Calcium borate is obtained from colemanite and ulexite ores. On a commercial scale, it is manufactured by reacting calcium salts with boric acid. It is a bluish white crystal and is used as a fertilizer, flame retardant and as ceramic flux. Ceramics including glass use calcium borate as an important raw material. Turkey and the U.S. have the largest reserves of colemanite and ulexite ores. These countries refine and sell calcium borate to other parts of the world. Additionally, Chile, in South America has considerable reserves of calcium borate ore. Calcium borate also finds application in textile glass fiber reinforcement. Textile glass fibers are high strength fibers composed of glass which are used in home furnishing fabrics, tires and reinforced plastics.
The rising demand for flame retardants and ceramics from the building & construction industry has been propelling the calcium borate market. Flame retardants reduce the risk of a fire starting and its propagation. This function increases the time duration available for escaping from a site of fire. Moreover, the use of calcium borate to manufacture ceramic flux for the production of ceramics has been responsible for the large scale consumption of calcium borate. The use of calcium borate fertilizers is wide-spread in agricultural farmlands. These fertilizers are in the form of liquid foliar spray and are applied by using controlled release mechanism. The growing need of increasing per hectare yield of crops from farmlands has been boosting the growth of calcium borate market. The growing GDP of emerging economies such as the BRICS nations is anticipated to open new opportunities for calcium borate market, in the coming years.
Based on applications, calcium borate market can be divided into four major segments: flame retardants, ceramic flux & glazes, fertilizer and reinforced glass fiber. The calcium borate market is expected to show phenomenal growth over the next six years primarily due to the growth of the construction industry coupled with the growing demand from the Latin America and Asia Pacific region. Moreover, the growing safety regulations with respect to fire have increased the demand for this chemical. The thriving, building & construction industry and agricultural farmlands of Latin America, China and India are the dominant consumers of calcium borate. The automobile industry in China is projected to show a large scale demand for calcium borate owing to its use in reinforced glass fibers employed in high performance rubber tires. These regions are expected to show an exponential growth in demand for calcium borate, during the forecast period. U.S. and Western Europe are anticipated to exhibit moderate demand for calcium borate for flame retardants and glass fiber applications. The increasing number of governmental regulations in these regions to incorporate flame retardant additives for consumer safety has been a key factor propelling the growth of this market in the U.S and Western Europe. Calcium borate is used as a petrochemical additive, owing to which, the Middle-Eastern countries have been moderate users of calcium borate for this application.
Some of the major companies manufacturing calcium borate are Chemtura, Akzonobel N.V, Albemarle Corporation, Clariant AG, BASF SE, Bayer Material Science, Corporation, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Hainan Zhongxin Chemical Co., Ltd, Lanxess, Oceanchem Group Limited, Novista Chemicals, Shandong Shouguang Shen Runfa Ocean Chemical Co., Ltd, Weifang Graceland Chemicals Co. Ltd and Qingdao On-Billion Industrial Co., Ltd among others.