A copper-clad steel wire blends the conductivity of copper (the outer layer) and the high tensile strength of steel (core). The core is typically low carbon steel and generally used as either an inner conductor of coaxial cables or grounding wires. Copper-clad steel wires comply with ASTM B-452 standards, including 40% conductivity in two forms, namely hard drawn and soft drawn. The applications of copper-clad steel wire include specialty resistors, motors and magnetic assemblies, capacitors, and intelligent pressure and temperature measuring instrumentations.
The rapid growth rate in telecommunication, automobile, and medical sectors is aiding the copper-clad steel wire market growth. Copper-clad steel wires are gaining traction in the automotive industry. Besides, the burgeoning production of electric vehicles in various developed economies is also significantly contributing to the market growth. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), China is the largest electric vehicle market in the world. Close to 580,000 electric vehicles were sold in China in 2017, marking a 72% increase over the previous year. The U.S. was the second-highest electric vehicle market, with about 280,000 cars sold in 2017, up from 160,000 in 2016. Electric mobility is not limited to cars; in 2016, the supply of electric buses accounted for 345,000, and this number increased to 370,000 by 2017 end. The electrification of this type of transport has been propelled solely by China, which accounts for more than 99% of both electric two-wheeler and bus stock.
Copper-clad steel wires find applications in numerous industries on account of their superior corrosion resistance compared to steel, resistance against fatigue, higher mechanical strength due to the steel core, and other advantages. The growth of end-use telecommunications, medical, building and construction, power generation, and automotive industries is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period.
The medical sector extensively employs copper-clad steel wires. Rising demand for copper-based metallic materials in neuro-interventional products, intracardiac ablation catheters, and atherectomy systems is fuelling the growth of the copper-clad steel wire market. Copper is highly conductive and one of the most economical metallic materials. A series of specific copper alloys are developed to address the strength limitations of pure copper without losing much in terms of conductivity. These high-tension copper alloys can also be produced at a low price.
The automobile industry records significant demand for copper-clad steel wires, due to the increasing usage of various copper-based and copper-clad steels in the production of automobiles. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), the global production of cars and commercial vehicles was pegged at 94.97 million units in December 2016, and production reached 95.63 million units in December 2018. This growth in the production of automobiles has been positively influencing the demand for copper-clad steel wires from the automotive industry.
The Asia-Pacific region’s surging growth in the telecommunication industry is considerably contributing to the copper-clad steel wire market growth. In the telecommunication sector, copper-clad steel wire is used to create a coaxial cable, telephone drop wire, CATV drop cable, and for various other purposes. The India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) is a trust established by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF)’s report from March 2019, India is the second-biggest telecommunication marketplace across the globe, with a subscriber base of 1.20 billion and recorded strong growth. Moreover, the same report states, India stands second in terms of total internet consumers across the globe, with 604.21 million internet subscribers until December 2018. These factors are remarkably highlighting the pressing need for copper-clad steel wire in the telecommunications sector.
Asian countries such as China are projected to hold a significant share in the copper-clad steel wire market on account of favorable government policies and regulations for protecting the environment from fossil fuel emissions. The electric vehicle sector’s growth has largely been encouraged by government mandates, including public procurement programs, financial incentives reducing the cost of purchase of electric cars, tightened fuel-economy regulations and standards on the emission of fossil pollutants, and less and zero-emission vehicle orders. Also, there are limitations to the circulation of vehicles based on their pollutant emission rates. The upsurge of electric vehicle production has also been further bolstered by the progress made in the past few years to enhance efficiency and to reduce the costs of batteries and other electronic equipment.
Notable manufacturers providing copper-clad steel wires are continually focusing on acquisitions and mergers for enhancing the product portfolio, to sustain the market position, along with an intention to expand the global footprint. Various manufacturers possess opportunities to strengthen their product portfolio, thereby fulfilling customer requirements.
Some of the prominent players of the global copper-clad steel wire market are Elecref Industries Inc., Shanghai Metal Corporation, Fisk Alloy Inc., Copperhead Industries, LLC, LEONI Wire Inc., MWS Wire Industries, Inc., AFL, MWS Wire Industries, Inc. Nehring Electrical Works Company, Kris-Tech Wire, and American Wire Group, Inc.
By End-Use Industry