The global titanium mill products market has diversified in the past few years, due to the increased demand coming from various industries and consequent manufacturers. In 2017, we have seen a surge in the diversity offered, with bars, billets, plates and sheets being just several products categories that are in high demand. The market serves different industries, consumers and commercial services; however, it seems to be particularly directed towards the aerospace and defense industries. From a geographical perspective, it has spread on the entire global, with main developments being seen in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Throughout 2017, the global titanium mill products market is expected to grow and develop. As more industries recognize titanium as a highly-efficient material for the development of various products, the demand for it is bound to increase. Until a couple of years ago, titanium was considered to be an expensive choice, especially by certain industries. However, as demand increased, the prices went down and more and more manufacturers began to take into account titanium as a viable option.
Titanium is superior in strength, has an excellent resistance to corrosion and also an amazing tensile strength. It remains stable, even at high temperatures, which makes it ideal for airframe structures. Seawater applications, including those related to power generation, have begun to rely on the usage of titanium as well, as this metal has a high corrosion resistance, as well as impressive tensile strength and density (in comparison to copper-nickel alloys, which was previously used for such applications). Moreover, titanium has proven out to be a more cost-effective alternative than copper-nickel alloys, being appreciated for its light weight. Given all of these properties, it should come as no surprise that titanium is now commonly used for the development of floating production systems.
2017 has witnessed the global titanium mill products market divided between three main geographic areas, meaning Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. However, at the moment, North America remains the dominant player on the market, contributing to a large extent to the increased demand for titanium. Titanium has become a commonly used material by the aerospace industry; moreover, component manufacturers have shown a definite interest in this particular metal. Whereas the defense industry is concerned, titanium has been a popular choice for many years now; however, this year, its uses have diversified tremendously.
The fact that the global titanium mill products market is highly competitive should not represent a surprise. The more diversified it becomes, the higher the demand and, thus, the subsequent competition between different industries and manufacturers. Everyone wants a piece of the action, as they say, especially when it comes to a metal that is as versatile as titanium. Both regional and international vendors can benefit tremendously from using titanium for their businesses, including from an economical point of view.
Titanium plates are in demand in 2017, especially when it comes to the aerospace industry. However, these can also be used by the healthcare and energy sectors, hence the even more increased demand. Why are titanium plates in such a high demand? Titanium is known for its reduced thermal conductivity, which means it can function as a highly-efficient heat barrier. Basically, it prevents heat from being transferred to the other parts of a certain equipment. This automatically translates to an extended service life for the equipment in question.
Industries rely heavily on titanium, including those that handle chemical processing, desalination and pollution control. Titanium sheets are more in demand than ever, being appreciated for their light weight, incredible strength and excellent corrosion resistance. Apart from industries, the consumer segment has begun to consider titanium as a viable alternative.
Between 2017 and 2021, the global titanium mill products market is expected to develop even more. This is because more industries will begin to use titanium as a common standard, diversifying the application areas and seeking to develop innovative products (the jet engine segment is a particularly good example that can be offered here). Titanium is no longer that expensive but it maintains the same excellent properties – strength, corrosion resistance and reduced weight – being more than suitable for the aircraft industry, chemical processing plants and seawater applications. It is often used for the development of heat exchangers and also for electric power generation.
Given its aesthetic appeal, titanium has managed to draw the attention of consumer product manufacturers. For this reason, it has become commonly used by those in the sporting goods sector and especially for the development of sleek bike frames. IT equipment has been developed with titanium as standard material, as well as a wide range of other consumer products. Titanium is aesthetically pleasing and also delivers a luxurious feel, hence the appeal with regard to the development of consumer products.
Titanium applications differ from one geographical region to the other and, more importantly, from one country to the other. There are three major segments that have driven the global titanium mill products market in 2017, meaning defense, aerospace and industrial/consumer. Southeast Asia has begun to pay increased attention to titanium, concentrating on applications that could place them on top positions at a global level. China is one of the Asian countries that has began to develop industrial equipment using titanium, especially for the aerospace industry (see the 3D printed titanium central wing spar, used for the Comac C919 aviation program).
There are industries that have only recently begun to consider titanium as a viable option for their applications. Such an example is offered by the oil and gas industry, which has developed tremendously in the past few years. Within this industry, titanium applications include cooling systems for saltwater, water pump systems for water suppression and specialized casings. Stress joints are also developed with the help of titanium, reducing the risk of damage on a long-term basis.
As it was already mentioned above, titanium is used by the aerospace industry and, in particular, for commercial applications. Apart from the central wing spars developed with the help of 3D printing technology, titanium is used for the development of jet engine components. These components can include blades, discs, rings and even complete engine cases. Airframe structures can be developed from titanium as well, some of the most often developed components including landing gears, tail sections, wing supports, bulkheads and fasteners.
For the aerospace industry, titanium has contributed to the reduction of operating and fuel costs (lower weight and excellent corrosion resistance). Gas turbine engines are made today with titanium, as well as casings and compressor blades. The usage of titanium has increased the overall efficiency of heat shields, as well as the one of engine cowlings. As the commercial aerospace market develops, titanium is increasingly used for innovative designs and applications.
Last, but not least, titanium is commonly used for applications belonging to the defense sector. As countries become interested in developing highly-efficient defense strategies, they resort to titanium and other similar materials for subsequent applications. Titanium was initially used by military aerospace programs but now it has extended to the entire defense sector. It is appreciated for its long-term performance and also for its distinct physical properties. Most commonly, it is used for combat vehicles, either ground or naval based. The demand for titanium mill products is going to maintain itself at high levels, as more and more countries show an interest in strategic military applications and airframe programs.