The building and construction industry is constantly looking for stronger and lighter materials that are resistant to harsh weather conditions. Cellular concrete meets these needs on account of being a cement-based construction material that is lightweight, fire resistant, and structurally robust. It is also sometimes referred to as foam concrete or foamcrete. Cellular concrete derives its lightness from the many tiny and evenly distributed gas bubbles. It is produced by mixing cement (or sand or fly ash in some cases), water, and a foaming agent. The slurry thus produced is then blended further in a concrete mixing plant by adding a synthetic aerated foam. It is imperative that the foaming agent used in cellular concrete produces bubbles that are high on the stability quotient so that they are able to endure the mixing and hardening processes and all of the physical and chemical changes that occur during the same.
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Cellular concrete is usually poured into molds for it to harden. It is also sometimes pumped directly into structural elements depending on the need of the project. The material may be left to naturally solidify (which takes about 24 hours) or may be cured using steam at temperatures of up to 70 degrees centigrade for faster hardening. Suppliers typically produce cellular concrete in densities between 250 kg/m³ and 1600 kg/m³ in terms of volume weight.
The cellular concrete market is a dynamic; it is characterized by the pressing need for product innovation owing primarily to the fact that product differentiation is low. The high degree of competition, especially at the domestic level, has spurred product innovation and new launches in the market. The report on the cellular concrete market provides market size and forecast for the period ranging from 2016 to 2024. Porter’s five forces analysis is also included in the study to gauge the future bargaining power of consumers, manufacturers, suppliers, and the threat from substitutes.
Growth and performance of the cellular concrete market is directly proportional to the state of the building and construction. Increasing degree of urbanization in growth economies in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East is boosting the demand for cellular concrete, as it is used in both new constructions and maintenance and rebuilds. The resurgence of the construction sector post the global economic slowdown of 2008 has helped the global cellular concrete market gain momentum.
Owing to its superior insulation properties and affordable pricing, companies in the building and construction industry are more willing to replace conventional concrete with cellular concrete. Cellular concrete is expected to be used in large volume in road construction projects, as the material can withstand harsh weather conditions.
Companies in the global cellular concrete market would be challenged by the availability of substitute materials that offer many of the features of cellular concrete. Products that pose the highest threat to cellular concrete include gravel and autoclaved sand bricks.
In terms of geography, the global cellular concrete market is dominated by Asia Pacific. In countries such as India and China, where urbanization is occurring at breakneck speed, the demand for low-cost, structurally sound, and lightweight construction materials is high. Europe is yet another viable region for companies looking to invest in the cellular concrete market, as smaller European countries are expanding their infrastructure.
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Dominant global players in the cellular concrete market include Cellular Concrete Technologies, Saint Gobain, Cellucrete, Laston Italiana S.P.A, Shirke, and ACICO.
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