Refractories: Market Dynamics, Key Growth Drivers, and the Challenges

Refractories: Market Dynamics, Key Growth Drivers, and the Challenges

The refractories market size is likely to grow at a CAGR of 3.4% by value and is projected to reach USD 27.4 billion by the end of the year 2025. Some of the key driving factors for refractories and a boost for refractory products suppliers lie mainly in the ever-growing demand from the iron and steel industry. When we look at the global refractories market, we find various Tier I and II suppliers. Some of them include the following:

  • Saint-Gobain (France)
  • RHI Magnesita (Austria & India)
  • Corning Incorporated (US)
  • Morgan Advanced Materials (UK), and
  • Shinagawa Refractories (Japan). 

All these manufacturers and suppliers of refractory products have established facilities in the following regions across the globe:

  • Various countries across the Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • North America
  • South America, and 
  • Middle East & Africa.

Driver: a phenomenal increase in infrastructural development in the fastest-growing countries 

Fast-growing urbanization and industrialization, particularly in arising economies like India and China, have prompted huge investment in the development of private and public domain structures. As per the Worldwide Development Viewpoint and Oxford Financial matters, the worldwide construction market will grow by 85% to USD 15.55 trillion overall by 2030, with three nations China, India, and the US representing 57% of the worldwide growth.

China is perhaps the fastest developing economy wherein the ever-rising travel demands call for steady advancement of rail routes and roadways in the country. This has additionally helped the development of the automotive business in China. The expanded speed of infrastructural development in these growing nations has prompted an expansion in the development of private and public structures, as would be considered normal to drive the interest for refractories in the iron and steel, and cement enterprises. Expanding development exercises in growing economies are additionally expected to drive the glass business, which, thusly, will drive the refractories demand.

Opportunities: recycling of refractory materials

The used refractory materials, which are additionally reused to shape optional substances, are known as recalcitrant grogs. There are two sorts of refractories — top-notch refractories and low-quality refractories. The use of reused refractories relies upon the nature of the genuineness of refractories. 100 percent of the great quality reused refractories can be utilized in different cycles, however, just 0-30% of the reused refractories can be utilized which are acquired from low-quality refractories. The requirement for reusing refractory products has expanded due to the elevation in the cost of cargo and environmental constraints, and this has pressurized organizations to search for additional feasible options for refractory applications.

There are a few factors that have played a pivotal role in the shift toward refractory reusing. From 2008 to 2010, the refractory business overall went through an extremely unstable period, during which, certain natural substances turned out to be inordinately difficult to get because of high demand combined with low stock. The pressure was mounting on organizations to turn out to be mindful of the environment by decreasing their respective carbon impressions. Expanded charges on landfill sites and discharges were being implemented, and charge impetuses are likewise proposed to rouse organizations to increase their waste reusing endeavors. 

The monetary downturn during the early part of 2009 impacted the refractory deals. So, the makers are now endeavoring to diminish costs to hold their portion of the overall industry share. Subsequently, reusing refractories assists with lessening the manufacturing cost for the makers, accordingly offering rewarding open doors for the development of this market.

Challenges: Overdependence on the iron and steel industry

The refractories market profoundly relies upon the iron and steel industry, which covers more than 60% of the worldwide market. The rest 40% is covered by end-use ventures that include the following:

  • Power generation
  • Cement
  • Glass
  • Non-ferrous metal
  • Petrochemical
  • Chemical, and
  • Paper & pulp.

Thus, the downfall of the iron and steel industry would prompt a subsequent decrease in the refractories market. The demand for refractory materials/products from the iron and steel industry has been unpredictable throughout recent years, which has essentially impacted the market. Indeed, even with the rising demand for refractories from different enterprises and recuperations of the worldwide economic scenario, the reliance of the refractories market on the iron and steel industry is supposed to stay unaffected, hence representing a colossal challenge for the progression of the refractories market.

Asia Pacific - the largest market for refractories products 

The Asia Pacific was the largest consumer of refractory products in the year 2020. Factors such as the fast-growing consumption of refractories in power generation, cement, glass, non-ferrous metal, petrochemical, chemical, and paper & pulp have led to phenomenal demand for refractory products in the Asia Pacific region. Major consuming countries include China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Australia.

Limitations on the utilization of refractories because of the developing ecological worries

The manufacturing of refractories prompts the emanation of natural particulate matter (PM) and destructive gases that include:

  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Fluorides, and
  • Unstable natural mixtures (VOCs).

Processes, including smashing, crushing, calcining, and drying, lead to the outflow of PM, while gases and VOCs are radiated during terminating and tar and pitch activities, individually.

In the US, guidelines about refractory garbage removal and rules concerning the utilization of refractories lay stress on reusing the chrome-based refractories, which are generally utilized in the iron and steel industry. Essentially, in Europe, activities like ReStaR have been carried out to guarantee the unwavering quality and accuracy of the ongoing refractory testing norms in the region. Such guidelines and limitations on the utilization of refractory products go about as a challenging factor for the development of the refractory market. 

Concluding Remarks 

RHI Magnesita India is a global leader in the manufacturing and supply of refractory products for many decades. The company owns the largest number of locations around the globe offering the most innovative, reliable products and services. RHI Magnesita India enjoys a formidable reputation for offering the most robust supply as well as quality to its customers worldwide.