Cristobalite Market size is forecast to reach US$48.2 million by 2027, after growing at a CAGR of 4.3% during 2022-2027. Cristobalite is a polymorph of silica that is formed at very high temperatures. Cristobalite occurs as white octahedra or spherulites in acidic volcanic rocks and is used in dentistry as a component of alginate impression material. Major factors that are expected to boost the growth of the cristobalite market in the forecast period are the swiftly growing ceramic adoption, the increasing demand for cristobalite in the engineered stones market because it enhances the functionality of the stones, and the rise in the demand for paints, coatings, and sealants. Furthermore, it is projected that the bolstering construction and automotive industry will increase the demand for paints, coatings, cement, ceramic, and more, which will also contribute towards the market growth during the forecast period.
The construction industry was one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, as it had already been dealing with a liquidity crisis for more than a year as the financial sector’s non-banking financial institutions collapsed. Several projects were left unfinished during the pandemic as a result of a lack of funding. During the pandemic, construction output was significantly reduced as a result of these factors. For instance, as per the Office for National Statistics, the construction industry in the United Kingdom was 11.6 percent lower in July 2020 than it was in February 2020. In August 2020, the level of construction activity in the United Kingdom was 10.8% lower than in February 2020. Furthermore, manufacturers were stranded on raw material orders as a result of the COVID-19 area’s lockdown, which had a significant impact on the logistics industry. Due to this decline in construction activities, there was a decrease in demand for paints, coatings, ceramics, cement, and more, which significantly reduced the demand for cristobalite, thereby limiting the market growth in 2020.
Cristobalite Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The paints & coatings segment held the largest share in the cristobalite market in 2021 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% during 2022-2027. Cristobalite possesses properties such as high brightness, relatively high Mohs hardness of 6.5, relatively low refractive index (making it a transparent filler), easy wetting, high inertness in various media, transparency for UV radiation. Owing to these properties cristobalite is often used in formulating paints & coatings. There is a surge in the production and demand for paints and coatings. For instance, according to British Coatings Federation (BCF), due to continued strong consumer demand for DIY commodities such as paints and wallcoverings, as well as a strong manufacturing and construction industry rebound, the first 5 months of 2021 achieved remarkable sales results in both industrial and decorative coatings in the United Kingdom. Overall, paint and coatings sales in the UK increased by 24% compared to the same period in 2020. Thus, all the advantageous properties of cristobalite coupled with the expanding paint and coatings industry is stimulating the growth of the market.
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Cristobalite Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The building and construction segment held the largest share in the cristobalite market in 2021 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% during 2022-2027, due to the increasing usage of cristobalite in the residential, commercial, industrial, and infrastructure sectors in the application areas such as paints, coatings, ceramics, cement, and more. Cristobalite is primarily used as a filler and reinforcing agent for gypsum plaster in residential construction. It can be used alone or in combination with other materials to create a variety of finishes, such as stucco, paintable plasters, thick coatings, and so on, that are suitable for both interior and exterior applications, depending on market demand. Cristobalite is a mineral that is used in the construction of commercial buildings for insulation, filtration, and soundproofing. Because of its low conductivity, it has thermal insulating properties that provide high resistance to heat transfer. Cristobalite (Silica) also reduces the rate of build-up on HVAC coils by reducing condensation, which is particularly useful during the heating and cooling seasons. Thus, the wide application of cristobalite in the building and construction industry is the major factor boosting market growth.
Cristobalite Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia-pacific region held the largest share in the cristobalite market in 2021 up to 43%, owing to spiraling demand for cristobalite from the flourishing building and construction industry in the region. The building & construction sector is expanding in Asia-Pacific countries. For instance, according to the International Trade Administration (ITA), in 2020, the Korean construction industry, which includes public and private infrastructure as well as civil engineering services, experienced double-digit growth of 16.9%. Despite the COVID-19 surge, the industry generated revenue of $164 billion (KRW194 trillion). In January 2022, Honda-Dongfeng announced to build an electric-vehicle production plant in Wuhan. In November 2021, Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi announced its plan to build an automobile manufacturing plant in Beijing with an annual capacity of three lakh vehicles. By 2024, the facility will be operational and will produce electric vehicles. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, private sector houses rose 15.1 percent monthly and 57.5 percent annually in February 2021, in seasonally adjusted terms (ABS). According to the Vietnam Ministry of Construction, the average house floor area per person in Vietnam will be 27 square meters by 2025, with 28 square meters in urban areas and 26 square meters in rural areas. Thus, the increasing building & construction industry in APAC is the major factor boosting the market growth during the year 2021 and the forecast period.
