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Powder Metallurgy


Emerging Applications Drive Demand for Powder Metallurgy

22nd May, 2015

The global market for powder metallurgy parts is projected to reach US$15.7 billion by 2020, driven by emerging applications and revival in the global automotive industry.

Powder metallurgy (PM), defined as the science of solid state sintering, offers benefits such as lower machining costs, elimination of wastages, material conservation, and uniformity in machined shapes and dimensions. Powder metal technology finds applications in the production of automotive and aerospace parts and component. A recovery in major end-use markets has been driving demand for metal powders and PM parts since the official end of the 2007-09 economic downturn. Representing the largest end-use market for metal powders and PM parts, the global automotive industry influences growth in the market. Demand for PM based structural auto parts, transmission and engine components, sintered magnets, and self-lubricating bearings is highly dependent on automobile production trends.

The inherent qualities of powder metallurgy are expanding the application scope of PM beyond the conventional automotive market. Future growth in the market is forecast to come from new emerging applications in aerospace, construction, and mechanical engineering. The rapid rate of advancements in electronic and computer components is likely to generate demand growth for aluminum and titanium-based powder metals. Additionally, increased investments in renewable energy and the resulting increase in production of solar panels and wind turbines offers lucrative growth potential for PM. Although currently in the experimental phase, nanoceramic powders are expected to play a significant role in future PM applications. Although PM technology has been confined to metal powders, the future is expected to witness increased use of compounds formed using non-metallic elements.

Technological advancements in PM parts manufacturing such as hot isostatic pressing, metal injection molding (MIM) and additive manufacturing are driving opportunities in the metal powder market. Additive manufacturing has been gaining immense popularity over the recent years, with numerous application possibilities being researched and studied. The potential for further investments in this area will spur demand for metal powders in additive manufacturing, alongside increase in applications in dental, medical, oil & gas and aerospace sectors.

As stated by the new market research report on Powder Metallurgy, Europe represents the largest market for PM parts worldwide. Asia-Pacific is forecast to emerge as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 5.7% over the analysis period.