Boron nitride is a refractory compound of nitrogen and boron. It occurs in numerous crystalline forms. The electronic structure or number of electrons of these forms is similar to that of carbon lattice. Boron nitride is non-toxic and a bad conductor of heat and electricity. It is an excellent substitute for lubricants (such as organic waxes and oils, molybdenum disulfide, and graphite) in metal processing. In a number of cases, boron nitride significantly improves the effectiveness of these applications. The hexagonal form of boron nitride, which is similar to graphite, is the most stable and soft among boron nitride polymorphs. It is used as an additive in cosmetic products. It is also used as a lubricant. The cubic form of boron nitride, similar to diamond, is called c-boron nitride. It is softer than diamond; however, its thermal and chemical stability is far superior to that of diamond. Wurtzite boron nitride is rare and similar to lonsdaleite (hexagonal diamond). It is even harder than the cubic form of boron nitride. Boron nitride ceramics are usually used as parts of high-temperature equipment owing to their excellent chemical and thermal stability. Boron nitride also has potential use in nanotechnology. Nanotubes made of boron nitride have a structure similar to that of carbon nanotubes; however, the properties are different.
The hexagonal form of boron nitride powder offers superior thermal conductivity and dielectric strength when used as filler in polymers that are employed in electronics applications. Benefits of the intrinsic properties of boron nitride, such as corrosion resistance, chemical inertness, high temperature resistance, and high oxidation resistance, is anticipated to augment the demand for boron nitride in metal processing applications. Furthermore, rise in demand for boron nitride as an insulator in high-temperature furnaces is expected to boost the boron nitride market in the near future. The notable hardness of boron nitride makes it an ideal material for the manufacture of insulators, which are used in high-temperature furnaces. Furthermore, it can be hot pressed to create the preferred shape of the insulator with properties such as thermal shock resistance, corrosion resistance, low dielectric constant, and high electrical resistance.
The boron nitride powder market can be segmented based on form type, application, and region. In terms of form type, the boron nitride powder market can be divided into amorphous form, hexagonal form, cubic form, wurtzite form, and others. Based on application, the boron nitride powder market can be segregated into coatings & mold release, composites, electrical insulation, lubrication (industrial), paints, lubricants (food), personal care, thermal spray, and others.
Based on region, the global boron nitride powder market can be split into Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific dominated the boron nitride powder market in 2016. This trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. Currently, China accounts for the major share of the boron nitride powder market. The country is anticipated to remain the largest market for boron nitride powder throughout the forecast period. India is anticipated to be a rapidly growing country of the boron nitride powder market in the next few years. Furthermore, increase in demand for boron nitride powder in electrical insulation and coatings & mold release applications coupled with the rapid increase in need of boron nitride powder in personal care and food-lubricants applications is anticipated to drive the market in the Asia Pacific region.
Key players operating in the boron nitride powder market include Saint-Gobain, Henze BNP AG, The 3M Company, Kennametal, Mizushima Ferroalloy Co., Ltd., Denka Company Ltd, ZYP Coatings Inc., Showa Denko K.K., H.C. Stark GmbH, and Momentive Performance Materials Inc.
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