The growing adoption of tungsten carbide in various industries such as oil & gas, defense, metalworking, power generation, and automotive is fueling its sales across the world. Tungsten carbide exhibits high stiffness and thermal conductivity and provides good resistance against ethanol, gasoline, acetone, water, ammonia, organic solvents, and weak acids. It can be easily molded and pressed into various sizes and shapes for use in applications in cutting tools, equipment, industrial machinery, abrasives, and drills.
Besides, the recovery in the oil and gas industry and increasing oil and gas exploration & production (E&P) activities and expansion of the metalworking industry are also propelling the demand for tungsten carbide across the world. Due to these factors, the global tungsten carbide market is exhibiting huge expansion, as a result of which, the revenue of the market is predicted to rise from $1,762.1 million in 2017 to $2,176.8 million by 2023, while the market will advance at a CAGR of 3.6% from 2018 to 2023.
Depending on grade, the tungsten carbide market is divided into rotary drilling & mining grades, submicron grades, metal forming and wear grades, corrosion resistant grades, general purpose grades, and other grades. Amongst these, the rotary drilling & mining grades category is predicted to demonstrate the highest CAGR in the market throughout the forecast period. This will be because of the surging requirement for these grades in the construction, mining, and oil & gas industries.
Cutting tools, machine tools and components, abrasive products, and dies and punches are the major application areas of tungsten carbide. Amongst these, the use of tungsten carbide was found to be the highest in cutting tools applications in 2017. This was because of the extensive usage of tungsten carbide power for producing cutting tools which are required in the construction and automotive industries for stone working and metal cutting purposes.
When end-use industry is taken into consideration, the tungsten carbide market is classified into oil & gas, mining & construction, industrial engineering, transportation, and aerospace & defense. Out of these, the oil & gas category is predicted to demonstrate the highest growth rate in the market in the forthcoming years. This is credited to the soaring investments being made in exploration and production (E&P) activities and shale gas exploration projects across the world.
Geographically, the tungsten carbide market will register the fastest growth in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in the coming years, as per the estimates of the market research company, P&S Intelligence. This will be because of the growing requirement for tungsten carbide powder in the automotive industry. For example, China witnessed the largest manufacturing of commercial vehicles and passenger cars in the world in 2017. The manufacturing of motor vehicles grew in the country from 28.1 million in 2016 to 29.0 million in 2017.
Hence, it is safe to say that the demand for tungsten carbide will rise enormously in the coming years, primarily because of the growing usage of the material in the automotive, construction, and oil & gas industries, which are themselves exhibiting huge expansion all over the world.