Cermets are composites, wherein ceramic materials and metals join together to give a composite with the high temperature performance or wear resistance of a ceramic and the toughness, flexibility, or electrical conductivity of a metal. A cermet is ideally designed to offer optimal properties of both a ceramic (such as high temperature resistance and hardness) and a metal (such as the ability to undergo plastic deformation). Metal is used as a binder for an oxide, boride, or carbide. Generally, metallic elements used are nickel, molybdenum, and cobalt. Depending on the physical structure of the material, cermets can also be metal matrix composites; however, cermets are usually less than 20% metal in terms of volume.
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Cermets are used in the manufacture of electrical components such as resistors, capacitors, and other electronic components that may experience high temperature. Cermets offer a perfect solution in components such as resistors and vacuum tubes (valves).They are used instead of tungsten carbide in saws and other brazed tools due to their superior wear and corrosion properties. Machine tools are another increasingly common usage of cermets, which offer higher toughness and wear resistance than traditional materials. Titanium carbide (TiC), from which many cutting and drilling tools are made, is a popular choice of cermet for tools used in milling, turning and boring, and for making threads and grooves. Typically, cermet tools are made either with titanium carbide alone or with both titanium carbide and titanium nitride (TiN). Generally, cermets provide higher cutting-tool speeds, better surface finish, and last much longer than traditional tool parts. Unlike tools coated in carbide, cermet coated tools do not wear in the same way, but effectively regenerate themselves. Some types of cermets are also being used in spacecraft shielding, as they resist the high velocity impacts of micrometeoroids and orbital debris much more effectively than traditional spacecraft materials such as aluminum and other metals.
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The cermet market has been evolving. Cermet is an important material in aviation and space sectors. This is boosting the cermet market. The market for cermets is likely to remain strong in the near future, as the material has been garnering attention in emerging economies. These advantages of cermets and their ability to resist high temperatures effectively are considered to be prominent drivers of the global cermet market. Thus, the cermet market is estimated to expand significantly in the near future.
North America and Europe are the dominant regions of the cermet market led by the presence of abundant natural resources and manufacturing industries. Asia Pacific is expected to contribute significantly to the global cermet market during the forecast period owing to the growth in electronics and aerospace industries. New inventions and technologies are also likely to boost the cermet market in the region.
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Key manufacturers operating in the cermet market are Sandvik Coromant, Iscar Ltd., Cermet Materials, KYOCERA Corporation, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Tool Engineering, Ltd.