Endowed with a broad spectrum of application across machine building, well drilling, metalworking, healthcare, & defense, superhard materials market has emerged as one of the lucrative business spheres in recent times. These materials possess excellent mechanical properties such as toughness, wear resistance, strength, and hardness. In addition, pertaining to high thermal conductivity, chemical inertness, and optical transparency, owing to which they have gained popularity across several end-use domains. Petrochemical and mining industry players have also been giving preference to these materials for performing field work in extreme conditions. The growing excavation and exploration activities across the globe for increasing the production of oil & gas is thus poised to impel superhard materials industry share.
China Super-hard Materials Market Size, by End-user, 2014 – 2025 (USD Million)
The on-going research in material science technology for improving the properties of superhard materials will have a notable impact on the product demand. Speaking about product innovation, it is prudent to mention that numerous scientists and educational organizations have been consistently, since many years, striving to develop a novel portfolio of superhard materials. For instance, in early 2018, some chemists from China and Russia discovered advanced superhard composite materials comprising combination cobalt and tungsten carbide with artificial diamond interspersing.
Speaking along the same line, the increasing transformation in the science and engineering sectors has also helped expedite superhard materials market trends over the last few years. The advent of nanotechnology is one of the factors propelling the advancement of superhard materials industry. With the use of nanotechnology, scientists have successfully improved the thermal conductivity and high pressure working capability of the materials.
Of late, companies have been looking forward to using drill bits in hard rock mining and petrochemical extraction activities, owing to the hard-geological formations. Earlier, before the advent of superhard materials, the use of conventional drill bits led to declining drilling efficiency and high operational costs, but the development of superhard materials mainly diamond and tungsten carbide based drilling bits have changed the scenario today. Speaking of diamond, the product accounts for almost 50% of the superhard materials market and generated a revenue of USD 2.5 billion in 2017. Diamond is excessively used for wire drawing drill bits, dies, and dressers.
Considering the business scope in the superhard materials market, several new companies have also been investing in the business space which will turn out to be lucrative for the industry in the forthcoming years. For instance, one of the leading investment firms, KKR has acquired the well-known supplier of hard and super hard materials, Hyperion in July 2018. Through this acquisition, KKR is looking forward to optimizing the superhard materials market in the coming years. In addition, the specialized experience of Hyperion Materials & Technologies in cubic boron nitride, diamond, and cemented carbide is poised to emerge beneficial for KKR for developing effective solutions across demanding applications.
Though the cost of these materials is high as compared to the conventional materials, it has been preferred remarkably across automotive and construction sectors in order to fulfil the changing customer requirements. For instance, with the rise in spending capability and per capita income, people are demanding high-performance products irrespective of price. In the countries like U.S. and China, the increasing popularity of expensive and dignified sport utility vehicles will have a positive influence on the regional superhard materials market size.
The upsurge in the number of R&D activities across the globe in materials science for developing nanostructured composites is likely to generate lucrative opportunities not only for the players in superhard materials industry but also for leading end-user domain contenders. The remarkably transforming automotive and building construction sectors also will stimulate the product demand over the years ahead. In addition, the rapidly evolving industrialization and urbanization in most of the countries will serve to fuel the product demand. For the record, superhard materials market will surpass a revenue collection of USD 6.5 billion by the end of 2025.