The global argon market is expected to grow over the forecast period, owing to risings demand in numerous application segments such as electronics, stainless steel, and fabricated metalworking markets. Argon is often substituted by helium in various sectors; however, rising helium prices are projected to boost argon demand in several applications. Growing infrastructural activities are expected to foster demand for steel which in turn is expected to drive the argon market over the forecast period. Expanding automobile sector is also anticipated to increase product demand as steel is one of the main components of this sector. Burgeoning energy markets are also expected to drive the product demand, owing to applications in the solar and insulated windows market. Argon and krypton gases are used for insulating windows to cover the space between glass panes to prevent cold air from coming inside the rooms. This factor is also projected to drive the market over the forecast period. The solar energy market requires huge volumes of argon for manufacturing processes. Growing lighting demand owing to the increasing number of malls, and shopping complexes are expected to drive product demand over the forecast period. Argon is a versatile gas and is used for various welding applications such as welding special alloys and the production of light bulbs and lasers. This is also anticipated to fuel product demand over the coming seven years. Argon can also provide oxygen and a nitrogen-free environment for various heating processes which is expected to drive the market over the forecast period.
However, high transportation cost on account of rising fuel cost is anticipated to negatively impact the market over the next seven years. The imbalance between demand and supply is also anticipated to curb the market over the forecast period. Inhalation of argon gas causes asphyxiation, which can be fatal to humans. This is also anticipated to restrain product demand over the coming seven years.
Commercially, argon is produced by fractional distillation of liquid air, and owing to its inertness; it does not react chemically with most substances. It is also used as a substitute for nitrogen, which is also expected to drive the product market over the forecast period. Argon has various industrial applications such as welding, lighting, preservatives, and laboratory equipment. It also finds applications in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology segments. Argon is extensively used in the chemical industries although it is not a chemical itself owing to its special properties that help industries to innovate new products and reduce production costs.
North America is expected to be the largest market over the forecast period, owing to the significant growth in automobile and energy markets. Europe experiences harsh weather conditions, thus utilization of argon for insulating windows is also expected to drive the argon market in the region over the next seven years. Asia Pacific is also expected to display rising argon demand owing to growing developmental activities in emerging nations such as India and China among others. The Middle East and African countries are also expected to witness increasing industrialization which is expected to drive the argon market over the coming seven years.
Market players are projected to undergo capacity expansion over the forecast period to eradicate the imbalance between demand and supply. This factor is anticipated to boost product demand, owing to reducing argon production costs. Market players are also actively taking initiatives to explore new applications for the product, which is also expected to increase argon demand over the forecast period. Argon production is tied to oxygen production in ASUs (Air Separation Units), thus players are emphasizing increasing oxygen production which in turn is expected to drive the argon market over the coming seven years,
Major market players operating in the argon market are Linde Gas USA LLC, BASF, AMCS Corporation, Praxair, Messer Group GmbH, Air Liquide, KBR, and National Industrial Gas Plants.
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