The Market of Synthetic Graphite is to grow at Healthy CAGR by 2022
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• Market trend and forecast analysis
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The Global Synthetic Graphite Market: Highlights
Synthetic graphite, also called as artificial graphite, is a man-made substance manufactured by the high temperature treatment (2,500 to 3,000 degree Celsius) of amorphous carbon materials. It is manufactured by calcination and subsequent graphitization of petroleum coke and can achieve purity of 99.9% carbon. The types of amorphous carbon used as precursors to graphite are many, and can be derived from petroleum, coal, or natural and synthetic organic materials. Synthetic graphite holds major share in the pie of the global graphite market.
The Growth Prognosis & its Drivers
The global synthetic graphite market offers a good growth opportunity during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022. Carbon fiber and synthetic blocks are expected to experience the fastest growth in the next five years driven by increasing penetration of carbon composites in aerospace and automotive industries and double digit growth of lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles.
Synthetic graphite has four principal types; electrode, block, powder, and fiber. The largest type of the synthetic graphite is graphite electrode that is predominately used in the electric arc furnaces for melting steel & iron and producing alloys.
Synthetic graphite blocks are also man-made products and are made using petroleum coke. Blocks are produced from isostatic, extruded, die molded, and vibration molded process. All these processes offer distinctive benefits and are used for producing graphite for different applications. Synthetic blocks are used in the large variety of applications ranging from polysilicon production for photovoltaic industry to high temperature reactors in nuclear industry.
Synthetic graphite powder is a low cost material because it’s a by-product. It is used in applications, such as brake linings, lubricants and carbon brush. Synthetic graphite powder is generally a result of the granular graphite or graphite dust gathered during machining electrodes and blocks.
Carbon fiber is considered as an advanced fiber type and is used in many industries including aerospace and defense and automotive industry. High specific strength, lightweight, good fatigue strength, and excellent corrosion resistance make it a preferred material in the high performance applications. High focus on fuel efficiency, low carbon emission, weight reduction, comfort and passenger safety, and government regulations, such as CAFÉ standards are driving the increasing penetration of carbon composite structures in aerospace & defense, automotive, and wind energy segments. Carbon fiber is likely to experience double digit growth in the next five years. Carbon fiber market players are continuously working on the development of alternative precursors and efficient manufacturing processes with the aim to reduce the carbon fiber price. The target carbon fiber price is about $5 per pound for usage in the mass production applications.
Graphite electrodes are the largest application of synthetic graphite and is expected to remain the largest application in the next five years. Asia-Pacific region is the major consumer of the graphite electrode driven by rising demand for steel and other metals, mainly in China and India.
Battery is currently the hot topic in the graphite market. Battery is an application where both natural and synthetic graphite are used and truly compete with each other. There will be a continuous shift in graphite market away from amorphous natural graphite towards flake and synthetic graphite as emerging applications like batteries typically require large flake and high-purity grades.
Graphite electrode is expected to remain the largest application of the synthetic graphite in the next five years. Increasing use of electric arc furnaces for producing steel across the world is expected to drive sales of graphite electrodes.
The key synthetic graphite manufacturers globally are SGL Carbon SE, GrafTech International Holdings Inc, Mersen Group, Nippon Graphite Industries, Tokai Carbon Co., Toray Industries, Toho Tenax, Toyo Tanso, Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Baofeng Five-star Graphite, IBIDEN CO, Showa Denko K.K., and Graphite India. New product development, collaboration with customers, and long term contacts are the key strategies adopted by the key players to gain competitive edge in the market.
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