Ceramic coatings constitute a large family of materials with quite diverse compositions and properties. They include compositions based on alumina, alumina-magnesia, chromia, hafnia, silica, silicon carbide, titania and zirconia. Ceramic coatings are generally applied to metal or metallic alloy components or to ceramic components
High performance ceramic coatings are a special class of ceramics in their form and the preparation techniques required. However, their uses are diverse, and they exploit the wide range of unique and desirable properties of various bulk ceramics. Ceramic coatings are generally used for wear- (or erosion-), corrosion- and high temperature-resistant applications. All ceramic coatings deliver some level of performance in each of the three major areas listed above.
The availability and commercialization of high-performance coatings have already changed the internal specification patterns of certain industries, such as cutting tool inserts. The useful life of coated inserts is many times the life of uncoated inserts. This, in turn, has reduced the cost of cutting tool inserts, and at the same time has increased productivity. Similarly, ceramic-coated components for aircraft turbine engines resulted in building large aircraft. Now, auto enthusiasts are coating certain auto engine components to improve auto engine performance. Also, ceramic coatings have made it possible for certain large machine components to be repaired in situ.
SCOPE OF STUDY
This report contains:
- An in-depth analysis of the technologies used for high-performance ceramic coatings.
- An overview of materials for high-performance ceramic coatings and their properties.
- New developments and recent patents in high-performance ceramic thermal spray, PVD, CVD and other coating techniques.
- Current and potential applications for high-performance ceramic coatings.
- Current and future market projections for ceramic coatings in all the major applications.
- Profiles of current industry players including suppliers of equipment, consumables, coating service providers and users.
- A review of the economic/market opportunities for current industry participants and new entrants.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
This report is an updated version of a report originally published in 2004. Information for the original and updated reports was collected through extensive industry contacts with people active in the research, development, production and use of high-performance ceramic coatings, from government and academic sources and by reference to technical literature. Several industry experts were also interviewed for this study. In addition, most of the coating service providers and end users were contacted to evaluate current and future demands for these coatings.
More than 200 industry contacts assisted BCC in identifying and updating technologies and applications. We have extensively used our database in ceramic coatings created through the BCC newsletter, High Tech Ceramics News. Additional Web searches were conducted to gather and analyze all pertinent information related to this study. Major technical and trade publications and conference proceedings in ceramic coatings were also used for this study.
This report is an update of an earlier (2004) report prepared by Dr. Thomas Abraham. Dr. Abraham was formerly Vice President, and Director of the Advanced Materials Group of BCC. Dr. Abraham has extensive experience in the field of advanced materials, including advanced ceramics, synthetic diamonds and diamond films, magnetic materials, high performance coatings, and superconductors.
The analyst responsible for updating the report is Andrew McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel LLC. Mr. McWilliams is the author or co-author of numerous other BCC studies, including studies in related fields such as Diamond, Diamond-Like and CBN Films and Coating Products (AVM025F); Advanced Ceramics and Nanoceramic Powders (NAN015E); Nanomaterials Markets by Type (NAN040A); and Synthetic Gems and Minerals (AVM002C).