Boron nitride is an inorganic compound with a flat, hexagonal crystal similar to graphite, but with carbon atoms replaced by boron and nitrogen atoms. Chemical formula of boron nitride is BN. Boron nitride can also be in cubic form, wherein alternately linked boron and nitrogen atoms form a tetrahedral bond network similar to carbon atoms in diamond. Cubic boron nitride, c-BN, is the second hardest material after diamond; however, it does not chemically wear in the presence of graphite and/or carbide forming elements. Cubic boron nitride has high thermal conductivity, excellent wear resistance, and good chemical inertness. These are useful properties for a material subjected to extreme conditions. Cubic boron nitride is used as an abrasive and wear-resistant coating owing to its hardness, chemical inertness, and high melting temperature.
Cubic boron nitride market and materials can be tailored according to the needs of end-users. This is a key advantage of cubic boron nitride. Boron nitride is widely used in the advanced ceramic industry. Advancement in nanotechnology is leading to development of innovative products of boron nitride such as boron nitride nanotubes, boron nitride nanosheets, and boron nitride nanomesh. These new products are anticipated to be used in technologically advanced end-use products. This os estimated to drive the demand for boron nitride market in the near future. However, these technologically advanced products are costly and out of the reach of common people. Boron nitride reportedly exhibits weak fibrogenic activity. It also reportedly causes pneumoconiosis when inhaled in particulate form. These are the restraints of the boron nitride market.
Based on chemical structure, the boron nitride market can be classified into amorphous form (a-BN), hexagonal form (h-BN), cubic form (c-BN), and wurtzite form (w-BN). a-BN is a non-crystalline and lacks long-distance regularity in the arrangement of atoms. It is similar to amorphous carbon. Hexagonal boron nitride is a white slippery solid with a layered structure, physically similar to graphite. Hexagonal boron nitride can be incorporated in ceramics, alloys, resins, plastics, and rubbers to give them self-lubricating properties. It is a widely used boron nitride. Cubic boron nitride is extremely hard and can even make scratches on diamond. w-BN possesses properties such as high hardness, high thermal expansion, high thermal conductivity, and good thermal and chemical stability.
In terms of application, the boron nitride market can be divided into technical ceramics, lubricant additives, thermal fillers, mechanical tools, cosmetic powder, and coatings. Various applications of boron nitride market are being explored in different industries. Boron nitride is widely used in technical ceramics and coating industries. Boron nitride is reported to function in cosmetics as a slip modifier. It is listed in the European Union inventory of cosmetic ingredients. c-BN is widely used in the production of mechanical tools.
Based on geography, the boron nitride market can be segregated into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America are the major regions of the boron nitride market. Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the leading region of the boron nitride market during the forecast period. Latin America and Middle East & Africa offer significant potential to the boron nitride market.
Key players operating in the boron nitride market are 3M, Showa Denko K. K., Denka Company Limited, Saint-Gobain Ceramic Materials, NanoDiamond Products DAC, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Kennametal Inc., and Henze Boron Nitride Products AG.