Sulfur Hexafluoride Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Sulfur Hexafluoride Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Electronic, UHP, Standard), By Application (Power & Energy, Medical, Manufacturing), And Segment Forecasts, 2019 - 2025

  • Published Date: Sep, 2019
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2018
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-309-6
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2018
  • Number of Pages: 85

Industry Insights

The global sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) market size was valued at USD 205.9 million in 2018 and is expected to witness a growth of 6.0% over the forecast period. The market is projected to witness significant growth over the next seven years owing to its rising demand as a dielectric medium for electrical & electronic appliances.

Sulfur hexafluoride is extensively used in medical industry for non-invasive surgeries. It is utilized in echocardiogram in order to determine & examine the exact location & cause of the ailment. In addition, growing product demand in power and energy industry for the manufacturing of high voltage transformers, switchgears and circuit breakers will bolster the market growth.

U.S. sulfur hexafluoride market

The raw materials required for the manufacturing of sulfur hexafluoride include sulfur, fluorine, bromine, and cobalt (III) fluoride. The production and supply costs of these raw materials are very high since their manufacturing process is extremely complex. In addition, the handling cost of the raw materials is high owing to their hazardous nature. As a result, the high cost of raw materials has given rise to stiff competition between suppliers.

Manufacturers of sulfur hexafluoride have been adopting various strategies, such as new product development, joint ventures, partnerships, collaborations, and agreements in order to increase their market penetration and cater to the changing technological requirements for different end-use applications.

Asia Pacific has witnessed comparatively less fluctuation in the sulfur hexafluoride pricing as compared to other regions. This trend is observed due to bulk manufacturing by the local industry participants to match the growing demand from developing nations. However, the increasing export of SF6 is expected to augment product prices over the forecast period.

The government regulations for the use of sulfur hexafluoride in the European region has restricted the production and supply of the product. These initiatives have affected the market negatively resulting in low production volumes by the manufacturers. However, few of the companies are still producing SF6 which has increased the product price significantly.

Product Insights

Standard grade sulfur hexafluoride dominated the global product demand in 2018, accounting for 85.2% of the total revenue share. Increasing demand for standard grade of the product in the manufacturing of high-voltage circuit breakers, which are used for power & energy generation purposes is likely to complement market growth.

Electronic grade sulfur hexafluoride is used for manufacturing semiconductors, particle accelerators, and integrated circuits. Moreover, it is also used as a chamber cleaning gas in the semiconductor industry. SF6 gas generates optimum amount of F radicals to remove Si-based layers from plasma chamber walls, thereby driving the demand for electronic grade sulfur hexafluoride.

Sulfur hexafluoride finds application as an etching gas in MEMS and flat panel production due to its large molecule size and high density. The high reactivity and energy of SF6 ions provide an enhanced etching rate. As a result, the demand for SF6 in these application is expected to witness growth over the forecast period.

UHP grade sulfur hexafluoride is majorly used in the manufacturing of electronic appliances and in non-invasive medical surgeries. UHP grade is the purest form of sulfur hexafluoride with no contamination, which is a prerequisite in medical sector in order to ensure the safety of patients. It is also employed in medical sector to examine various medical conditions, such as tumors, uterine fibroids, and adenomyosis driving its demand in medical applications.

Application Insights

Power & energy application held the largest sulfur hexafluoride market share in 2018 and this trend is estimated to continue over the forecast period. Sulfur hexafluoride is used to manufacture high-voltage circuit breakers, switchgear, and Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS), which are utilized in power & energy generation plants, which are the major drivers for the product in power & energy industry.

SF6 acts as an insulation in super-voltage generators present in particle and electron accelerators for property enhancement of polymeric materials. Moreover, sulfur hexafluoride is used for manufacturing circuit breakers that are utilized in power generation & distribution stations since it prevents the flow of electric currents caused by the tripping of a protective relay.

Global sulfur hexafluoride market

Medical segment is anticipated to attain the fastest industry growth with 7.0% CAGR over the forecast timeframe. Sulfur hexafluoride is extensively used in medical field for assistance during surgeries. The chemically stable gas acts a plug during retinal detachment surgeries. It eases the detection of deformities by increasing the visibility of blood vessels during ultrasound imaging.

Sulfur hexafluoride is used in foundry and metal casting applications of magnesium and aluminum. It prevents the formation of harmful by-products in magnesium casting and used as a degassing agent in aluminum casting. The gas reduces molten metal waste by preventing rapid oxidation of metals when they come in contact with the air. This helps the manufacturers in minimizing their production costs driving the product demand in metal casting.

Regional Insights

Central & South America (CSA) is anticipated to witness a high growth rate of 7.8% CAGR over the forecast period on account of increasing manufacturing activities in the region. Infrastructural growth along with rapid urbanization is triggering the demand for electrical equipment which in turn is boosting the demand for sulfur hexafluoride.

Macroeconomic factors in Asia Pacific including rising disposable income, expanding middle-class population, changing demographics, rising education levels, and rapid urbanization are escalating electrical and electronics industry growth in the region. This is likely to drive the demand for SF6 as it is widely used in the electronics industry.

Europe was the second largest market and accounted for 27.2% in 2018. The established chemical industry in the European region and the presence of mature players is anticipated to sustain the sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) market growth. Stringent government regulations regarding the production and supply of sulfur hexafluoride in the European region have resulted in low production volumes.

North America region is subjected to multiple stringent regulations pertaining to the use and handling of sulfur hexafluoride. Various organizations including OSHA, NIOSH, Compressed Gas Association, and the U.S. EPA have established standards for this purpose. International Magnesium Association (IMA) has laid down guidelines for the emission of sulfur hexafluoride since the gas is extensively utilized in the production of magnesium across the globe.

Sulfur Hexafluoride Market Share Insights

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

Industry participants have integrated their operations across the value chain by manufacturing and distributing these gases, which enable these companies to reduce their costs of third-party operations such as distribution. The major players are investing in R&D to come up with advanced cost-effective manufacturing techniques.

Report Scope

Attribute

Details

Base year for estimation

2018

Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2018

Forecast period

2019 - 2025

Market representation

Volume in kilotons and revenue in USD million & CAGR from 2019 to 2025

Regional scope

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

Country Scope

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

Report coverage

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

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analysts 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 volume and revenue growth at global and regional levels and provides an analysis of 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 sulfur hexafluoride market on the basis of product, application, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand; 2014 - 2025)

    • Electronic Grade

    • UHP Grade

    • Standard Grade

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand; 2014 - 2025)

    • Power & Energy

    • Medical

    • Metal Manufacturing

    • Electronics

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand; 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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