The metal cleaning chemicals market size was valued at USD 13.44 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 19.47 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Metal cleaning chemicals can be simple surfactant-based cleaners and degreasers or solvents. Cleaning is a crucial part of the finishing process. These chemicals are used for cleaning organic and inorganic materials such as grease, corrosion oxides, oil, and particulates on the metal surface. They help prevent metal deterioration and damage to machinery and equipment used in various industries such as automotive, transportation, manufacturing, and aerospace. Metal cleaning chemicals are used to clean metal surfaces of organic and inorganic pollutants. They are used to remove undesired things such as oil, grease, particles, corrosion oxides, and other pollutants to avoid damage and maintain performance efficiency. Cleaning chemicals prevent metals from corrosion produced by lubricating oil, corroding substrates, hard water, and other surface pollutants. Fouling is caused by both organic (algae, microorganisms, animal fats, and hydrocarbons) and inorganic (carbonates, hydroxides, oxides, sulfides, sulfates, silicates, and phosphates) components. Metal cleaning chemicals are used to clean equipment and heavy machinery in industries such as automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and transportation. A variety of chemicals are employed in the cleaning procedure, depending on the type of metals. Metal cleaning chemicals are selected depending on a variety of parameters, including surface conditions and contaminants to be eliminated. Metal cleaning chemicals are classified into two types based on their application method: aqueous and solvent.
The increasing rate of metal consumption in different industries, such as automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and others, is projected to drive the global metal cleaning chemicals market during the forecast period. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), it is estimated that in 2017, the Indian automotive industry became the 4th largest in the globe, with sales increasing 9.5% year-on-year to 4.02 million units. Thus, the growing demand for metals from various industries is projected to drive market growth during the forecast period. Additionally, the rapid growth of the global steel industry is surging the demand for chemicals. According to the Ministry of Steel (India), initiatives such as "Make in India," "Indian Made Steel," and others are projected to attract significant investments in industrial verticals such as automobile, shipbuilding, infrastructure, construction, and others.
Using trichloroethylene and other solvents poses health and environmental concerns and are thus not recommended. Companies in the market have also recognized the benefits of employing safe and sustainable operational procedures. Green alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. The development of aqueous (water)-based technology has provided a cost-effective and ecologically benign method of cleaning and degreasing metal parts and components. Green alternatives aid in environmental protection, worker safety, and the reduction of industrial waste and operational expenses.
Metal cleaning chemicals are in great demand due to the global expansion of the manufacturing and automotive industries, particularly in emerging nations such as China, India, and Brazil. Because these businesses use a variety of gear, equipment, and components, they must be cleaned on a regular basis in order to reduce production downtime. Furthermore, the expanding aircraft industry, where these compounds are utilized to prevent components from corrosion, is driving up demand for such chemicals. Hence, the metal cleaning chemicals market is likely to be driven by these emerging industries in the future years.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content (primarily in solvent-based chemicals) and water usage in the case of aqueous cleaners, metal cleaning chemicals are subject to different regulations imposed by environmental and government bodies. Mineral spirits are present in solvent cleansers. Because of their capacity to swiftly dissolve oil, metal cleaning chemicals, filth, grime, burnt-on carbon, and heavy lubricants, solvents are often used for metal part cleaning.
VOCs include one or more carbon atoms with high vapor pressures and so evaporate quickly in the air. These are the compounds that contribute to ground-level ozone and particulate matter, which are the primary components of smog. Smog is recognized to have a negative impact on both human health and the environment, including decreased crop and commercial forest yields, decreased tree seedling growth and survival, and increased plant vulnerability to diseases, pests, and harsh weather conditions. Petrochemical-based solvents contain a high concentration of VOCs and are utilized in paints and coatings, adhesives, sealants, printing inks, and varnishes.
Plant and/or animal products are the primary constituents in bio-based cleaning solutions. They are made from a renewable resource and, with a few exceptions, do not contain synthetics, poisons, or other environmentally harmful things. These chemicals are becoming more popular in the European and North American markets as a result of government legislation and activities encouraging the use of bio-based materials. Businesses are now inventing and introducing bio-based alternatives to the market. Gemtek Products, for example, sells SC Aviation and Metal Cleaners, a bio-based aircraft and metal cleaning product. It is a flexible chemical that can be used to remove oils, fluids, carbon, fuels, and other typical pollutants from aluminum, magnesium, aircraft exteriors and parts, aerospace manufacturing, and ground support equipment. Because biobased alternatives do not react with other chemicals, they help to prevent hazardous conditions. The usage of bio-based alternatives also eliminates the need for any particular personal protective equipment (PPE), saving money and improving worker safety. It is also safe to use and dispose of and can be stored indefinitely.
The metal cleaning chemicals market is segmented by type, metal type, and End-user
By type, the market can be segmented into solvent and aqueous. The aqueous segment is expected to account for the highest share of the metal cleaning chemicals market during the forecast period. The benefits associated with aqueous metal cleaning chemicals, such as non-flammability, low or no VOCs, and limited health risks, are expected to surge the demand for this segment in years to come.
By metal type, the market can be segmented into alloys, aluminum, steel, copper, and others. The steel segment is expected to hold a prominent market share, owing to the increasing use of steel in various industries, as steel is among the most commonly used materials in the world. According to the World Steel Association, in 2016, 1,600 million tonnes of steel were produced globally. Most of the growth can be attributed to newly industrializing nations such as Brazil, China, India, Iran, and Mexico.
By end-user the market can be segmented into automotive & aerospace, electrical & electronics, manufacturing, and others. The manufacturing segment has been further sub-segmented into chemicals, healthcare, food & beverages, oil & gas, and others. With the growing need to enhance the performance efficiency of metal products such as equipment and heavy machinery, reactors and tanks, and metal tools, among others, the manufacturing segment is projected to lead the market during the forecast period.
Geographically, the metal cleaning chemicals market has been segmented into four major regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.
Asia Pacific is expected to lead the global metal cleaning chemicals market during the forecast period, owing to the increasing production of metals and rapidly growing industrialization in developing countries across the region. According to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics, the market demand from January 2017 to March 2017 for aluminum was pegged at 15.05 million tonnes, i.e., 1148 KT more than the first three months of 2016. Increasing manufacturing activities, especially in China, India, and Japan, are estimated to further boost the market growth.
Europe is projected to witness remarkable growth, owing to the region’s well-developed industrial sector and high spending on improved product quality. Moreover, favorable government policies in Europe are also augmenting the market growth. Germany, France, and the UK hold prominent shares in the Europe market due to the significant consumption of metal cleaning chemicals in these economies.
North America is expected to witness substantial growth during the assessment period, owing to the growth of various industries and stringent regulations regarding product quality. Additionally, the region's rising production capacity of metal cleaning chemicals is also expected to fuel market growth in the coming years.
The Middle East and Africa metal cleaning chemicals market are expected to witness steady growth during the forecasted period, owing to stringent regulations regarding the use of toxic chemicals.
Latin America is slated to register steady economic growth, coupled with healthy demand for chemicals and finished goods makes; therefore, the region is pegged to remain attractive in terms of export.
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