Hafnium Market is forecast to reach $83.5 million by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period from 2020-2025. Increasing demand for hafnium in the aerospace industry as super alloy and in submarines as nuclear control rods, is expected to fuel the overall demand of hafnium in the forecast time frame. Globally, demand for new aircraft is growing, and the aerospace industry strives to implement innovative solutions to increase production time and cost savings. Therefore, in terms of increasing fuel efficiency, hafnium superalloys are gaining popularity.
- North America dominates the hafnium market owing to increasing demand from applications such as aerospace and submarines.
- The growing popularity of hafnium as superalloy in the aerospace industry due to its properties including high thermal stability and corrosion resistance.
- Hafnium is extremely resistant to corrosion and an outstanding neutron absorber, enabling its use in nuclear submarines and control rods for nuclear reactor, a vital technology used to sustain fission reactions.
- USA and France are the major hafnium producing countries with combined share of more than 85% globally in 2019.
- India and China have some low-volume domestic hafnium production but are not exporting.
Application – Segment Analysis
Superalloy application segment has been the primary market for hafnium for many years. Hafnium is commonly alloyed with other metals including titanium, iron, niobium and tantalum. For example, in aerospace applications, such as space rocket engines, heat-resistant hafnium-niobium alloys are used.More than 40% of hafnium is manufactured through the Van Arkel process, which meets the bulk of Hf’s demand for super alloys as very pure crystal bars.
Nuclear application is also expected to grow with more than above average growth rate. Metal hafnium is commonly used in the atomic energy industry because of its good nuclear quality. It has good performance in welding, storage efficiency, and performance of high resistance to temperature and corrosion.It can capture a large area of thermal neutrons as a neutron absorber and can be used to manufacture control rods and protective devices for nuclear reaction.
Geography- Segment Analysis
North America dominated the hafnium market with a share of approximately 30%, followed by Europe and APAC. Due to the growing demand from nuclear application, the aerospace industry, electronics, hafnium demand has increased rapidly over the past few years and is expected grow with same pace in coming years as well. The US is one of the world’s largest nuclear power manufacturers. The US has 60 commercial nuclear power plants, with 98 nuclear reactors operating with a net capacity of 100,350 megawatts in 30 states. On the other hand, US is the largest producer of hafnium with more than 30 tons per annum in 2019.
Drivers –Hafnium Market
- Growing demand for aerospace industry
Hafnium is widely used in aerospace industry as super alloy due to its excellent properties. It can alloy with many other metals including titanium, iron, niobium and tantalum. For example, in aerospace applications, such as space rocket engines, heat-resistant hafnium-niobium alloys are used. Superalloy is the major application with more than 35% share in overall hafnium demand globally. Rising aerospace industry with adoption of technological advancements is further expected to enhance the demand of hafnium in aerospace and aviation industry.
- Rising usage of hafnium oxide in optical coatings
Hafnium oxide is an effective optical coating material with a high refractive index and a wide are of low absorption from the near-UV (about 250 nm) to the mid-IR (beyond 12 μm). According to IndustryARC expert insights, the global optical coatings market is expected to grow with more than 8% in the forecast time frame 2020-2025. This will enhance the overall demand of hafnium in coming years.
Challenges – Hafnium Market
- Shutdown of nuclear plants
Nuclear is one of the major application of hafnium and shutting down of nuclear plants may hinder the overall growth of the market. Globally, total number of Operable Reactors stood at around 445 in 2019 which is declined from 450 in 2018.Most nations are phasing out their nuclear power, such as Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland. Globally, in recent years, more nuclear reactors have been shut than opened.
Technology launches,acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the hafnium market. In 2019, the market of hafnium has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the Hafnium Market are ATI, ACI Alloys,Alkane Resources Ltd., American Elements, Baoji ChuangXin Metal Materials Co. Ltd., China Nulear JingHuan Zirconium Industry Co. Ltd., Framatome, Nanjing Youtian Metal Technology Co. Ltd., Phelly Materials Inc., among others.
- In 2017, Westinghouse Electric Company and its Chinese joint venture partner, State Nuclear Baoti Zirconium Industry, LTD. (SNZ), commenced a new production facility for zirconium sponge, State Nuclear WEC Zirconium Hafnium Co., Ltd. (SNWZH), in Nantong, China.
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