The Global Graphite Market: Highlights Graphite has two principal types: Synthetic Graphite and Natural Graphite. They have their own set of applications and generally do not compete with each other. They have no relationship with each other except the name graphite. Global Graphite Market by Form: Synthetic graphite is a man-made substance manufactured by high temperature treatment (2,500 to 3,000 degree Celsius) of amorphous carbon materials.
Synthetic graphite has four types; electrode, block, powder, and fiber. The largest type of the synthetic graphite is graphite electrode that is predominately used in producing electric arc furnaces for melting steel & iron and producing alloys. Synthetic graphite blocks are produced from isostatic, extruded, die molded, and vibration molded process.
Synthetic blocks are used in a large variety of applications ranging from polysilicon production for photovoltaic industry to high temperature reactors in nuclear industry. Most of the leading companies are heavily investing in China to meet the local demand. Despite significant capacity expansion by local as well as international players in the last ten years, some portion of synthetic graphite demand is met through import. Carbon fiber offers high specific strength, light weighting, good fatigue strength, and excellent corrosion resistance than the competing materials, which makes 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.
The second type, natural graphite, is a form of carbon where atoms are arranged in the layers that have weak bonds between each other. It is subdivided into three types: Amorphous, Flake, and Vein. Natural graphite production is mainly from small underground mines in China.
China is the world's largest producer of natural graphite for both amorphous and flake graphite, and accounts for more than 65% of total global natural graphite production. Approximately 70% of Chinese production is amorphous graphite while 30% is natural flake. The majority of Chinese graphite mines are small and many are seasonal.
Other countries with good natural graphite production include Brazil, North Korea, Canada, India, Romania, Ukraine, Mexico, Madagascar, Austria, Turkey, and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the only country that produces high quality vein graphite. Global Graphite Market by Applications: Currently, refractory is the largest application of natural graphite.
However, it has continuously lost market share during 2011 – 2015 and is expected to lose further in the next five years. The decline is due to the reduced demand of refractories from steel industry and slower economic growth in China. Battery is currently the hot topic in the graphite market. All of the major graphite producers are discussing about the growth potential of graphite in the batteries for the automotive and other industries, such as consumer goods. 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. The graphite market offers a robust growth opportunity during the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. Synthetic graphite market is likely to remain the largest graphite type during the forecast period, driven by demand of electrodes, blocks and carbon fibers. Natural graphite is expected to experience an overall higher growth than synthetic graphite in the next five years. During the forecast period, refractory and electrodes are expected to remain the largest applications for natural graphite and synthetic graphite markets respectively. Battery is expected to experience the fastest growth with double digit growth rate in the next five years. Global Graphite Market by Region: Asia-Pacific is expected to remain the growth engine of the global graphite market. Emerging economies, such as China and India will drive both synthetic as well as natural graphite market over the next five years. The key graphite manufactures are SGL Carbon SE, Tokai Carbon, Toray Industries, Toho Tenax, Mistubishi Rayon, GrafTech International Holdings Inc, South Graphite, Nacional de Grafite, Mersen Group, Graphite India, Nippon Graphite Industries, Asbury Graphite Mills, and Focus Graphite. New product development, regional expansion, and capacity expansion are the key strategies adopted by the key players to gain competitive edge in the market. Report link- https://www.stratviewresearch.com/152/graphite-materials-market.html.