Ferrite is a ceramic material made by mixing and firing large proportions iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3, rust) blended with small proportions of one or more additional metallic elements, such as barium, manganese, nickel, and zinc. They are both electrically non-conductive, meaning that they are insulators, and ferrimagnetic, meaning they can easily be magnetized or attracted to a magnet. Ferrites can be divided into two families based on their resistance to being demagnetized (magnetic coercivity).
Soft ferrite is an iron-oxide-based soft magnetic material. This material features high electrical resistance and outstanding magnetic characteristics in high-frequency range although saturation flux density is slightly lower than other soft magnetic materials.
Hard ferrite magnets (or "hard ferrites"), which have a high remanence after magnetization, are composed of iron and barium or strontium oxides. In a magnetically saturated state they conduct magnetic flux well and have a high magnetic permeability. This enables these so-called ceramic magnets to store stronger magnetic fields than iron itself. They are the most commonly used magnets in radios.
Growing demand for electronics has been a major factor driving growth for ferrite. Increase in disposable income of consumers in the emerging economies leading to growth in several end user segments also has been a major factor driving growth for the industry. Low cost, high efficiency, easy availability is amongst the major factors driving growth for soft ferrite. Research and development activities to increase application scope of ferrite are expected to offer huge growth opportunity for the market.
Asia Pacific dominates the global ferrite market in terms of consumption and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Demand for ferrite in the region is primarily driven by the emerging economies of India and China. Other major markets for ferrite include North America, Western Europe and Japan. These developed economies are expected to grow at a sluggish rate mainly owing to saturation of end user segments. Growing demand for ferrite in nuclear energy segment is expected to offer huge growth opportunity in the market. Africa and Latin America are expected to drive the market growth in the Row segment.