An abrasive is fundamentally a mineral that is used to give the finishing touches to a work piece. The friction created due to rubbing abrasive on the piece leads to the surface becoming smoother, the rough parts being lost. The entire piece of work becomes a lot smoother and presentable after this process. A huge variety of abrasives is available in the market. For instance sandpapers, honing stones, ball mills, cutoff wheels, tumbling and mass-finishing media that vibrates, various polishes, sandblasting, grinding wheels pulp stones, , and various other tools.
Only through the use of abrasives is industry able to produce the highly precise components and ultra-smooth surfaces required in the manufacture of automobiles, machine tools and space vehicles, mechanical and electrical appliances, and airplanes. Without the use of abrasive material, the finished goods won’t be as precise and efficient as needed by its end user. The ultra-smooth surfaces of various material are an integral part of how the particular product functions. If the surface of a nut isn’t smooth enough, the performance of any machine it is bolted into, won’t be optimal. Although it is not a very glorified industry, but still, the manufacturing and supply of abrasives is a very serious trade. A lot of money is invested to abrasives every year.
Some naturally occurring abrasives are:
- Calcite (calcium carbonate)
- Emery (impure corundum)
- Diamond dust (synthetic diamonds are used extensively)
- Powdered feldspar
Some abrasive minerals (such as zirconia alumina) occur naturally but are sufficiently rare or sufficiently more difficult or costly to obtain such that a synthetic stone is used industrially. These and other artificial abrasives include:
- Borazon (cubic boron nitride or CBN)
- Ceramic aluminium oxide
- Ceramic iron oxide
- Corundum (alumina or aluminium oxide)
- Dry ice
- Glass powder
- Steel abrasive
- Silicon carbide (carborundum)
- Zirconia alumina
- Boron carbide
Global Abrasives Market
The global abrasives market has been rising hand-in-hand with the global machinery, automotive, and metal fabrication industry. The revival of economic growth globally post the economic slowdown of 2007 leading to a sizeable demand for machinery for the rising industrialization and urbanization has played an important role in providing the necessary momentum to the global abrasives market.
Demand for abrasives in the US is forecast to rise 3.8 percent annually through 2019 to $7.0 billion. Durable goods will remain the dominant market as well as one of the fastest growing. Market share gains for super-abrasives will benefit the bonded, coated, and loose abrasives segments. Growth in metallic abrasives will lag the industry average.
Automotive segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment of the abrasives market during the forecast period
The automotive segment accounted for the largest market share in 2015 due to the rise in disposable income, especially in developing countries, which led to an unprecedented demand for passenger and commercial vehicles coupled with shifts in consumer demand and expanded regulatory requirements. Efficient finishing of automobiles use abrasives for sizing engine parts, deburring, cleaning, to repair and maintain the body, interiors, and accessories of the automobile. They are primarily used to smooth out welds, clean the interior of pipes, and to smoothen out uneven and rough surfaces and edges. Furthermore, coated abrasives are used in the transportation sector for finishing and grinding applications. Thus, this augmented demand for automobiles is expected to indirectly drive the growth prospects of the abrasives market in the coming years.
Asia-Pacific to play a key role in the abrasives market
The abrasives market is segmented across five regions: Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. Among these, Asia Pacific holds a major share of the market and is expected to be a dominant market with an encouraging CAGR during the forecast period. The rapid growth of industries and urbanization is fuelling the growth of abrasives in the developing countries of Asia Pacific. Moreover, the favorable government regulation in the region has attracted many industry players to enter the lucrative market of Asia pacific which in turn is fuelling the market growth. Furthermore, the presence of most populated countries such as India and China, has augmented the construction and automobile sector which is further contributing to the market growth. China, India and Japan are the largest consumers of abrasives in this region. North America is another dominant region in the market for abrasives. The developed end user industries such as construction, transportation and electronics among others are significantly driving the market growth. Moreover, the new elected government has brought in a new wave of investment in development and renovation of residential and commercial infrastructure which is expected to boost the demand for abrasives in the construction industry.
The growth in the Asia-Pacific region is driven by factors such as the augmented demand for automobiles, rise in the sales of electronic devices, efforts towards standardization, expanding application segments, increasing urbanized population in China and India, along with the growth in disposable income in these countries are driving the growth of the Asia-Pacific abrasives market.
At a global level, companies such as Robert Bosch GMBH (Germany), 3M Company (U.S.), E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.), Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc. (France), and Fujimi Incorporated (Japan) are providing abrasive products. Large construction players such as LafargeHolcim (France), Balfour Beatty PLC (U.K.), Kier Group PLC (U.K.), and Carillon PLC (U.K.) have scope to enter into abrasive services. Other players in the market include Henkel AG & CO. KGAA (Germany), Tyrolit Group (Austria), Asahi Diamond Industrial Co., LTD (Japan) Deerfos Co., Ltd (Korea), and Carborundum Universal Limited: (India).
The asbestos industry is undergoing a period of transition including significant changes in its basic market conditions. More specifically, increases in fiber prices, energy costs, regulation and legal action coupled with an ever-growing consumer awareness of the health hazards posed by asbestos have served to constrict both the supply of and demand for asbestos products.
The asbestos industry is organized in the following manner. First, asbestos ore is mined and then milled to achieve a homogeneous, graded input, which is shipped to primary industries. These primary industries then process and modify the raw asbestos fiber to produce an intermediate or finished product. Secondary industries may then be required to complete the final processing of the product into a finished good. This finished good or product is then sold to consumer industries which then apply, install, erect, or consume the product without further modification. All of these operations have the potential for releasing asbestos fibers to the atmosphere.
Nearly all asbestos products are used in the manufacture of other final goods, and most are purchased by the construction and automobile industries. The primary automobile manufacturers and the automotive after market–the secondary fabrication of asbestos friction material products–demand the majority of asbestos friction materials. Some vinyl-asbestos flooring used to be sold directly to the consumer, as are a few asbestos paper products such as rollboard. Generally, though, asbestos products may be considered intermediate goods. Asbestos paints, asbestos coatings, and asbestos sealants do not undergo further processing after leaving the primary manufacturing plant. Several of the asbestos paper products receive further processing before final sale.
DEMAND FOR ASBESTOS PRODUCTS
Asbestos has been used in a wide variety of products because of its high tensile strength, chemical and thermal stability, high flexibility, low electrical onductivity, and large surface area.17 Products made from asbestos were more heat resistant (and often incombustible), more resistant to chemical attack (particularly for alkalis), stronger (asbestos acted as a physical reinforcer), and less conductive (asbestos had a low dielectric constant). In addition, they were more viscose (asbestos stiffened compounds and coatings), faster setting (asbestos hastened water drainage in asbestos-cement pipe production), and more cost efficient than many nonasbestos products.
Asbestos Cement Sheet (ACS) is a functional building material. In it, the asbestos fibres are used to reinforce thin but solid cement sheets. Asbestos is an integral building ingredient as it has to tendency to last a long time, as compared to other building materials.
Today, the building of roofs and walls is a booming industry. Asbestos is a vital part of building roofs, due to which, the trade of asbestos has become a pretty common retail business.
The asbestos industry is involved in the manufacturing of various kinds of roofing, walls, and material for sheets, pressure and other products made upon a base of asbestos and cement. India is the largest importer of asbestos and the industry is worth somewhere in eight digits. For people wanting to trade in asbestos in India, the potential to make money is huge.
When it comes to cement manufacturing, India ranks second in the world. Cement manufacturing is a big deal in India, as it also acts as an employment generating factory for over a million people, in some way or another. Although the business is at a very comfortable position, the potential for improvement is immense. For people wanting to enter this market, a little research and innovation can help in making a lot of money.
Have you ever wondered how come you chimneys and reactors heat up so smoothly? Well, it is because of the refractory material installed in them. The production and trade of refractory material, in itself, is a million dollar industry. A lot of refractory product is supplied to the steel industry every year. Think of all the money you can make if you are a part of this industry.