Ceramic Matrix Composites

Published - Feb 2000| Analyst - Laurel Sheppard| Code - AVM014C
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Report Highlights

  • The U.S. market for ceramic matrix composites in 1999 was worth $115.6 million. This amount includes prototype and production quantities, as well as research funding. Currently, the markets are still dominated by wear parts, cutting tools, and radiant burner tubes. The U.S. market is expected to reach ~$178 million by the year 2004 with an annual average growth rate of 9.1% per year from 1999 to 2004.
  • The global market for ceramic matrix composites in 1999 was ~$217 million. This is forecasted to increase to $318 million by the year 2004 with an annual average growth rate of 8% per year from 1999 to 2004.


Advanced ceramic materials can be classified into two major types: monolithic and composite. The major difference between these two is a reinforcing phase. Adding a discontinuous phase - such as whiskers, platelets, or particulates - or continuous fibers can reinforce ceramic materials. In addition, certain processes can produce an in situ phase that can act as reinforcements or improve mechanical properties.

Monolithic ceramics have the disadvantage of being brittle. A reinforcing phase can improve the toughness of these materials, while still taking advantage of the matrix's other properties such as wear resistance, hardness, corrosion resistance, and temperature resistance. A wide range of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) have thus been developed that combine a matrix material with a reinforcing phase of different composition (such as alumina and silicon carbide) or the same composition (alumina/alumina or silicon carbide/silicon carbide).

Applications of ceramic matrix composites that have been on the market for a number of years include cutting tools and wear parts. Other emerging applications being field tested, or still in the development stage, include gas turbine seals, hot gas filters and high pressure heat exchangers. One of the major obstacles to continued growth of the CMC market is still cost (both raw materials and manufacturing) and joint efforts between industry and government have been addressing this problem over the last few years. Another major obstacle is the lack of reliability in current materials.


BCC had conducted a technical and economic study on ceramic matrix composites in 1990. Since then progress has been made in processing and other technical areas. Major changes have also taken place in government funding and industry structure. The report reviews these changes, as well as new technical developments. Some of the problems still remain, such as high cost and low reliability, which continue to be addressed.

This report has been prepared with the following objectives:

  • To provide an overview of materials for ceramic matrix composites, their reinforcements and matrices, their processing, new developments, and recent U.S. and international patents.
  • To review the current and potential applications, including cutting tools, wear resistant parts, aerospace, and energy-related.
  • To update major advances in ceramic composite technology.
  • To determine the current size and future market growth for ceramic matrix composites according to material types and applications.
  • To review the U.S. ceramic matrix composite industry structure and foreign competition.
  • To identify and profile all U.S. producers and users of ceramic matrix composites and related materials.
  • To review the economic/market opportunities for current industry participants and new entrants.


The new BCC report provides an in-depth analysis of the technological advancements in ceramic composite materials, their processing, new applications, economics, current markets and trends, domestic and foreign competition, and players. Forecasts for each material type and application segment are provided to the year 2003 for both the U.S. and the world. Profiles of all U.S. companies and institutions involved in ceramic matrix composites as suppliers of raw materials, processors, users, and researchers are presented.


Information for this report was collected by surveying experts by phone or email in the field who are involved in the development, production and use of ceramic matrix composites and related materials. Experts came from government, industry and academia. Literature, patent, and Internet searches were also conducted to obtain technical information.

For this study, ~50 U.S. and foreign companies and organizations were contacted by phone or email to identify various applications, update the technical developments, and determine market trends. All the major technical and trade publications and recent conference proceedings were also reviewed for this study. In addition, various websites were examined.


This report provides the most up-to-date information on the technology of ceramic matrix composites, including new developments and patents. Applications are described and markets are estimated. Research funding trends are discussed in detail. Both manufacturers and end-users will find the information valuable, as well as others who may want to become involved in this industry. The report provides an improved understanding of the current direction and impact of ceramic composite materials technology, and how markets will be affected.


This report is directed to the various strata of companies that are interested in the developments in this field, such as:

  • Companies involved in the development, manufacturing, and supplying of advanced materials.
  • Suppliers of ceramic fibers and other reinforcements.
  • Suppliers of advanced ceramic powders.
  • Chemical companies supplying additives and other raw materials.
  • Companies involved in the development and manufacture of advanced ceramic components.
  • Engine manufacturers.
  • Cutting tool and wear part manufacturers.
  • Companies involved in the energy industry.
  • Companies involved in the development and use of aerospace and defense-related materials and/or components.

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