Tungsten carbide powder is a chemical compound that comprises atoms of tungsten and carbide and is produced by reacting tungsten powder with high purity carbon at temperatures between 1300–1600C in hydrogen atmosphere. It is the most conventional process to produce tungsten carbide powder and known as carburization. Owing to its unique properties such as hardness, high modulus of elasticity, and strong electrical and thermal conductivity, tungsten carbide powder has found applications in several end-use industries such as building & construction, oil & gas, automotive, mining, and aerospace & defense.
The market for tungsten carbide powder is driven by the increase in demand for hard-wearing machinery tools for cutting, drilling, and mining purposes. Furthermore, the growing building & construction and automotive industries are is expected to have a significant impact on increasing demand for tungsten carbide powder materials, thereby propelling the growth of global tungsten carbide powder market. The rapid industrialization in Asia-Pacific is also expected to boost the growth of the market during the forecast period.
The global tungsten carbide powder market is segmented by grade, application, end-use industries, and region.
Various grades of tungsten carbide powder are available in the market such as rotary drilling & mining, metal forming & wear, submicron, corrosion resistant, general purposes, and others. Among these, the rotary drilling & mining grades are the leading segments in the market owing to high impact resistance, stiffness, and ability to perform in severe conditions.
The application segment includes cutting tools, wear parts, roll & die, diamond tools, mining tools, and abrasive products. The carbide cutting tools are often used for machining through materials such as carbon, stainless steel, and in situations where other tools would wear away. They offer a better finish and allow faster machining at a much higher temperature than standard high-speed steel tools.
The mining & construction end user segment is leading the market growth owing to the high product demand in top-hammer rock drill bits, downhole hammers, roller-cutters, longwall plough chisels, longwall shearer picks, raise boring reamers, and tunnel boring machines. This growth is attributed to its superior properties such as resistance to abrasion & impact, toughness, and hardness.
The global tungsten carbide powder market is segmented into five regions namely Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.
Asia Pacific dominated the global tungsten carbide powder market in 2016 on account of the high demand from the major end-use industries such as construction, transportation, and aerospace in countries such as Japan, India, China, and others.
North America was the second largest region in the global tungsten carbide powder market in 2016 owing to the high demand from the military & defense, automotive, and aerospace industries.
The high product demand from the manufacturing of various automotive parts in Western European countries is likely to influence the market growth.
The Latin American region is expected to grow significantly due to the growing automotive industry in the region.
The increasing exploration of oil & gas reserves and infrastructural hub present in the GCC countries is likely to drive the market in the region.
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