Technological developments in aircraft manufacturing to fuel nickel superalloy industry outlook
As per a report by Global Market Insights, Inc., nickel superalloy market is estimated to surpass a $10 billion valuation by 2026. The materials is considered to hold promising application in industrial 3D printing, mainly in high-stress applications such as chemical-contacting nuclear components and aerospace engine components.
The nickel superalloy market is set to witness promising growth on account of technological advancements related to aircraft manufacturing. Air travel is likely to witness robust growth over the coming time years majorly accredited to low air travel costs, favorable trends linked with GDP, and improved living standards. Mounting preference for air travel is expected to generate the requirement for newer aircrafts as well as its related spare parts. These are likely to bolster the sales of nickel superalloys in the future.
At present, new product development is one of the key strategies adopted by vendors in the market. In January 2021, a team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UC Santa Barbara reportedly developed a novel defect-resistant nickel-based superalloy for 3D printing. The new Co-Ni superalloy overcomes the major issue of cracking, which could plague parts fabricated through high temperature power bed fusion technologies like EBM and SLM.
With respect to type, the waspaloy segment is likely to witness a decent CAGR of over 6.5% through the forecast time. Waspaloy is a nickel-chromium superalloy and offers excellent temperature strength and superior oxidation resistance. The addition of titanium and aluminum enhances alloy strength at extremely high temperatures primarily for gas turbine engine applications. Waspaloy is extensively used for non-rotating as well as rotating parts in aerospace gas turbines. It is further used to manufacture compressors, fasteners, aircraft assembly, seals, spacers, and shafts.
On the regional front, the nickel superalloy market in Europe is projected to show around 6.5% CAGR through the analysis timeline. This growth is ascribed to surging product demand coming from Russia, France, and Germany. The European Space Agency, in 2019, presented a space budget with an investment of more than $7.43 billion followed by France as well as Russia having $3.02 billion and $2.53 billion in investment.
This will increase the sales of nickel superalloy in the sector due to its extensive use in the manufacturing of rocket motors, aircraft valves as well as other applications which need high versatility as well as enhanced strength at lower and higher temperatures. Subsequently, paradigm shift towards better technology in the oil & gas, aerospace, refinery and power generation sector will complement market growth.
Leading market leaders are involved in strategic collaborations, qualifying novel products, and acquisitions to withstand the competition. Citing an instance, in May 2020, Rosswag GmbH, Germany, qualified the nickel-base superalloy Waspaloy mainly for L-PBF (laser powder bed fusion) Additive Manufacturing. The product is known to have a tensile strength of 1400 MPa. Due to high tensile strength-based properties at temperatures going up to approx. 980ēC, it is classically utilized in high-temperature applications mainly gas turbines.
Voestalpine AG, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, Precision Castparts Corporation, Aperam S.A., VDM Metals GmbH, Carpenter Technology Corporation, Rolled Alloys, Inc., thyssenkrupp AG, and Haynes International Inc. among many others are some of the key players operating in the nickel superalloy market.
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