High-Performance Ceramic Coatings: Markets and Technologies

Published - Dec 2004| Analyst - Thomas Abraham| Code - AVM015C
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Report Highlights

  • The North American market for high-performance ceramic coating services in 2004 is estimated at $1.1 billion. This is expected to increase to $1.6 billion by 2009 at an annual average growth rate (AAGR) of 7.6%.
  • Thermal spray coatings will register an AAGR of 8.5% due to increased demand for commercial and military aircraft in the next five years led by demand in Asia
  • PVD and CVD will register lower growth rates (5.8% and 5.0%, respectively) over the next five years.
  • In 2004, about 64% of the market belonged to the coating of engine components. Cutting and turning tools contributed about 17% of the market and wear-resistant and industrial parts, 14.6%. By 2009, engine applications will rise to 68%.


High-performance ceramic coating service markets were projected to grow very rapidly in the late 1980s and 1990s. However, this rapid growth did not happen. The “ceramics fever” of the early and mid-1980s has gone and a new realization has developed among the suppliers of advanced ceramic components. The ceramic coating segment also suffered from severe cuts in military spending for new aircraft. However, in ceramic coating applications several industrial segments such as cutting tools, wear-resistant parts, medical and industrial applications have sustained that market in the second half of 1990s. The slump in commercial aircraft demand slowed market growth in the early 2000s. However, with increasing need for commercial aircraft in the next five years, the ceramic coating service market is expected to see renewed growth.

For the past 20 years, BCC has been keeping track of all these industry developments. It published its first report on the topic in 1988. The study was updated again in 1998. Since the previous study, major changes have taken place in the ceramic coating service industry. New technologies have emerged to provide better coatings at lower cost. Several new markets have evolved. With new trends in globalization, the ceramic coatings industry structure also has changed with companies having their in different regions of the world.

This new BCC study provides an in-depth analysis of the materials, applications, economics, current markets and trends and the players. Forecasts for each segment are provided to 2009. In-depth analyses have been provided for the North American ceramic coatings industry structure, offering detailed information on major players and markets for each application.


The report contains:

  • An overview of coatings techniques: thermal spray, physical vapor deposition (PVD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), spraying/dipping, sol-gel, micro-oxidation, packed diffusion, ionic beam surface treatment and laser assisted techniques
  • Current size and future growth of the North American markets, with forecasts through 2009
  • A technology overview, including material types, properties and applications for ceramic coatings
  • Analysis of domestic competition among companies within each of the service segments
  • Profiles of all North American equipment manufacturers, service providers and suppliers of consumables
  • Identification of ceramic coating services users.


Information for this report 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. All the major technical and trade publications and conference proceedings in ceramic coatings were also used for this study.


Dr. Thomas Abraham is Vice President for Research at Communications Co., (BCC) a market and industry analysis company in Norwalk, Connecticut. Since 1986, Dr. Abraham has been directing the market and industry analysis of advanced ceramics and related areas at BCC. In this capacity, Dr. Abraham has conducted industry and market analysis studies on "Advanced Ceramics," "Fine and Nano Ceramic Powders," "Advanced Structural Ceramics," "Wear-Resistant Ceramic Products," "Advanced Glasses," "Piezoelectric Materials," "Carbon/Graphite Fibers," "High-Performance Fibers," "Ceramic Matrix Composites," "Ceramic Coatings," "Rapidly Solidified Materials," "Electronic Ceramics," "Abrasives," "Industrial Diamonds and Diamond Films," and "Soft and Hard Magnets." These studies have been used by all major corporations, national laboratories, and government agencies all over the world. Dr. Abraham is also editor of a monthly publication, "High-Tech Ceramics News." A graduate of Columbia University, Dr. Abraham worked earlier for the Univ. of Denver and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

One of the most important studies Dr. Abraham undertook was for the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress on the "Strategies for Advanced Ceramic Materials in the U.S." Dr. Abraham has also conducted technology transfer and commercialization studies for several companies and major laboratories. Dr. Abraham's advanced ceramics market studies have been extensively used by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Mines, in its publication, "The New Materials Society-Challenges and Opportunities," Vol. 1, 1990.

Dr. Abraham has been a frequent invited speaker on the state of the advanced material industries at the American Ceramic Society meetings (Cocoa Beach, FL, January 1993 and 1996 and Cincinnati, OH, April 1993 & 1995), IMAT (Bologna, Italy, June 1992), 8th and 9th Cimtec World Ceramic Congress (Florence, Italy, July 1994 and June 1998), the National Defense University (March 1993 and 1996), Soft Magnetic Materials '96 (San Francisco, February 1996), Diamond and Diamond-Like Thin Films (Atlanta, March 1996 and Auburn, August 2001), Fifth International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, September 1996), ASM International Materials Week (St. Louis, MO, October 2000), Nano Alliance Conference (New York, May 2002 and June 2003), Metal Powder Industries Federation International Conference (Las Vegas, June 2003), TMS Annual Meeting (Charlotte, NC, March 2004) and Clarkson University Chemical Mechanical Polishing (CMP) Symposium (Lake Placid, NY, August 2004). Dr. Abraham also serves as the Co-Chariman of the Nanomaterials Conference, an annual BCC conference.

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