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Shipments of iron and steel powders, the mainstay for automotive parts, will increase gradually, with a projected 4.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by the end of the forecast period. Sales of aluminum powders will increase, especially since they are being used at an increasing rate for automotive parts. Newer materials will also be used in autos to improve performance and play a role in energy conservation.
However, automotive is not the only market for metal powders. Tooling, medical devices and a variety of industrial equipment all use powder materials. BCC expects to see more activity in other industries, as hand tools, appliances and computer storage devices are all potential applications of this technology.
Until recently, metal powders have been considered the only material used in a powder metallurgy (PM) environment. However, other compounds made of metal and a nonmetallic element that expand the PM market in the years to come.
Nanoceramic powders are mostly in the experimental stage at the moment, but they will play a key role in the future applications of this technology. PM will find increasing use in medical devices and tooling with newly developed materials that have the density and capability of forming near-net-shape parts.
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