Abrasive Products: Materials, Applications and Markets
The abrasive industry has two defined sectors in the market. These are manufactured abrasive grains, which consist of natural and synthetic grains and highly expensive super-abrasives (also synthetic); and the users of abrasive grains such as in machine tools and as loose powders
There are limited numbers of abrasive grain manufacturing companies. But, there are large numbers of machine tool manufacturers. Some of the abrasive manufacturers make the traditional grains, such as fused alumina and silicon carbide; others manufacture super-abrasives such as synthetic diamond, cubic boron nitride (CBN) and boron carbide.
The market for abrasive grains has been steady, with declining trends in the U.S. and Canada. The major supplier (particularly of the regular and lower grade grains) has been China.
STUDY GOAL AND OBJECTIVE
Abrasives are materials that are used to cut, smooth, roughen, polish or clean surfaces, or simply to remove material to alter surface shapes or dimensions. Products with abrasive materials include grinding discs and wheels, sandpaper, polishing and lapping compounds, debarring media and sandblasting materials. The goal of this study is to find out the current market of abrasive materials, and their application in machine tools, in all different shapes, forms and conditions. With modern research activities, new abrasive materials are appearing in the market along with their innovative processes and applications. This needs to be addressed. The main objective of this report is to indicate the current domestic and international market of the most commonly used abrasive materials. Special emphasis is given to their various uses in different applications in machine tools, and to the various modes of application for different abrasive materials and the end products.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
The reason for undertaking this study is to provide a comprehensive idea about the industries that provide services relating to abrasives. The services provided by the abrasive industry vary, depending on the specific needs of the finished products. With rapid development in fine ceramics, electronic industries and advanced auto and aviation parts, the requirements for the abrasive industries are also becoming more sophisticated and demanding. Hence, it is important to understand the market, which is highly competitive and secretive. The individual processes that are used in the abrasive industries are the key elements in the machine tools industries. Thus the market segment that makes the machine tools using abrasive materials and uses them for providing service to the specific industries needs to be understood from its potential in marketing capabilities. It is important to provide a comprehensive study in today's global market.
CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY AND FOR WHOM
The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive report on the economic, scientific, industrial and commercial aspects of the abrasive industry and on the processes of the machine tool industries that use abrasive materials. The study will include the manufacturers of the major abrasive materials, the makers of machine tools using abrasives and the uses of the abrasive process utilizing loose abrasive materials for their final products. This will entail the market of the individual sectors of the abrasive machine tool industries. The report will provide a prediction of the industry for the next five years. Thus, the report will present a convenient vehicle for anyone who wants to know about the present status and future projection of the abrasive products used in machine tool industry. One who wants to make an investment in the industry or one who wants to follow the developmental trend of the industry will benefit from this report.
SCOPE AND FORMAT
The report will include details about the abrasive manufacturers' most commonly used grains, their production with values, the manufacturers of products using abrasive materials primarily for machine tools, the users of the abrasive tools and the users of loose abrasives. The report will contain details about the companies with their locations, annual turnover and number of employees (wherever available), and will be organized in alphabetical order.
The report will be formatted in such a way that it will contain comprehensive information about the abrasive industry and the users thereof, both domestic and important international organizations. The report will be divided by market types, product types, and on an application basis. The report will also describe trends in technology development for materials and processes, and will contain the lists of patents pertaining to the materials and processes and their uses.
The report has been compiled in a systematic way. Firstly, the basic behavior and characteristics of abrasives have been described. The various methods of manufacturing products with abrasives are depicted as flow charts. The application vehicles of the abrasives in making machine tools are classified, and then the application processes are described in detail, with their proper methods of utilization. With recent developments of metals and ceramics, and the sophistication in the auto and aviation industries, the abrasive industry is challenged to provide the needed final finish of the products to supply the needed results as designed by the manufacturers.
The report is compiled from various sources. The basic information about the abrasive materials, tools, processes and methods comes from a formal textbook, particularly from American Society of Metals - Surface Treatment; the industry information is from available literature published by various companies, and, mostly, from direct dialogue with company representatives. Statistical data have been obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey's book Mineral Industries, AMTDA (American Machine Tool Distributors Association), European Machine Tools Association and Indian Machine Tools Association. The technology development, publications and patents have been obtained from literature through Internet services and other available publications.