Powder metallurgy (PM) encompasses various techniques for producing materials or components from metal powders. Metal removal activities can be eliminated or significantly reduced using PM technologies, resulting in considerable reductions in manufacturing yield losses and, in many circumstances, lower pricing.
The three key processes are powder mixing (pulverization), die compaction, and sintering in the powder metallurgy press and sinter process. Compaction is usually done at ambient temperature, while elevated-temperature sintering is generally done at atmospheric pressure and under rigorous atmospheric composition control. Secondary processing, such as coining or heat treatment, is routinely employed to improve precision or give distinctive features.
Powder metallurgy is in high demand in the aerospace and military industries because of its growing capacity to reduce aircraft part weight and focus on improving overall efficiency, which is otherwise expensive and time-consuming using traditional manufacturing methods. Metal additive manufacturing is expected to gain traction due to its ability to build less expensive equipment in less time and on-demand.
As manufacturers become more aware of considerable cost and weight reductions, the need for 3D printing materials to make cost-effective and high-performance aerospace components is expected to grow. Reduced 3D printer pricing and better raw material availability have aided low-volume production, particularly in the aerospace industry.
Complex components that would be difficult to create traditionally are increasingly made with additive manufacturing equipment. Lightweight materials like aluminum, titanium, and steel are in high demand since the aerospace and defense industries were early users of additive manufacturing.
Increased defense budgets and rising passenger traffic in many countries propel the aerospace and defense sector. According to the International Air Transport Association, India's domestic passenger traffic climbed by 3.74% in 2019, reaching 144.17 million passengers. With approximately 478 million passengers, India will likely be the third-largest aviation market by 2036. In addition, by 2040, China would require around 7,500 commercial aircraft worth USD 1.2 trillion. As a result, the powder metallurgy market is expected to be driven by the forecast period's aerospace and defense industry growth.
Powder metallurgy is used in many industries, including automotive, aerospace and defense, healthcare, electronics, and electrical. This technique has many advantages over standard ways of creating components. In the coming years, the powder metallurgy market is projected to be driven by the increasing usage of electrical and electronic devices in both homes and offices. An increase in demand for powder metallurgy-derived automotive components is expected to drive the global market.
During the forecast period, the powder metallurgy market is likely to be driven by technological advancements and an increase in the usage of powdered metals in electrical and electronic equipment, such as vehicle batteries and electronic gadgets. Because of the rising demand for controlled porosity, high heat capacity, and high modulus of elasticity, powder metallurgy is being used in aircraft components. Powder metallurgy demand increases as the aerospace industry's demand for thermoplastic parts grows.
For various reasons, powder metallurgy is used in the automotive industry. Due to the changing industrial landscape, the market requires more than simply a long-lasting component. Manufacturers compete to achieve lightweight needs due to the flexibility in producing mechanical parts with diverse compositions.
Autonomous driving vehicles (ADV) are gaining traction and creating new markets for high-quality automotive components, especially in developing countries like China, where the industry has been recognized as a significant growth industry. According to the Chinese government, car production in China increased from 23,492 in 2018 to 27,809 in 2020. The automotive industry's recovery following the global COVID-19 pandemic is likely to boost demand for powder metallurgy throughout the forecast period, providing significant prospects for the market.
COVID-19's global spread had a direct impact on, among other things, industrial business activity. The key end-use industries of the powder metallurgy industry, such as automotive, aerospace, and consumer items, showed a negative trend in FY 2020. Lockdowns imposed by many countries worldwide have stopped the automobile and other industrial production, resulting in a severe decline in downstream demand for powder metals, including iron, steel, and aluminum. Thus, the pandemic had an adverse impact on the growth of the powder metallurgy market.
For the global market, the post-pandemic period will be crucial. Supply chain interruptions might impede recovery, affecting market dynamics and product prices. Furthermore, the global market would face hurdles due to poor financial conditions and rising expenses due to distribution and transportation capacity constraints. Limited manufacturing, support operations, labor shortages, and limits for other end-user sectors, suppliers, and vendors may also prevent consumers from getting what they want. Overall, the global powder metallurgy market's recovery will be difficult.
North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Central, and South America, the Middle East, and Africa make up the market's five regions. North America and Europe are the two most important markets for powder metallurgy. Due to an increase in the number of 3D printers in terms of size, feature, and material compatibility, the market in North America is expected to grow in the long run. Factors such as the presence of large rivals in the region and the ability of customers to spend are likely to drive markets.
Europe is expected to be the second-largest market for powder metallurgy, with an expected market value of USD 1,956 million by 2030. The need for lightweight powder metallurgy components in airplanes and applications is driven by European countries' rigorous fuel efficiency criteria. In the long run, growth in the number of small and medium-sized businesses in the additive manufacturing sector will benefit the powder metallurgy industry.
Due to rapid industrialization and growing economies across the region, the Asia-Pacific powder metallurgy market is expected to grow fastest. The promotion of private investment by various governments is expected to improve the region's manufacturing sector, which would drive demand for powder metallurgy. The expensive initial capital necessary to use 3D printing/additive manufacturing technology, on the other hand, is likely to limit market growth in the region.
The favorable government rules for additive manufacturing are anticipated to boost the powder metallurgy market in Central and South America. For example, the Brazilian government recently approved a series of tax breaks for peripherals, consumables, and printers used in the powder metallurgy industry for additive manufacturing, lowering the cost of the process and providing new opportunities for market sellers.
Increased private and public investment in powder metallurgical firms is expected to boost powder metallurgy demand in the Middle East and Africa. For example, the South African Industrial Development Corporation invested roughly USD 1.2 million in metal additive manufacturing start-ups in 2017. This investment is part of the country's plan to achieve a competitive advantage in metal additive manufacturing and related industries, including medical, energy, and oil and gas.