The report further segments the global graphite market by application (refractories, lubricants and crucibles, foundry facing, and batteries), by product (natural and synthetic), and by geography (APAC, Europe, North America, and ROW).
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Technavio analysts highlight the following three market drivers that are contributing to the growth of the global graphite market:
- Rising use of graphite for aerospace applications and for manufacturing structural composite parts used in aircraft
- Versatile properties of graphite make it suitable for a variety of applications
- Increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries
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Rising use of graphite for aerospace applications and for manufacturing structural composite parts used in aircraft
Graphite is extensively used in aerospace applications. The aerospace industry requires components that are durable, adhere to safety norms, and withstand extreme environmental conditions. Graphite is used on surface tiles used in space shuttles, cryogenic applications, and nuclear technology (as a neutron moderator). It is used in aircraft structural components such as control surfaces, fairings, internal structures, and landing gears to reduce the weight of selected metal parts.
According to Ajay Adikhari, a lead analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals research, “Graphite is usually used in susceptors in aerospace applications. The susceptors absorb electromagnetic energy and convert it to heat. They are popularly used in the production of semiconductors that are used in aerospace electronics. Graphite is used in rocket and jet engine nozzles, graphite vanes, and impellers.”
Versatile properties of graphite make it suitable for a variety of applications
Graphite exhibits both metallic and non-metallic properties and therefore it is suitable for several industrial applications. The metallic properties are thermal and electrical conductivity, whereas the non-metallic properties include inertness, high thermal resistance, and lubricity. It is low cost and is highly preferred by consumers.
Natural, raw graphite flakes or graphite cathode battery can potentially become cost-effective solutions. Graphite cathode battery can last for decades and is thereby used in everyday household applications. One of the properties of graphite is exceptional resistance to highly corrosive media.
Increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries
The increase in demand for electric vehicles and the inception of the utility storage market are factors expected to increase the use of graphite as an anode material in lithium-ion batteries. At present, most of the battery anode material is sourced from natural spherical graphite. This is expected to increase the demand for graphite during the forecast period. Globally, there has been an increase in the use of electronic equipment that has led to a rise in the demand for batteries.
“Lithium-ion batteries are gaining popularity. A considerable amount of graphite is required for manufacturing these batteries that are used in electrical and electronic devices. The rising demand for smartphones, mobile phones, and tablets has significantly contributed to the increased use of graphite,” says Ajay.
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