A composite is defined as a multiphase material that exhibits significant proportion of properties of the constituent phases. It usually consists of a continuous phase called matrix and a dispersed phase called reinforcement. Ceramic matrix composite (CMC) is ceramic-based reinforced material that is used in various end-use industries such as construction, oil & gas, energy, aerospace, consumer goods, and electrical & electronics. Automotive is a major end-use industry for ceramic matrix composites. CMC materials overcome the major disadvantages of conventional technical ceramics such as brittle failure, low fracture toughness, and limited thermal shock resistance.
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Therefore, CMC materials are used in fields that require reliability at high-temperatures and resistance to corrosion and wear. Ceramic composite brake systems is one of the key applications of ceramic matrix composite in automotive applications. Ceramic matrix composites are also employed in automotive clutches. They can operate with little or no cooling, providing a significant efficiency boost to the cycle.
Composites offer many structural and weight advantages over traditional steel and injection molded automotive parts. These include cost and weight reduction and recyclability. Ceramic matrix composites account for one-third of the weight of previously used nickel (Ni) super-alloys. Ceramic matrix composites are generally employed in the manufacture of brake disks and brake system components, which experience extreme thermal shock, in the automotive industry. Advantages offered by carbon reinforced ceramic matric composite include little wear, resulting in lifetime use for a car with a normal driving load of 300,000 km, better corrosion resistance, and reduced weight as compared to the previously used metal disk.
The passenger cars sector is anticipated to drive the global automotive industry due to the rise in disposable income of consumers. Increase in disposable income is also estimated to boost the demand for luxury cards across the globe. However, growth in environmental concerns is projected to hamper the market during the forecast period. Automotive manufacturers are focusing on reducing the weight of vehicles to provide highly efficient cars and low fuel consumption. Therefore, OEMs are substituting traditional materials with advanced engineered composites such as ceramic matrix composites. Weight reduction improves shock absorber response, road-holding comfort, agility, fuel economy, and thus driving comfort. This is estimated to boost the demand for automotive ceramic matrix composites during the forecast period. However, high cost is the prominent barrier for further penetration in cost-sensitive areas. Nonetheless, manufacturers of ceramic matrix composites have been developing technologies to reduce the cost of composites.
In terms of geography, the global automotive ceramic matrix composites market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The automotive ceramic matrix composites market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand rapidly during the forecast period due to the expansion in the automotive industry in countries such as China, India, Malaysia, and Japan. Thus, Asia Pacific is anticipated to dominate the global market during the forecast period. North America and Europe follow Asia Pacific in the automotive ceramic matrix composites market in terms of share. Latin America is anticipated to offer high growth opportunities for the reinforced automotive ceramic matrix composites market, due to the expansion in the automotive industry in the region. The automotive ceramic matrix composites market in Middle East & Africa is also likely to expand in the near future.
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The global automotive ceramic matrix composites market is slightly consolidated, with the U.S. and China being prominent manufacturers of composites. However, several manufacturers operate around the world. Key players in the automotive ceramic matrix composites market include SGL Group, Ceramtec, Composites Horizons, ATK/COI Ceramics, United Technologies Aerospace Systems, and COI Ceramics Inc.
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