The global powder metallurgy market was valued at US$ 6,514.05 Mn in 2017 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2018 to 2026, according to a new report titled ‘Powder Metallurgy Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026,’ published by Transparency Market Research (TMR). The global powder metallurgy market is driven by a rise in demand for powder metal-based automotive components. North America accounts for a major share of the global powder metallurgy market due to increase in investments in technological advancements in the automobile and aerospace industries in the region.
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The automotive sector dominates the powder metallurgy market. Components manufactured through powder metallurgy technology are used for the production of a wide range of automotive components. Key components manufactured through powder metallurgy include transmission parts, engine parts, oil pumps, exhaust systems, and chassis components. These components play a vital role in the functioning of an automobile. Expansion of the automotive components segment of the global powder metallurgy market is attributed primarily to cost-saving advantages offered by powder metallurgy technology over other metalworking technologies such as forging, extrusion, casting, and machining. Powder metallurgy offers 40% cost savings compared to other technologies due to its low energy requirements. It has raw material use of up to 97%, and the process consumes 43% less energy than conventional technologies. Powder technology can be used to produce high-value components such as gears, bearings, and shafts. These factors are expected to drive the powder metallurgy market during the forecast period.
Powder metallurgy components are expected to find new applications, especially in additive manufacturing in the aerospace, electrical & electromagnetic, and alternative energy industries. There have been recent developments in the production of insulated powders for soft and hard magnetic applications. These developments are anticipated to change the fundamental design of motors. A multitude of shapes that can be molded or pressed in armatures or stators can be produced using powder metallurgy without sacrificing electrical performance characteristics. Therefore, the electric & electromagnetic industry is expected to provide lucrative opportunities to the powder metallurgy market in the near future. In addition, rise in legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is expected to provide new opportunities for the use of powder metallurgy components. These legislations are expected to result in an increase of about 30% in new alternative energy sources. Companies operating in the alternative energy industry can be prospective customers for powder metallurgy components. The solar energy, wind energy, and energy storage industries require several components such as gears, adaptors, clamps, motors, and generators. These can be manufactured using powder metallurgy. Increase in emphasis on alternative energy sources across the globe is likely to fuel demand for powder metallurgy components in the near future.
Powder metallurgy is beneficial when the raw material cost is contained to a comparatively smaller range, i.e. 20% to 30% of the total manufacturing costs. Furthermore, final product geometry plays an important role in selecting the production technology. Powder metallurgy is preferred for producing prismatic shapes where numerous shape complexities can be achieved. However, powder metallurgy has limited use in the production of three-dimensional products that possess the properties of through-thickness or axial direction. Powders used in powder metallurgy are relatively expensive feedstock as compared to other raw materials such as steel bars and billets. Furthermore, capital costs of powder metallurgy processing equipment are comparatively higher, and hence they need to be amortized over a large production run. All these factors are anticipated to restrain the market during the forecast period.
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The global powder metallurgy market has been segmented based on material, end-user, and region. Based on material, the market has been divided into iron powder, steel powder, and non-ferrous powder. The non-ferrous powder segment has been further split into aluminum, copper, nickel, cobalt, tungsten, and others. Iron powder is a dominant segment of the powder metallurgy market. Iron powder is widely used in the automotive sector due to its characteristics such as high stability, heat resistance, and density. Iron powder finds use in various applications such as automotive parts, chemical additives, and components in machinery. It contains graphite additives and is frequently used to fabricate bearings, filters, and structural parts, which are used for manufacturing low stressed mechanical components, typically for soft magnetic applications.
In terms of region, North America accounted for a major share of the global powder metallurgy market in 2017. The U.S. is expected to provide lucrative opportunities to manufacturers owing to increase in demand from machinery manufacturing, motor vehicles, electrical equipment, and batteries. Rise in demand for metal powders for manufacturing metal additives is also of prime interest for manufacturers based in North America. This is primarily due to rise in demand for spherical metallic shapes for manufacturing additives via metal injection moulding (MIM) or 3D-printing, which, in turn, is expected to boost demand for powder metallurgy. In the powder metallurgy market, the market in Asia Pacific is expected to surpass that in North America by 2020 and is likely to record double digit growth, primarily due to expansion in the automotive sector in developing economies such as China, India, and ASEAN. The powder metallurgy market in Europe has expanded significantly, owing to increasing automotive output and government initiatives for providing technological innovation in the aerospace industry. For instance, in 2017, Bodycote Plc., a leading service provider of heat treatment and thermal processing, launched a group of additive manufacturing processes by utilizing powder metallurgy for the production of complex components for the aerospace industry. All these factors are expected to boost the market in the region. Manufacturers in developed regions have limited presence in the Middle East & Africa and Latin America. These regions are projected to create lucrative opportunities for manufacturers in the next few years. Strengthening distribution channels in these regions is anticipated to help these companies expand their footprint.