Use of superalloys continues to expand in manufacturing

The use of superalloys in manufacturing is expanding at a rapid pace, according to a recent analysis of its growth opportunities by Frost & Sullivan.

The use of superalloys in manufacturing is expanding at a rapid pace, according to a recent analysis of its growth opportunities by Frost & Sullivan.

Superalloys' increasing application in sectors such as industrial gas turbines, aerospace, heat exchangers, oil and gas, and chemical processing industries is pushing demand.

Among all three types of superalloys (nickel-based, cobalt-based, and iron-based), nickel superalloys are likely to have the largest commercial product portfolio because of its high strength and ability to operate under extreme temperatures.

"An increasing effort towards the commercialisation of superalloy in new industries, such as medical devices for spine surgery (implants), is giving a new impetus to the superalloy sector," said Piyush Bhade, TechVision research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "Further, research and development (R&D) efforts in such applications are expected to offer superalloy manufacturers new opportunities for market expansion."

Manufacturers have used various strategies such as new product launches, agreements with product suppliers and acquisitions to increase their revenue in the superalloy industry.

"Additionally, to stay ahead in the superalloy technology domain, stakeholders should create new processing technologies, develop new types of superalloys for custom applications and reduce time to market for material developments," said Mr Bhade.

Researchers struggle to address oxidation and corrosion-resistant properties, and increases in the cost of superalloys due to a rise in the level of expensive elements are hindering market growth.

However, extensive commercialisation and high R&D activities in industrial gas turbines and aerospace are estimated to lead to the high adoption potential of superalloys, presenting tremendous growth opportunities for market participants.

What to consider as a superalloy vendor

The demand for superalloys is expected to increase in industrial gas turbine applications in the coming years because of the growing need for high-performance materials that can function at extreme operating temperatures in the combustion chamber.

Rising demand for high thermal protection, surface stability, and materials with mechanical strength for the manufacturing of next-generation aircraft offers high-growth opportunities for superalloys.

The marine industry is expected to boost demand in the future due to the rising need for anticorrosive metallic material for the manufacturing of power generation engines, fasteners, and springs.

With the slight growth in the chemical industry in the past few years, the use of superalloys is also estimated to grow as they are extensively used in the manufacturing of high-temperature utilities in the chemical processing space.

Frost & Sullivan

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