Ceramic inks are carriers of ceramic fine particled metallic oxide pigments that are used to decorate ceramic tiles and plain glasses. These inks enhance the attractiveness of the surface on which they are used. Ceramic inks are expected to possess physical consistency appropriate for producing adequate detail and hence are suspended in a thick medium. Analog printing and digital printing are the major technologies of ceramic inks. Digital printing inks are anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period. Analog printing is estimated to expand at a slower rate than digital printing in the near future. Ceramic inks are used in ceramic tiles, glass printing, and food containers.
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These inks can provide a wide range of effects. They help achieve detailed looks of natural products such as stone and wood as well as repeat geometric and irregular patterns. They also provide metallic effects, floral patterns, and reproductions of photographed images. Ceramic inks can be fused into glasses to ensure lasting vibrancy and photorealistic color for ceramic glass printing applications. These inks also provide higher degree of design quality and functional performance. Ceramic inks are generally non-toxic in printed and liquid forms. They are also highly durable. Ceramic inks offer high resistance to UV, scratches, and weather.
Demand for ceramic inks is projected to increase due to expansion of end-user industries such as automobile and construction. Growth in the construction industry in emerging economies of Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa is also likely to boost the demand for ceramic inks. Furthermore, demand for automobiles has increased significantly in India and China, two of the major economies in Asia Pacific. This is likely to further propel the demand for ceramic inks. Growth in modern digital printing technologies that employ ceramic inks is expected to provide new opportunities for long lasting decorations and optical effects on glass. However, availability of substitutes and fluctuation in prices of raw materials may hamper market growth.
Currently, Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for ceramic inks. It is followed by Middle East & Africa, North America, Europe, and Latin America. India and China are the fastest growing markets in Asia Pacific due to presence of large number of end-user industries. Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are anticipated to be other major consumers of ceramic inks in Asia Pacific in the near future. The ceramics inks market in North America and Europe is estimated to saturate during the forecast period and experience moderate growth. France, Germany, and the U.K. are the major consumers of ceramic inks in Europe.
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Medium sized chemical corporations dominate the ceramic inks market. Key players operating in the market include Dip-Tech, Xennia Technologies, Ferro Corporation, Six Star Ceramic Colors Co., Ltd, Chimigraf Ibérica S.L., Esmalglass. Itaca Grupo, Electronics for Imaging, Inc., Unico Digital SA, Zschimmer & Schwarz Group, Vaanix Industries Pvt Ltd., International Imaging Materials Inc. (IIMAK), Shenzhen Uvink Tech Co., Limited, Xinfeng Yele Chemical Industry manufacturing Co., Ltd, Fritta S.L., Colorobbia Espana S.A., Torrecid, and Dongguan Winnerjet Printer Consumables Co., Ltd. Companies adopt aggressive marketing strategies to remain competitive in the market. They focus on expanding their product portfolio. Additionally, companies are expanding their presence in emerging economies of Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa to increase their market share. They are also investing in research and development and collaborating with research institutes to develop innovative ceramic ink technologies.
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