Mineral fibers are fibers made from either natural or synthetic minerals. Usually, the term man made mineral fibers refers to the synthetic fibers such as fiberglass, stone wool and ceramic fibers. Industrial applications of mineral fibers include thermal insulation, soundproofing filtration and germination. Mineral fibers are generally classified in two types namely synthetic mineral fibers and natural mineral fibers. Synthetic natural fibers are further bifurcated as mineral wool, glass fiber and others. While natural mineral fibers are classified as Asbestos and others.
One of the key applications of mineral fibers is its use as a thermal insulator. Mineral wool rolls can be used in range of applications such as loft insulation, industrial insulation to HVAC insulation. Mineral fibers are also used for producing ceiling boards that cater to the ceiling purposes of various commercial, retail and office spaces. The use of mineral fibers for ceiling boards is expected to witness robust growth in the next few years. Growing urbanization in Asia Pacific has led to an increased construction activity in this region. This increase in construction activity especially pertaining to commercial and retail spaces has led to an increased demand for mineral fibers used as ceiling boards. Similar surge in construction activities is anticipated in other developing economies such as Indonesia, Malaysia etc. With new commercial and retail projects coming up in these countries, the demand for mineral fibers for ceiling boards is expected to witness strong growth in the next few years. Also, the demand for mineral fibers for insulation applications is projected to show strong growth in the next few years. Minerals fibers are used in walls in order to insulate them from cold weather in order to keep the houses warm. Mineral fiber insulations are also used particularly used in thermal insulation for applications such as furnace lining, kiln lining, heat and fire containment, and in aircraft engines as catalytic converter blankets. Special purpose mineral fibers made of glass are used in marine and aircraft applications. Mineral fibers are used in electrical appliances for thermal insulation and in certain places they are also used as fire protecting barriers. The demand for mineral fibers for ceiling boards is also anticipated to be high Latin American countries such as Brazil and Argentina. The demand for mineral fibers used in ceiling boards is expected to grow in Brazil where recent growth in construction activities has led to an increase in demand for mineral fibers in ceiling board applications.
In terms of demand North America was the largest market for mineral fibers followed by Asia Pacific, Europe and Rest of the World. In North America, U.S was the largest market followed by Canada and Mexico. In Europe, Germany constituted for the largest market followed by France, Italy and U.K. Further, China and India were the major markets for mineral fibers. The demand for mineral fibers is expected to further increase in this region on account of growing construction an industrial activities in this region. The demand for mineral fibers is also projected to be high in developing economies of Asia Pacific such as Indonesia etc. The demand for mineral fibers is also expected to be high in Latin American countries, especially Brazil, Argentina etc.
Some of the major companies operating in the global mineral fibers market are Armstrong, USG, Auralex, SGS, Fiberox and Fibertec Inc. among others.
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