High performance alloys are metal alloys comprising numerous alloying elements that are designed to perform under intense conditions such as elevated temperatures and pressures. High performance alloys are used in a wide range of applications. These include aircraft (aerospace), land-based gas turbines, rocket engines, and chemical and petroleum plants. High performance alloys are ideal for such applications because of their ability to retain most of their strength even after long exposure times (above 650°C (1,200°F)). They combine high strength with good low-temperature ductility and excellent surface stability.
Key products of high performance alloys can be segmented as non-ferrous alloys, platinum group metal alloys, refractory alloys and superalloys. Non-ferrous alloys were the largest product segment, accounting for 51.0% of the total market share in 2013. This was followed by superalloys. Non-ferrous alloys and superalloys are used in various applications. Non-ferrous alloys exhibit superior mechanical properties. As a result, they are used in widespread applications across several industries such as aerospace, gas turbines and oil & gas. This is expected to drive the market for non-ferrous alloys during the forecast period. Superalloys are characterized by high temperature strength, toughness, resistance to corrosive & oxidizing environment, and superior phase stability.
Aerospace was the largest segment, accounting for 56.9% of the total high performance alloys market in 2013 followed by industrial gas turbines and oil & gas. This trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Asia Pacific, Latin America and African airlines companies are benefitting from the strong economic growth thus experiencing significant gains in traffic. Low cost carriers are expected to experience double-digit growth in developing countries. This, in turn, would boost the high performance alloys market in the region. Globalization is a growing factor in the Aerospace & Defense (A&D) industry. Commercial markets in Asia Pacific and defense markets in the Middle East are anticipated to open new avenues for the high performance alloys market. Additionally, industrial gas turbines is estimated to be the fastest growing application segment in the high performance alloys market.
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Global demand for high performance alloys stood at 1,110.7 kilo tons in 2013 and is projected to increase significantly over the next six years. Factors such as increasing demand for industrial gas turbines in power generation and growth in automotive and aerospace industries are likely to boost the high performance alloys market. Capital-intensive manufacturing due to high infrastructure cost and complex manufacturing process is expected to hamper demand for high performance alloys. High strength, lightweight high performance alloys are anticipated to open new growth avenues for the high performance alloys market.
In terms of demand, North America was the leading region in the high performance alloys market in 2013. This was followed by Europe. Asia Pacific is estimated to be the fastest growing regional market in terms of demand. Increasing demand from the automotive industry is driving the market in Europe. Countries in Europe such as Germany and the U.K. are the major consumers of high performance alloys market in the region. Demand for high performance alloys is projected to be significant in Rest of the World (RoW) in the near future. Latin America is one of the largest markets for high performance alloys in RoW. However, rising demand from industries such as oil & gas, electronic & electrical, chemical and medical is likely to drive the high performance alloys market. The Middle East is anticipated to offer higher opportunities for high performance alloys in the oil & gas industry in the near future.
Key players in the high performance alloys market include Allegheny Technologies Inc, Aperam, Carpenter Technology Corporation, RTI International Metals Inc, and VSMPO.