Synthetic Aggregates Market: Overview

Synthetic aggregates are lightweight aggregates composed of recycled plastics and coal fly ash. They are typically used as construction materials. These aggregates weigh less than 70 lbs/ft3 and are 30%-70% lighter than mineral aggregates. Synthetic aggregates are produced by utilizing waste from blast furnace or rotary kilns such as sewage sludge, incinerated sewage sludge, pulverized fuel ash, oil sands, and slag. They are heated at around 1000°F to 4500°F. Synthetic aggregates can also be produced from non-cementitious fly ash through coal burning process, recycled plastics, and recycled glass.

Synthetic Aggregates Market: Key Segments

Based on product type, the global synthetic aggregates market can be segmented into pyro-processed ceramic aggregates and plastic aggregates. Pyro-process aggregates are manufactured by heating natural materials such as shale and clay, while plastic aggregates are formed by heating industrial by-products and consumer plastics. Ceramic aggregates are widely used in the construction industry in the production of Portland cement for bridge deck applications. They are also used in concrete for high rise construction. Concrete produced by mixing synthetic aggregates is strong with less weight vis-à-vis that produced by traditional aggregates. Synthetic aggregates are also employed in seal chips, which are used in traffic areas. These aggregates offer superior skid-resistance and bonding with asphalt emulsion due to their porous structure.

Synthetic Aggregates Market: Trends & Demands

Rise in demand for sustainable construction materials with low CO2 emission, typically for the building & construction industry, is driving the global synthetic aggregates market. Increase in construction activities, such as highways and pavements, across the globe and growth in usage of concrete in buildings are boosting the synthetic aggregates market. Stiff competition from natural aggregates derived from sand, gravel, rocks, etc. is expected to hamper the market during the forecast period. Rise in demand for concrete products such as concrete roof shingles, ultra-light weight concrete, culvert pipe, concrete underground vessels, and pre-stressed or tilt-up concrete is anticipated to provide lucrative opportunities to manufacturers of synthetic aggregates during the forecast period.

Synthetic Aggregates Market: Regional Outlook

In terms of region, the global synthetic aggregates market can be segregated into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is the leading consumer of synthetic aggregates, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Rise in demand for aggregates derived from recycled waste to curb carbon emissions is boosting the synthetic aggregates market in North America. Increase in demand for lightweight concrete in the U.K. Germany, France, and countries in Eastern Europe is anticipated to drive the demand for synthetic aggregates in Europe during the forecast period. Concrete mixed with synthetic aggregates produces lightweight concrete, which offers benefits such as improved structural efficiency, ease of transport, less labor force, reduced dead load of a structure, ease of renovation and repair, and better thermal insulation. This is augmenting the demand for synthetic aggregates in Europe. Asia Pacific is projected to provide lucrative opportunities to manufacturers of synthetic aggregates in near future due to the rise in urbanization and growth in disposable income of consumers. Expansion in the building & construction industry in developing economies of Asia Pacific such as China, India, and Vietnam is likely to propel the demand for synthetic aggregates in the near future. The market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is estimated to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period. Increase in adoption of green construction materials and green and energy efficient buildings is expected to drive the synthetic aggregate market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa. Growth in construction activities in the UAE, Qatar, and South Africa is anticipated to boost the market in Middle East & Africa during the forecast period.

Synthetic Aggregates Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the global synthetic aggregates market are Melvin Stone Company, Urbana Materials, Northern Kentucky Aggregates, and Wooster Materials.

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