Powder Metallurgy is used in applications where various metals have to be melded into alloys. The process comprises four steps: Powder manufacture – where the metals are powdered, powder blending – where the powders of the metals to be fused are mixed (still in powder form), compacting – where the powder mixture is physically pressed together, and sintering – where the compacted powder mix is fused together through heat. Powder Metallurgy is much more cost-effective and less energy-intensive than metal removal processes, which makes powder metallurgy a sought-after technology in the industrial world.
The global Powder Metallurgy Market was worth US$6.06 billion in 2013. Growing at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2014 to 2020, the value of the powder metallurgy is expected to rise to approximately US$9 billion. Among the many applications of powder metallurgy, the automotive industry, electrical and electronics, and industrial applications account for the majority of the market. The automotive industry, with a 65% market share, is by far the dominant end-use application.
The Global Powder Metallurgy market is expected to ride the global auto industry boom in the coming years. With auto industries all over the world, especially those in the Asia Pacific region, expected to enjoy bumper figures in the near future, the prospects for powder metallurgy are quite bright in the automotive industry. Automobile manufacturing heavily employs metalworking techniques, and innovations in metallurgy processes benefit the industry massively. This explains the growing popularity of powder metallurgy in the automobile world.
A major restraint expected to impede the growth of the global powder metallurgy market is the limited size of objects that can be created through this process. Powder metallurgy relies considerably on physical compaction, which limits the size of objects that can be created through its application. More research is required before powder metallurgy can be used in a larger variety of end-use applications.
Research and innovation into seeking new applications for powder metallurgy will open up new market opportunities in the coming years. Metalworking and other metallurgical processes are employed in many industries, which offer a wide scope for innovation in powder metallurgy techniques. According to product offering, the global powder metallurgy market is divided into ferrous powders, non-ferrous powders, and other powdered metals. The ferrous category accounted for a whopping 80% of the global market, followed by non-ferrous powders. Demand for ferrous powder metallurgy is expected to increase in the coming years, thanks to increasing demand from the automotive and consumer electronics sectors.
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According to geographical distribution, Asia Pacific accounted for the largest share of the global powder metallurgy market in 2013, at 46%. North America and Europe were the next two segments, with the Rest of the World segment coming in a distant fourth. Asia’s share in the powder metallurgy market is expected to increase even further in the coming years, and is slated to approach 50% of the global market by 2020.
Asia’s rise in the global market is due to the large automobile industries operating in countries such as Japan, South Korea, and China. Even though India doesn’t have a globally significant auto industry, it is a manufacturing hub for several Western automakers, making it a major consumer of powder metallurgy. The China and India auto manufacturing sectors are expected to grow significantly over the next few years thanks to growing government support and increasing industrialization.
Major players in the global powder metallurgy market include Carpenter Technology Corporation, GKN plc. Federal-Mogul Corporation, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, Hitachi Chemical Company, Ltd., H.C. Starck, Fine Sinter Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd., Sandvik AB, Hoganas AB, and SMC Powder Metallurgy Inc.
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