High Purity Alumina (HPA)

 

High Purity Alumina (HPA)

Alumina or aluminum oxide, commonly known as Al2O3, is primarily used as a feedstock for the fabrication of metallic aluminum. About 90% of alumina known as smelter grade alumina (SGA) is used in aluminum metal production with the remaining 10% dedicated to the non-metallurgical market for specialty or chemical use. High purity alumina (HPA), which is the high-end form of aluminium oxide, has a wide range of industrial and high-tech specialty end uses. Characterised by a minimum purity of 99.99% (4N) Al2O3, HPA is the high-end, high-value product of the non-metallurgical alumina market. Due to its superior characteristics such as purity, extreme hardness and corrosion-resistance, HPA is the essential base material for artiificial sapphire substrates found in LEDs, also semiconductors, scratchproof artificial sapphire glass, and a growing range of high-performance applications. 

On the basis of purity, the global HPA market can be divided into the following products:

4N category - 99.99% Al2O3, with an impurity level of only 0.01 percent (100ppm)

5N category - 99.999% Al2O3, with an impurity level of only 0.001 percent (10ppm)

6N category - 99.9999% Al2O3, with an impurity level of only 0.0001 percent (1ppm)

Altech believes that the majority of global HPA sales and demand is at the 4N category and is therefore aiming to produce this product.

Global HPA demand is approximately 19,040tpa (2014) and is expected to at least double over the coming decade, growing at a CAGR of 28%. The increasing demand for HPA is primarily driven by the worldwide transition to LED lighting as the cost-effective, energy-efficient replacement for traditional incandescent light bulbs. Other high-tech applications driving demand are sapphire glass (for the booming smartphone/tablet sector), lithium-ion battery separators (for electric vehicles and electricity storage), and semiconductor wafers (for computer/electronics hardware).