Alumina trihydrate is white colored translucent powder also known by the name of aluminum hydroxide. It is used as a fire retardant. It is one of the most commonly and widely used fire retardant. Additionally, it is also a smoke suppressant. It is soluble in mineral acids but insoluble in water. Alumina trihydrate occurs naturally in bauxite ore; however, it is commercially produced by the Bayer process. Besides being widely used as fire retardant, alumina trihydrate finds use in paper, plastics, adhesives and chemical industry.
Fire retardants are used in several industries, commercial spaces, government buildings and residential areas. Stringent safety policies laid down bygovernments across the globe; make the use of fire extinguishers and alumina trihydrate mandatory. This is key driver for the market of alumina trihydrate. It is used extensively in order to comply with thefire safety standards, in manufacturing plants, offices and public places such as restaurants and airports among others. A multitude of industries therefore consume alumina trihydrate, which is driving this market. Additionally, alumina trihydrate is used an inexpensive substitute of titanium dioxide to whiten papers and to add luster to paints. The growing paper and paints & coatings industry is therefore a driver for the market of alumina trihydrate. However, use of alumina trihydrate has been associated with the occurrence of macrophagicmyofasciitis, a muscular disease. There has been no conclusive study in this regard, as yet; nevertheless, it could restrain the market of alumina trihydrate. The use of alumina trihydrate to form other aluminum chemicals such as aluminum chloride, aluminum fluoride, aluminum sulfate and sodium aluminate, is expected to open new areas of opportunity for this market.
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China is the largest consumer and producer of alumina trihydrate, followed by North America, Western Europe and Japan. The Middle Eastern countries are a major consumer of alumina trihydrate owing to the flourishing yet fire sensitive oil and gas industry operating there. The market of fire retardants is mature in most parts of the world with a high but stable global consumption over the years. The use of alumina trihydrate as a catalyst to manufacture other aluminum compounds is expected to drive this market within the forecast period. Chemicals such as alum and sodium aluminate which can be formed from alumina trihydrate are used in water purification. It thus finds an application in water purification process
The paper industry makes use of titanium dioxide to whiten paper; however titanium dioxide is an expensive compound. Alumina trihydrate is therefore used as an inexpensive substitute for paper whitening. In the paints and coatings industry also, alumina trihydrate is used as a substitute of titanium dioxide, to add luster to paints. Alumina trihydrate finds minor use in the pharmaceutical industry. It is used to manufacture antacids. The generic drugs market in India is a consumer of alumina trihydrate for manufacturing these antacids. Additionally, it is used as reinforcement filler in plastics, elastomers and adhesives among others. The multifarious use of aluminum chemicals is expected to drive the market of alumina trihydrate over the coming years.
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The major players manufacturing alumina trihydrate include - Alfa Aesar, Alumina Chemicals and Castables, Akrochem Corporation, Aecochem Corp GFS Chemicals Co, Huber Engineered Materials, Hongcheng Co, LKAB Minerals, Lianyungang Tetrafluor New Materials Co.,Ltd.Niknam Chemicals Pvt Ltd, RJ Marshall Co, Ruiyuan Group Limited and R.E. Carroll among others.
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