Cubic boron nitride (CBN) is a man-made novel substance that does not exist in nature. It is manufactured under high pressure and high temperature similar to diamond and has wurzite crystal structure. It is manufactured by direct conversion of hexagonal boron nitride to cubic boron nitride by treating at high pressure and temperature. CBN abrasives possess characteristics such as high strength, hardness, resistance to chemicals, heat, abrasion and ability to maintain the sharp cutting edges during use. Asia’s cubic boron nitride market is expected to witness a significant due to increasing demand as an abrasive in several applications. CBN is insoluble in alloys such as iron and nickel at high temperature. CBN possesses high thermal conductivity, low thermal expansion and high electrical resistance which reflect positive growth as well as demand. CBN is usually preferred over diamonds owing to properties such as superior thermal, hardness and chemical stability.
According to the study “Asia Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN) Industry Situation and Prospects Research Report”, cubic boron nitride (CBN) in crystals form is the hardest synthetic materials in the world and is used in material removal applications for over few decades. CBN is also known as synthetic diamonds and are superior to naturally occurring diamonds in terms of quality and consistency. Cubic boron nitride crystals are used in sawing, grinding, machining, drilling and polishing applications in a wide variety of industries. CBN powder form is used as a raw material for manufacturing bonded abrasives, coated abrasives, polishes, cleaners, abrasive tools, grinding pastes, and other abrasive products.
On the basis of end-use industries, cubic boron nitride is used as abrasive, resin bond grinding wheels, vitrified wheels, electroplated products, PcBN, and others. The various product types of cubic boron nitride are high grade CBN monocrystalline, medium grade CBN monocrystalline and low grade CBN monocrystalline. Geographically, Cubic boron nitride market in Asia is spread across China, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, India and other regions. The leading players in Asia’s Cubic boron nitride market are Element Six, Momentive, ILJIN, Saint-Gobain, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Sandvik Hyperion, Tomei Diamond, FUNIK, Zhengzhou Zhongnan Jete Superabrasives, Famous Diamond, Besco Superabrasives, Berlt Hard Material, Zhengzhou Zhong peng, Henan Huanghe Whirlwind and Yuzhou Hehui Superhard Material Company. All the leading vendors are increasingly investing in R&D and are focusing on creating strong brand names, offering well-established products, and exhibit long-term reliability. The vendors are increasingly competing against each other based on factors such as price, features, and product quality.
CBN has advantageous characteristics such as easy binding with metals as a result of interlayer nitrides or metal borides formation which anticipates market growth. CBN is used in the manufacture of razor blades and water resistant pipes, particularly in Japan and China. Moreover, the diamond like properties of CBN along with low cost production in emerging economies such as India and China are expected to drive Asia’s CBN market. It was observed that there is a limited availability of CBN raw materials and which is coupled with complex production process that restrains the growth in Asia’s CBN market growth.
CBN is an extremely hard material that is used as an abrasive, specifically in high-temperature applications. The cutting and grinding of hardened and carbide steel is a difficult process, therefore, CBN crystal or powder or mesh, in the form of a coated surface over a grinding or polishing wheel, is used to perform finishing processes such as polishing, grinding, and lapping. CBN is recognized in ‘tool and cutter’ grinding applications and mass production grinding operations carried out in industries such as automotive, general engineering and aerospace. Technical and technological advancements in CBN manufacturing process is expected to further augment CBN market in Asia over the next few years.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications