The global nickel alloys market is anticipated to witness a lucrative growth owing to the demand from the aerospace industry in applications such as jet engine components, turbine bodies, combustion chambers, tanks, exhaust valves, and turbine blades among others.
Nickel alloys have a combination of unique properties which makes them suitable for specialized applications in various end-use industries. These alloys also exhibit good weldability in various joining processes. Nickel alloys have excellent properties such as ductility, malleability, corrosion resistance, and superior strength and are also a conductor of heat and electricity.
The demand from the gas & oil industry is anticipated to contribute to the growth of the nickel alloys market owing to the requirement of corrosion-resistant products. Oil rigs are prone to structural and other damages from corrosion which can have a huge impact on their operations. In such extreme temperatures and pressures conditions, these alloys exhibit excellent performance.
Electric resistance heating components require various types of nickel alloys due to their heat resistance. Soft magnetic properties of nickel-iron alloys make them useful in communication equipment and electronic devices where an electromagnetic shielding is required. Soft magnetic alloys are used in applications where high permeability, low Curie temperature, and low hysteresis energy loss is required. The growing demand for transistor enclosures, anode plates, plater bars, and other electronic products are likely to drive the nickel alloys to demand in the electrical & electronics sector.
Resistance heating alloys have wide applications, they can be used in industrial furnaces, heating systems, and household appliances. In furnaces, these alloys operate at 1300 degrees Celsius in metal processing industries while at 1700 degrees Celsius in firing ceramics. Industrial furnaces are likely to witness the growing demand for nickel alloys on account of increasing production in various metal processing industries such as casting and forging among others. For instance, the metal casting market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% over the next seven years.
Based on the type, the nickel alloys market has been classified into Ni-Fe alloys, Ni-Cr alloys, Ni-base superalloys, Ni-Cu alloys, and others. Ni-Cu alloys also known as Models usually have 67% of nickel and small proportions of other metals. Owing to excellent corrosion resistance and high strength they are used in heat exchangers, marine engineering, hydrocarbon processing equipment, shafts, pumps, fasteners, fittings, propeller shafts, valves and many more.
Nickel-titanium shape memory alloys are anticipated to grow at a rapid pace owing to the increasing demand from the biomedical sector. Increasing population and growing awareness regarding health are assisting in the demand of shape memory alloys in orthopedics, endodontics, and orthodontics segment.
Batteries sector is also one of the key consuming sectors of nickel alloys owing to its conduction and resistance properties. The growth of electric and hybrid vehicles market is projected to contribute to the demand for nickel alloys in this sector. Lithium-ion batteries require nickel due to its excellent power density in electric vehicle applications over long distances. As per the International Energy Agency, electric car sales increased by 5.1 million units in 2018 from the previous year, and China, Europe, and the U.S. are were the largest market respectively. Government initiatives on pollution control and increasing environmental awareness regarding greenhouse gas emissions are fueling the demand for electric cars.
Based on the end-user industry, the market is classified into aerospace & defense, oil & gas, energy & power, automotive, electrical & electronics, and others. Ni-base superalloys have major applications in the aerospace and defense industry owing to a combination of unique properties. The demand in this industry is likely to grow on account of rising air passenger traffic and increasing production of aircraft. As per the estimates of ICAO, major manufactures delivered nearly 1,600 commercial aircraft in 2018.
Based on geographic regions, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific region is likely to witness maximum demand on the account of the growing aerospace and automotive sector. As per the estimates of Boing, 39,600 aircraft are projected to add between 2016 to 2035 and the Asia Pacific is likely to account 38% share of these deliveries. Major aircraft component and system suppliers are based in the U.S. and Europe. OEMs and tier-1 suppliers are keen to diversify and de-risk their businesses by developing these components and system suppliers in China and India, which are closer to consumption regions.
The rising expenditure of various countries in the defense sector is a promising area for the nickel alloys market. For instance, China’s defense budget for 2018 was estimated at USD 175 billion, an increase of around 8% from the previous year. In India, the defense budget of the government reached nearly USD 41,000 million in 2018-19 increasing by 7.8% from 2017-18. This accounted for 12.1% of the total Indian central government’s budget in 2018-19.
The key market participants include Haynes International, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, Special Metals Corporation, Universal Stainless, Doncasters Group Ltd, CRS Holdings Inc., Aperam Alloys & Specialties, Nippon Yakin Kogyo Co., Ltd, Danyang Kaixin Alloy Materials Co., Ltd, and VDM Metals.
Increasing expenditure on R&D activities and new product development are the key strategies adopted by market vendors in the market. Recently, Sanvik introduced a new metal powder product known as Osprey, which can be used to manufacture nickel-based alloys through hot isostatic pressing (HIP) or additive manufacturing.
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The mining industry accounts for a vital share of the global economy and is responsible for supplying key raw materials for several applications and end-use industries, thus being a key sector of focus amidst the ongoing pandemic outbreak. Mining industries in China are expected to return to normal operations by Q3 of 2020 as enterprises indicated towards the returning of their workers soon. Moreover, Iron ore producers are known to be the least impacted. Major players such as BHP and Vale reported experiencing no major influence on their operations due to the COVID-19 virus. The iron ore prices reached above USD 90 per ton amidst the pandemic situation which may negatively impact the end-use industries. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.