Global alumina market size will expand at a significant rate due to rising demand for the compound in the military & defense sector. Alumina or aluminum oxide is mainly used in the production of aluminum and is one of the most preferred materials to make body armor and other protective equipment for the defense personnel.
Alumina is majorly used in the glassmaking process as well because it can greatly increase the strength and durability of glass products. One of the most popular applications of alumina in glassmaking includes the production of shatterproof and bulletproof glass. These widespread uses will help global alumina market share surpass USD 55 billion by 2027.
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One of the main reasons behind the high usage of alumina in the defense sector is the advantages offered by the chemical compound. These include high hardness, great thermal conductivity, resistance to chemical attacks & abrasion, wear & corrosion resistance, and providing thermal & electrical insulation. These benefits can keep military machines and protective gear safe from harsh conditions.
Here are the top 3 trends that will strengthen the industry’s potential:
- Calcined alumina highly demanded by glassmakers:
Calcined alumina will hold a sizeable share of the global market as this form of the compound has wide-ranging applications in the glassmaking sector. Calcined or alpha alumina is produced by roasting alumina powder at 1200-1300 C to turn it into pure alumina, which is the most stable and densest crystalline form of the chemical compound.
This type of alumina is available in a variety of grades based on the crystal size, the heat treatment applied, and the degree of thermal conversion to alpha form. The product is gaining momentum among glassmakers due to its ability to increase the mechanical strength and hardness of glass items. Calcined alumina is also essential in enhancing the optical and thermal properties of glass products, such as cover screens, LCD glass, fiberglass for industrial, aerospace & marine industries, and armor.
- Smartphone ownership witnesses tremendous growth:
The COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on the demand and production of smartphones as people were forced to turn to online platforms to either shop for their essentials or find various sources of entertainment. According to a report by GSMA, nearly 5.2 billion people or 67% of the global population had subscribed to mobile services by the end of 2020. This number will increase to 70% of the world population by 2025.
Developing regions like Asia Pacific are witnessing robust digitization of their services. Moreover, the average disposable income of the regional population is on the rise in recent years, which has given them the financial liberty to splurge on expensive smartphones. These factors will favor the use of aluminum parts in smartphones as they are durable, waterproof, and require lesser maintenance as compared to other metals. The extensive production of aluminum components will increase the demand for different grades of alumina.
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- High use of alumina in water filtration processes:
Activated alumina is being widely used in water filtration processes as the chemical compound can remove fluorides and other harmful chemicals from the drinking water. The rising awareness of the harmful effects of disposing off wastewater into fresh waterbodies has prompted several industrial plant owners to use activated alumina in their wastewater treatment facilities.
The chemical compound can efficiently remove dangerous contaminants like arsenic, fluoride, and selenium, thereby making the filtered water suitable for disposal into fresh waterbodies. These advantages will bolster the use of activated alumina water filters.
Organizations, such as Rio Tinto, Norsk Hydro, Worsely Alumina, Almatis, Sasol, Cabot Corporation, NALCO, Nippon Light Metal Company, and Vedanta, among many others, are the major participants in alumina industry. They are producing chemical and smelter grade alumina, which will have major applications in aluminum manufacturing and non-aluminum productions like ceramics, refractories, abrasives, filtration, and others.
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