Abrasives are the most used materials across the various industries for cleaning the hard surface, grinding and polishing. An abrasive helps to provide surface finish and shape for the material. Abrasives are mineral like materials available in different sizes, shapes and sizes depending upon the need. They are used to clean, abrade, scour, grind and remove solid materials by the action of rubbing. Two kinds of abrasives are available in global abrasives market as synthetic and natural. Most of the natural abrasives have been replaced by synthetic abrasives in the abrasives market due to their consistent properties as required in industrial applications. Apart from natural diamond most of the abrasives are variable with their properties. One of the basic properties an abrasive must possess is hardness and that it must be harder than the material to which is polished, grinded or removed.
Abrasives market covers wide variety of materials used on large scale in various industries such as transportation, metal fabrication, machinery and electronic equipment. General application of abrasive material includes grinding, tumbling media, cutting wheels, tool sharpening and metal cleaning. Some of the high-end industrial application of abrasives material market are peening, de-flashing, paint stripping, blast cleaning and de-burring.
The global abrasives market is estimated to grow two fold in terms of market revenue, with a double digit CAGR for the forecast period. The global abrasives market is segmented in seven key regions which are North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa and Japan. As of 2013, Asia-Pacific abrasives market dominated the global abrasives market in terms of volume followed by Western Europe and North America. The growth of Asia-Pacific abrasives market is supported by various factors such as increasing production of automobiles, electronic equipment, medical devices and packaging especially in emerging economies such as India and China. The government norms on the use of silica abrasives, volatile prices of raw materials in production of abrasives are the major challenges of the global abrasives market.
Additionally, trends in global abrasives market such as use of abrasives in blast cleaning and water jet cutting technology in industrial applications for achieving faster and efficient operation is increasing significantly.
On the basis of product type, global abrasives market is segmented as coated abrasives, steel abrasives, loose abrasive grains, raw super abrasives, bonded abrasives and others. As of 2013, amongst the product type segments bonded abrasives segment is predominant in terms of market share followed by coated abrasives and loose abrasive grains.
The bonded abrasives market segment market is expected to maintain its dominant position during the forecast period. Whereas, in terms of revenue; super abrasives is the fastest growing segment in global abrasives market with a double digit CAGR.
Due to rising demand of loose abrasive grains from abrasive product manufacturers, the loose grain segment is estimated to record strong growth during the forecast period in the abrasives market. As of 2013, use of abrasives in machinery is the predominant industry for abrasives. This is followed by metal fabrication, transportation and electronic equipment. However, industries such as transportation and electronic equipment are estimated to record robust growth due to higher demand for automobiles and electronic appliances. Apart from this use of abrasives in construction, cleaning, maintenance, power generation and medical devices are expected to rise significantly in the coming years thus driving demand in global abrasives market.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Robert Bosch GmbH, Cabot Microelectronics Corporation, Saint Gobain S.A, Tyrolit Schleifmittelewerke Swaroski K.G, Fugimi Incorporated, and Jason Incorporated are few of major players in abrasivesmarket. The market of abrasive is fragmented with large number of global and local players. Mergers and acquisitions, collaborations and new product launch are some of the major strategies adopted by key market players. Apart from this, innovation and new product development are major focus areas for dominant companies.