Cristobalite Market Drivers
Increasing Electric Vehicle Production
Cristobalites are often used in paints and coatings production. And paints & coatings are widely used in electric vehicles to provide outstanding resistance to water, oil, chemicals, weather, and more. Electric vehicle production and adoption are expected to rise around the world. According to Invest India, the Indian EV market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 44 percent between 2020 and 2027, with annual sales reaching 6.34 million units by 2027. California has mandated that by 2035, all new passenger vehicles sold in the state by 100% electric. The recently unveiled American Jobs Plan proposes a total of US$174 billion in incentives, rebates, and investments to promote the production and adoption of electric vehicles. GM has also proposed that all diesel and gasoline-powered cars be phased out by 2035, with the entire fleet being converted to electric vehicles. As a result, it is expected that a gradual shift toward electric vehicles will boost demand for paints and coatings, thereby propelling the cristobalite market forward.
Increasing Demand for Foundry & Metallurgy
Cristobalite is often used for manufacturing abrasives. And abrasives are primarily used in the foundry and metallurgy industry because their grains can penetrate even the hardest metals and alloys. Applications for abrasives in the foundry and metallurgy industry generally fall in the following categories: cleaning of surfaces and the coarse removal of excess material, shaping (as in form grinding and tool sharpening), sizing (primarily in precision grinding), and separating (as in cut-off or slicing operations). The foundry and metallurgy market is growing. For instance, the foundry sector in the country is expected to witness an annual growth of 13-14 percent. This would see the production of castings increase from 11.5 million tonnes to 14-15 million tonnes by 2021 and 20 million tonnes by 2025. According to Statistics Canada, in 2018, foundries manufacturing revenues reached US$3.2 billion compared to US$3.0 billion in 2017, an increase of 9.2%. With the growing foundry and metallurgy industry, the demand for cristobalite is also significantly increasing, thereby driving the market growth during the forecast period.
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Cristobalite Market Challenges
Health Hazards Related to Cristobalite
Cristobalite when coming into contact with humans for an extended period poses serious health risks. The substance has the potential to harm the lungs and kidneys, cause silicosis, trigger autoimmune diseases, and cause cancer in humans. Cristobalite dust was found to be carcinogenic to humans and could cause cancer, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This substance causes organ damage through prolonged or repeated exposure, may cause cancer, is suspected of causing cancer, and is harmful if inhaled, according to the classification provided by companies to ECHA in CLP notifications. Cristobalite can cause a variety of health problems, including eye and nose irritation. Lung cancer, reproductive damage, and tuberculosis are all possible side effects. As a result, various regulatory bodies are constantly monitoring cristobalite production, which is limiting the market over the forecast period.
Cristobalite Industry Outlook
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in this market. Cristobalite top 10 companies include:
In September 2019, U.S. Silica has established a cutting-edge facility that will produce industrial roofing and construction products (including cristobalite) for sale in the United States and abroad.
In March 2019, Grenzebach develops and installed a cristobalite production plant in Vietnam capable of producing 80,000 tonnes cristobalite per year.
In January 2019, U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc. has purchased a former ceramic proppant facility in Millen, Georgia, which will be converted into a high-end product manufacturing facility for the company’s Industrial and Specialties Products (ISP) division. One of the products will be cristobalite.
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Asia-Pacific dominates the cristobalite market, owing to the increasing demand for paints and coatings in the region. For instance, according to the Japan Paint Manufacturers Association (JPMA), in 2019, the total synthetic resin base paints and coating manufactured in Japan was 1,101,715 tons, which was about 1.2% higher when compared with 2018.
With the rising migration of people towards urban areas, there is a strong need to build a greater number of residential houses, which will have a positive impact on the cement industry and thereby accelerate the demand for the cristobalite market.
An increase in R&D in transparent ultrafine mineral filler technologies has opened doors for cristobalite in the artificial marble and paints and coatings industries.
Cristobalite-related products are often used in the foundry and metallurgical industry. Over the forecast period, the market is expected to be driven by the growing foundry and metallurgical industry.
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