The Fine Hydrate Market size is forecast to reach US$663.2 million by 2027, after growing at a CAGR of 6.1% during 2022-2027. Fine hydrates are finely grounded alumina trihydrate (ATH), which is ground using mechanical mills and ceramic lined ball mills to obtain particle sizes ranging between 15-1 micron. They are primarily used as flame retardants in thermoplastics, and polyester resins which are used in cable insulations. Fine hydrates are an eco-friendly and mineral-based flame retardant materials, which makes it highly desirable and one of the key factors propelling the fine hydrate market industry. In this report, we will take an in-depth look at the fine hydrate market industry outlook and analyse the market share of the fine hydrate top 10 companies within the forecast period of 2022-2027.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries had suffered a tumultuous time, and it was no different for the fine hydrate market. Many governments across the globe implemented lockdown regulations and factories & production facilities in many sectors came to a halt. The supply chain was greatly disrupted as many businesses followed lockdown protocols. Fine hydrate is mainly used as a flame retardant that provides directly to end-use industries such as the automotive industry, paints & coatings industry, electronics industry and so on. During the pandemic, the automotive industry saw a steep decline. For instance, according to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), the production of passenger vehicles decreased by 16.9% from 2019 to 2020. The first part of 2020 saw new car registrations drop about one-third from the preceding year. The passenger vehicle production of Europe overall contracted 22.3% in 2020 whereas North American production declined by 26.3%. These factors adversely affected the growth of the fine hydrate market during the pandemic. However, the pandemic has largely subsided as the world population is getting vaccinated and industries are resuming production, especially in the second half of 2021. AS such, the fine hydrate market is projected to grow within the forecast period of 2022-2027.
Fine Hydrate Market Analysis – By Application
Flame retardant filler/smoke suppressor held the largest share with 24.3% in the fine hydrate market in 2021 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% within the forecast period of 2022-2027. Fine hydrate, also known as fine alumina trihydrate (ATH), releases three molecules of water in an endothermic reaction at approximately 220° C. This released water molecules quench the surface of surrounding materials, making it an excellent flame retardant and smoke suppressor. Fine hydrates are primarily used for its flame retardant applications in materials such as wires and cables, thermoplastics, thermosets, fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and many others. It is a widely preferred flame retardant over halogenated compounds, such as chlorinated and brominated flame retardants, because ATH does not emit toxic smoke when burnt.
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Fine Hydrate Market Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The automotive industry held the largest share with 33% in the end-use industry segment of the fine hydrate market in 2021. The demand for fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles has seen a substantial increase in recent years. This is primarily being driven by global trends to reduce carbon emission from vehicles. As such, the demand for fire retardants and smoke suppressors has seen a significant increase in lightweight plastics which are used in manufacture of fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles. This demand is being met by fine alumina trihydrates (ATH) that are essential in providing high-quality plastics that show superior flame retardance and smoke suppression. Additionally, rising production for automobiles is a key factor propelling the fine hydrate market industry. For instance, according to the Organisation Internationale des Cosntructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), the total production of vehicles increased to 57.3 million in 2021 which was an 8.9% increase from the production values of 2020. This proves to be a great driving factor for the growth of the fine hydrate market within the forecast period of 2022-2027.
Fine Hydrate Market Analysis – By Geography
The Asia-Pacific region held the largest share with 45% in the fine hydrate market in 2021. The inclining demand for electronics and the increase in growth of the automotive industry in the region is dominating the fine hydrate market growth. For instance, according to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), the Asia-Pacific region had the largest production of motor vehicles in the year 2020, with a total production value of 44.3 million vehicles. China is the leading producer of motor vehicles in the world, with a total production of 25.3 million in 2020. China alone accounted for 32.5% of the total motor vehicle production in the world. Additionally, according to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), Japan alone held a 10% share of the total production in the global electronics and information technology industry in 2021. As the automotive and electronics sector are some of the primary end-use industries of the fine hydrate market, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to dominate the fine hydrate market share within the forecast period of 2022-2027.
Fine Hydrate Market Drivers
Increasing demand for electric vehicles:
The demand for electric vehicles has seen a significant increase in recent years, especially as economies are recovering post the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the 2020 global electric car stock crossed the 10 million mark, which is a 43% increase over 2019. Electric cars have also risen to hold a 4.6% share in the global automotive industry in 2020. Fine hydrates are primarily used in the production of flame retardant plastics which are highly demanded in lightweight and electric vehicles. This is one of the key factors driving the growth of the fine hydrate market within the forecast period of 2022-2027.
Advantages associated with fine hydrate:
Fine hydrates are one of the best flame retardants in the industry as alumina trihydrate (ATH) is an eco-friendly alternative to commonly used halogenated flame retardants that do not produce any toxic or poisonous smoke when burnt. Other common flame retardants, such as chlorinated and brominated halogenated compounds, can bring about adverse health effects such as endocrine and thyroid disruption, immunotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, cancer, and neurologic functions. As such, many of these flame retardants have been phased out and are kept under strict regulation globally. This proves to be a great driving factors for fine hydrates as the demand for eco-friendly flame retardants have been growing and will continue to do so within the forecast period of 2022-2027.
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Fine Hydrate Market Challenges
The availability of substitutes:
Fine hydrates are excellent flame retardants for temperatures up to 220° C, however, for higher temperatures it is unreliable and other compounds can also produce brilliant results in comparison. For instance, some common substitutes to fine hydrates are zinc hydroxystannate (ZHS) and magnesium hydroxide. ZHS significantly reduces both the rate of production, and the maximum level, of smoke generated from materials and is excellent in inhibiting carbon monoxide from burning resins. Magnesium hydroxide is widely preferred over fine hydrates for high temperature affectivity as magnesium hydroxide has an initial decomposition temperature of 330° C. As such, this can be a challenge for the growth of the fine hydrate market within the forecast period of 2022-2027.
Fine Hydrate Industry Outlook
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the fine hydrate market. The key companies in the fine hydrate market are:
Huber Engineered Materials
Hindalco Industries Limited
Alumina Chemicals & Castables
Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.
Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (CHALCO)
JINAN CHENXU CHEMICAL CO., LTD.
Henan Kingway Chemicals Co., Ltd.
ANKUR MINERALS PVT. LTD.
On January 10, 2022, Huber Engineered Materials completed the acquisition of Magnesita’s 50% ownership stake of 50/50 joint venture, MAGNIFIN Magnesiaprodukte GmbH & Co. KG (“MAGNIFIN”). MAGNIFIN produces a wide range of halogen-free fire retardants, smoke suppressants and specialty aluminum oxides.
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The Asia-Pacific region will dominate the fine hydrate market within the forecast period of 2022-2027. This can be attributed to the increasing demand for the electronics and automotive sector where fine hydrates are used as flame retardants.
Fine hydrates are essential flame retardant fillers and smoke suppressors that are used in wires and cables, thermoplastics, thermosets, fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) and poly vinyl chloride (PVC).
The rapid increase in demand for lightweight and flame retardant plastics in the automotive industry has led to an increase in demand for the fine hydrate market. This is primarily due to a growing concern over carbon emission and promoting electric vehicles.
The availability of substitutes such as zinc hydroxystannate (ZHS) and magnesium hydroxide can hinder the growth of the fine hydrate market within the forecast period of 2022-2027.
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