Global demand for calcium aluminate cement is forecast to reach one million tons between 2021 and 2022, according to CW Research’s Global Calcium Aluminate Cement Market Report and Forecast.
The upward trend will be underpinned by the refractories industry, the biggest consumer of calcium aluminate cement.
“Consumption of calcium aluminate cement has been steadily growing over the last few years, with the exception of the period 2013-2015. Those years were marked by a slowdown in the Chinese construction and refractories industries, in turn provoked by increasing restrictions in the production of heavy materials in the country. Nonetheless, the global outlook for calcium aluminate cement demand remains positive”, assesses João Sobrinho, business analyst at CW Group.
A highly-resistant, multi-purpose commodity
Calcium aluminate cement is considered a calcium mono-aluminate, obtained by the reaction at high temperature of a lime material and alumina, usually extracted from raw materials like bauxite. High-purity calcium aluminate cements are manufactured by sintering, usually in rotary kilns. This is in contrast to the fusion process, normally used to manufacture lower-purity calcium aluminates.
This type of cement has rapid-hardening properties and can be used in environments of very high and low temperatures, and is also known for being highly resistant to bacterial corrosion.
Depending on the alumina percentage, calcium aluminate cement can be divided in three grades. High alumina grade, which ranges between 70 and 80 percent of alumina content, is mostly used in refractories and is more expensive. Medium alumina grade has between 50 to 70 percent of alumina in its content and is also used in refractories, as well as in building chemistry and sewage pipes. Lastly, low alumina grade calcium aluminate cement presents the lowest percentage of alumina, between 20 to 50 percent, being the most inexpensive among the three. Its multiple uses include refractories, building chemistry and construction.
Kerneos, Calucem, Almatis, Çimsa Cement, and Górka Cement are among the main global suppliers of calcium aluminate cement.
Calcium aluminate cement to grow faster than gray and white
In terms of end-user segmentation, the industry of refractories is the biggest consumer of calcium aluminate cement due to its previously mentioned resistance to high temperatures. CW Research expects this trend to strengthen in the future, with refractories becoming even more relevant compared to building chemistry, and other end-user segments.
“Despite a deceleration between 2013 and 2015, the global refractories industry is poised to continue expanding in the coming years, underpinned by a positive forecast on worldwide steel production. This means that, even though a growing construction activity is likely to translate into an improvement in the building chemistry end-user segment, it’s the refractories industry that is bound to display a stronger annual average growth rate through 2023. Therefore, calcium aluminate cement demand is expected to grow faster than that for gray and white cement”, stresses Sobrinho.
Regarding distribution per segment, high-grade calcium aluminate cement represents the lion’s share of total consumption, as compared to its medium and low-grade counterparts. Nevertheless, lower-grade alumina products are still used in refractories industries. The trend is particularly visible in the least-developed countries, since, despite their lower performance, lower-alumina grades are cheaper.
CW Group’s Global Calcium Aluminate Cement Market Report and Forecast provides an assessment of the global calcium aluminate cement market and projection for demand of calcium aluminate cements by type and end-user segment. Find out more about the report here