The global market for Metal Matrix Composites is projected to reach US$638 million by 2024, driven by growing opportunities in automotive, aviation, electronics packaging, and thermal management applications.
Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) are composite materials with two constituent parts, one being a metal matrix, which is the monolithic structure and is completely continuous, and other the reinforcement, which can be another metal or a material such as ceramic or organic compound. The reinforcement material, which is embedded into the matrix not only serves structural task, but also used to change physical properties such as friction coefficient, thermal conductivity or wear resistance. Considerable rise in tensile strength and stiffness even at high temperatures makes MMCs an excellent substitution for heavy materials used for products. Metal matrix composites also provide design flexibility and customizability provided by different combinations of production processes, matrix and reinforcements. Featuring ever developing characteristics that are hard to find in alloys or traditional metals, MMCs have been finding rapid adoption as a material of choice for several engineering tasks. The need for producing durable, corrosion resistant and light weight parts and components for various applications has and will continue to drive steady gains in the metal matrix composites market.
Opportunities in the MMC market remain as broad as the unlimited possibilities these innovative materials open up in the field of modern material science. The infinite combination of various material systems offers the potential for unlimited variations. Growth in the global MMC market in coming years will be primarily driven by technology innovations, developments in manufacturing and forming methods, breakthroughs in machining MMCs, and falling production costs. MMCs are primarily used in ground transportation, thermal and electronics management, as well as aerospace applications. Growth prospects for metal matrix composites in the automotive industry are expected to increase over the next few years driven by projected rise in auto sales and subsequent rise in their production across the globe. Increasing new orders for locomotives in response to growing need for improving land based transportation, particularly for inter-city and urban transportation also augurs well for MMCs. The massive addition of new aircraft in the fleet of aircraft leasing companies and LCC is expected to generate huge demand for the airframe, engines parts, and accessories in global aerospace market in coming years, which is expected to drive strong market prospects for metal matrix composites.
Advancements aimed at reduction in manufacturing cost of MMC components could help MMCs increased adoption in transportation and similar cost-sensitive industries. Though some of the economic and technological barriers are almost overcome, the pace is not at the rate that is required by most industry participants. High production costs, availability, and technical and informational issues still remain barriers to MMCs market expansion. New product development, technical servicing, and better marketing could drive wider MMC adoption in the long run.
The United States represents the largest market worldwide. Asia-Pacific is forecast to emerge as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 7.1% over the analysis period. Strong growth in the electronics/thermal management and automotive industries, particularly in the developing regions is likely to drive the demand for MMC in Asia-Pacific in the coming years. Growth in the region is driven by expanding industrial sector, robust manufacturing/processing activity, steady economic development, and subsequent rise in demand for industrial equipment. Segment-wise, Refractory Metal Matrix Composites represents the most prominent product segment with sales registering a CAGR of 7.4 % over the analysis period.
Key players in the market include 3A Composites, 3M Company, ADMA Products, Inc., AMETEK Specialty Metal Products, Ceradyne, Inc., CPS Technologies Corporation, Daewha Alloytic Co. Ltd., Deutsche Edelstahlwerke GmbH, DWA Aluminum Composites USA, Inc., GKN plc, Hitachi Metals, Ltd., Materion Corp., Mi-Tech Tungsten Metals, Inc., Sandvik Group, SANTIER, Inc., Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., Thermal Transfer Composites LLC, and TISICS Ltd., among others.