Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) Market Size Report By Product (Electronic, UHP, Standard), By Application (Power & Energy, Medical, Metal Manufacturing, Electronics), And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025Report

Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) Market Size Report By Product (Electronic, UHP, Standard), By Application (Power & Energy, Medical, Metal Manufacturing, Electronics), And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Feb, 2018
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-309-6
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2016
  • Number of Pages: 73

Industry Insights

The global sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) market size was estimated at USD 184.6 million in 2016. High demand for the gas as a dielectric medium in electrical industry is expected to drive the industry growth. The growing use of the product in power and energy industry for the manufacturing of circuit breakers, high voltage transformers, and switchgears is expected to propel the demand.

The procurement cost of raw materials used in the production of SF6 such as sulfur, fluorine, bromine, and cobalt (III) fluoride is very high due to their hazardous nature and complex manufacturing processes. This factor, therefore, eventually increases the production cost of the end use SF6.

U.S. sulfur hexafluoride market

The demand for SF6 in the U.S. was valued at USD 26.0 million in 2016. In the U.S., the gas is extensively used in the manufacturing of magnesium and as a dielectric medium in the electric transmission & distribution equipment. The well-established electrical industry in the country is anticipated to boost the product demand over the next eight years.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified sulfur hexafluoride as a greenhouse gas on account of its high global warming potential (GWP). The U.S. EPA also governs the emission of sulfur hexafluoride from high-voltage switchgears used in power & energy generation plants. The aforementioned factors are expected to restrain the market growth.

The hazardous nature of sulfur hexafluoride considerably adds to its transportation and maintenance costs as even a minute leakage of the gas can harm humans and the surrounding environment. The U.S. DOT has laid down standards for the storage tanks, vacuum pumps, and filtration equipment used for storing and transporting sulfur hexafluoride.

The ACGIH, NIOSH, OSHA, and U.S. DOT have classified SF6 as a hazardous substance on account of its adverse effects on the human body and the environment. These government bodies have laid down stringent regulations for the consumption and handling of SF6 gas. Such stringent regulations are expected to pose challenges to the industry players.

Product Insights

Commercially, the product is available in three major grades: UHP, electronic, and standard. The selection of the product grade depends on the desired end-use application. For instance, standard grade product is used to manufacture high-voltage circuit breakers and switch gears, whereas UHP grade is used for medical applications.

Electronic grade sulfur hexafluoride is widely used in the manufacturing of microelectricalmechanical systems (MEMS), photovoltaic panels, flat panels, integrated circuits, and semiconductors. Electronics grade product segment is expected to denote a CAGR of 6.8% over the forecast period on account of its varied uses in electronics industry.

UHP grade sulfur hexafluoride is expected to indicate the highest CAGR of 7.4% over the forecast period. The use of UHP grade gas in ultrasound imaging enhances the detection of blood vessels, thus assisting the surgeons to determine the affected area under conditions such as tumors, uterine fibroids, and adenomyosis accurately.

Standard grade sulfur hexafluoride, which held the largest share in the industry in 2016, is used in the manufacturing of magnesium. However, various initiatives undertaken by the metal manufacturers to replace SF6 with hydrofluorocarbon 134a and hydrofluoroethers to lower the environmental impact are expected to hamper the market growth.

Application Insights

The product finds application in power & energy, medical, metal manufacturing, and electronics industries. SF6 is used for various purposes such as the manufacturing of insulated glazing windows, casting of magnesium, manufacturing of high-voltage circuit breakers, and in non-invasive medical surgeries.

Global sulfur hexafluoride market

Power & energy application accounted for the highest market share in 2016 and the trend is anticipated to continue over the forecast period. The gas has significantly lower electrical conductivity, thus has high demand in various high voltage power applications including electrical plants and equipment such as linear accelerators and electron microscopes.

Sulfur hexafluoride finds application in medical industry where it is mostly used in non-invasive surgeries for the treatment of heart diseases, congenital heart defects, and worsened lung conditions. On account of these varied applications, medical is anticipated to be the fastest-growing application segment over the forecast period.

Sulfur hexafluoride is used in the manufacturing of molten magnesium and molten aluminum. The gas prevents rapid burning and oxidation of the molten metals when they come in direct contact with air, which reduces the amount of molten metal waste and helps metal manufacturers reduce the production cost.

Regional Insights

Central & South America is expected to be the fastest-growing market for SF6 ascending at a CAGR of 7.8% over the forecast period mainly due to the growing urbanization and infrastructural growth in the region, which is triggering the demand for electrical equipment, and, in, turn, driving the demand for SF6.

Manufacturers, importers, and exporters in the U.S. are required to report the emissions of SF6 to the U.S. EPA under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The collection of data pertaining to the emission from suppliers and users enables the U.S. EPA to compare the data obtained from companies & institutes and thus frame an unbiased legislation.

In Asia Pacific, increasing initiatives undertaken by the regional government to provide affordable housing and advanced infrastructure are expected to boost the growth of construction and metal manufacturing industries over the forecast period. These factors are anticipated to propel the demand at an estimated CAGR of 6.3% for SF6 in the region over the next eight years.

The government of India has undertaken various efforts under the “Make in India” initiative to provide a conducive environment for foreign investments in the country. In addition, the increasing interest of foreign companies such as Tesla Inc. and Foxconn to invest and set up manufacturing plants for electronics and metals in the country is expected to boost the demand for sulfur hexafluoride.

Sulfur Hexafluoride Market Share Insights

The global SF6 market is characterized by the presence of major industry participants focusing on R&D to come up with innovative cost saving manufacturing processes. For instance, companies such as Kanto Denka Kogyo Co., Ltd. and Showa Denko K.K. are actively investing in R&D activities to innovate & improvise the manufacturing processes of SF6.

Companies such as Honeywell International; Advanced Specialty Gases; Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc.; and Showa Denko K.K. are involved in the manufacturing of sulfur hexafluoride. Distributors such as Praxair Technology, Inc.; Air Liquide S.A.; and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., supply SF6 to consumer companies.

The key consumers & end-user companies for the product include Intel Corporation; Samsung Group; Qualcomm; Broadcom Limited; ArcelorMittal; and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation. These companies use the gas for various applications in industries such as metal manufacturing, manufacturing of heat & electrical insulating components, and power & energy.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2016

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation                                                  

Revenue in USD Thousands and CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, and The Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Germany, UK, China, India, Japan, Brazil,

Report coverage              

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, and growth factors and trends

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)

If you need specific market information, which is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization

Segments covered in the report

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global sulfur hexafluoride market report on the basis of product, application, and region.

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Thousands; 2014 - 2025)

    • Electronic Grade

    • UHP Grade

    • Standard Grade

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Thousands; 2014 - 2025)

    • Power & Energy

    • Medical

    • Metal Manufacturing

    • Electronics

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Thousands; 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • UK

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • The Middle East & Africa

Key questions answered by the report
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