Perlite is a naturally occurring amorphous, volcanic, siliceous rock with high water content. Upon heating sufficiently the water molecules are released and perlite expands 4 to 20 times of its original volume imparting white color to the material. Perlite is an industrial mineral useful for its lightweight after expansion.
Rising demand from the recovering global construction market is expected to drive the perlite market for the coming years. However, limited availability of the resource and easy substitutability is expected to restrain the market growth. New applications in various fields such as filtration and horticulture are projected to be the market opportunities for expansion.
Perlite finds application in the construction, horticulture, filtration, foundries, ceramics as clay additive and cryogenic insulation among others. Construction market emerged as the largest end-user segment globally. Perlite is used as an additive in lightweight insulation, plasters, mortars and ceiling tiles in the construction industry. Owing to its high permeability, demand from horticulture and filtration market is also projected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Perlite is being widely used for filtration of beer as well as a substitute for diatomaceous earth in filtration applications worldwide. Industrial applications for perlite include high-performance fillers in plastics industry and cements for geothermal, water and petroleum wells.
Asia Pacific is the largest consumer as well as producer of perlite owing to low regulatory bans and high demand from construction industry. Recovering construction market in North America and Europe after the recent slump is also adding up to the demand for perlite. China is the largest supplier of perlite followed by Greece, U.S. and Turkey.
Some of the players in the perlite market include Pratley Inc., California Shake corp., Perlite Co., Omran Moomun Chabahar, Harborlite Corp, Imerys, P.V.P. Industries, Inc., and Midwest Perlite Inc., among others.
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