70.3 billion, showing an increase of 46.5% in 2020 compared to 2019. Thus, with the robust growth of refractories in APAC owing to its wide range of applications, majorly in construction, the Refractories Market is dominating in the Asia-Pacific region, thereby will offer major growth opportunities during the forecast period.
Refractories Market Drivers
Flourishing Demand for Iron and Steel
The refractories are polycrystalline, polyphase, and inorganic materials that have a growing demand in iron and steel for application in furnaces, kilns, casting, and others. Steel and iron are increasingly used in the automotive and other sectors. The rising utilization of steel and other metals in automotive for obtaining fuel efficiency and durability is boosting the growth. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) and World Steel Association, steel-based products account for around 60% of the vehicle structure compared to glass at 6%. Moreover, JSW Steel announced the steel-making expansion at the Vijaynagar site from 5 MT every year to 17 MT by March 2024. Thus, with the high demand for refractories in steel and iron metals, which are majorly used in automotive productions, the Refractories Market is growing rapidly.
Increasing Application in the Power Generation Sector
The refractories have flourishing demand for applications in the power generation sector such as in boilers, inside lining, and others. Power generation experiences major growth due to high demand for electricity worldwide, robust growth of renewable energy, and others for a sustainable future. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the electricity generation in 2020 by geothermal accounted for 15.89 billion kilowatt hours, compared to 16.22 billion kilowatt hours in 2020. Furthermore, as per the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the power requirement in India is estimated to reach 817 GW by2030. Thus, with the flourishing power generation sector, the demand for refractories materials such as zirconium silicate, aluminum oxides, sillimanite, and others for various applications in the power sector is growing, thereby offering major growth opportunities in the market.
Refractories Market Challenges
Environmental Hazards and Threats to Health
The refractory raw materials such as carbon, ceramic fibers, silica, carbides, and others possess a serious impact on the environment. Prolonged exposure to ceramic fiber can lead to health impacts such as skin irritation, respiratory complications, and even death. Moreover, the harmful emissions during the manufacturing of refractories such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, and others lead to hazardous effects on the environment. For instance, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) sets limits on air pollutants under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Thus, the severe environmental and health hazards associated with refractory material hamper the application and demand in the market, thereby creating a slowdown and challenge for the refractory industry.
Global Refractories Industry Outlook
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies that are adopted by the dominant players in the Refractories Market. The refractory's top 10 companies are:
- Morgan Advanced Materials plc
- Corning Incorporated
- Shinagawa Refractories
- RHI Magnesia
- Minera; Technologies Inc.
- Refratechnik Holding GmbH
- Krosaki Harima Corporation
- In June 2021, the Imerys started the production of a new Vizhag refractory plant to cater the domestic customers. The new plant will boost the supply of refractories with calcium aluminate binders
- In May 2021, the ArcelorMittal Refractories entered into a partnership with the Krosaki Harima Corporation to expand the portfolio of refractory products.
- In March 2021, The Refratechnik Group and the Higanas Borgestad Group have reached a strategic agreement to increase the supply of refractory products, resulting in significant market growth.