Hydraulic Fracturing Driving the Global Demand for Silica Sand

Hydraulic Fracturing Driving the Global Demand for Silica Sand
Rising hydraulic fracturing activities, particularly in North America, Latin America and Western Europe are expected to drive the demand of silica sand in the next five years.

Silica sand or industrial sand is one of the most common varieties of sand found in the world. Silica sand has been in use since ancient times and the art and skills of making glass objects using silica dates back centuries. But today, owing to many physical and chemical properties of silica sand, it has acquired well-diversified applications across various industries all over the world. These properties include high silica content, high strength, easy availability, resistant to heat and chemical reactions, etc. Some of silica sand’s applications include water filtration, glass making, industrial casting, sand blasting, adding texture to slick roads, sand finishes in paints and coatings, etc. In recent years, the demand of industrial silica sand has increased significantly in the hydraulic fracturing market as well.

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According to IMARC group’s latest report “Silica Sand Market – Industry Trends, Manufacturing Process, Plant Setup, Machinery, Raw Materials, Cost and Revenue” the global silica sand production was worth 171 Million Tons with the market growing at a CAGR of around 4.7% during 2008–2015. Although, the demand of commercial silica products declined due to the global economic crisis in 2009, the market however, recovered and once again picked up growth from the year 2010. The report has segmented the silica sand market on the basis of five key end-use industries mainly glass, foundry, hydraulic fracturing, filtration and abrasives. Glass currently represents the largest consumer of silica sand followed by foundry, hydraulic fracturing, filtration and abrasives. Other applications like recreational products, paints etc., account for the remainder of the global silica sand demand.

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The report has also segmented the market on the basis of region. Country-wise, the United States dominates the global silica sand market in terms of production and thus most of the key players are concentrated in this region. The United States is followed by Italy, Germany, Turkey and Australia. In terms of consumption, however, the Asia-Pacific region represented the biggest consumer of silica sand followed by North America and Western Europe. Looking forward, high growth rates are expected in North America, Latin America and Western Europe due to increasing hydraulic fracturing activities in these regions. On the other hand, growth rates in emerging markets like India and China are likely to increase mainly due to a rising demand of silica sand in the foundry and construction industries.

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