Ceramic powder is a necessary ingredient for most of the structural ceramics, electronic ceramics, ceramic coatings, and chemical processing and environmental related ceramics. For most advanced ceramic components, starting powder is a crucial factor. The performance characteristics of a ceramic component are greatly influenced by precursor powder characteristics. Among the most important are the powder's chemical purity, particle size distribution, and the manner in which the powders are packed in the green body before sintering. The total U.S. market for advanced ceramic powders in 2002, including nanopowders, was estimated to be 918 million pounds worth $1,605 million. This is projected to increase at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 7.3% to 1,178 million pounds worth $2,286 million by 2007. For 2002, BCC estimates that the total consumption of nanosize ceramic powders was about $154 million, and is expected to grow at an AAGR of 9.3% to $241 million by 2007.