High Performance Alloys Market to be driven by Rising Use of Non-Ferrous Alloys in Engineering and Aerospace Applications

High performance alloys are alloys having numerous alloying elements designed to perform under extreme conditions such as high pressures and/or temperatures. These alloys are suitable for a wide range of applications owing to their strength-retaining abilities even in temperatures up to and more than 650°C. High performance alloys present a combination of outstanding surface stability and excellent low-temperature ductility. High performance alloys are of four main types, namely platinum group metals, non-ferrous alloys, super alloys, and refractory metals.

Transparency Market Research, a market intelligence company, elaborates upon the various physical properties of high performance alloys and also throws light on their major application areas:

Platinum Group Metals: Platinum group metals are of six main types, namely palladium, platinum, osmium, rhodium, iridium, and ruthenium. Amongst these, platinum is highly durable in nature, extremely ductile and malleable, and a very good conductor of electricity. It is majorly used in the automotive industry and jewelry. On the other hand, palladium, which is white in color, is the lightest and comprises the lowest melting point amongst all platinum group metals. It is majorly utilized as a catalyst or in alloys and can also be used as an alternate for platinum in jewelry and electrical contacts. Rhodium is a silvery-white metal with a high melting point and is a key component in industrial catalytic systems. It is majorly used within the automotive industry for reducing nitrogen oxide into nitrogen. 

Non-Ferrous Alloys: Non-ferrous alloys are utilized owing to their properties such as high conductivity and resistance to corrosion and magnetism, owing to their lack of iron content. In 2013, Non-ferrous alloys held the biggest share of 51.0% in the market and were trailed by super alloys. The most important non-ferrous alloys are bronze and brass and have copper as their base metal instead of iron. They are utilized in various engineering applications and the aircraft industry owing to their light weight. Presently, non-ferrous alloys are also utilized for making coins, airframes, vehicle paneling, road tankers, pressure vessels, chemical plants, and transportation of petroleum, as well as in the food and beverages industry.

Super Alloys: Super alloys are heat-resistant alloys based on nickel-iron, nickel, and cobalt, and display a combination of resistance to surface degradation and high mechanical strength. These alloys are majorly utilized in coal conversion plants, turbines, and chemical process industries. The most significant use of super alloys is their utilization in load-bearing applications in temperatures as high as 80% of their incipient melting temperatures. In addition, they are also utilized in steam turbine power plants, aircraft gas turbines, medical applications, space vehicles, and nuclear power systems, among others.

Refractory Metals:  These metals are majorly utilized in the fields of engineering and metallurgy. These are of five major types, namely molybdenum, rhenium, tungsten, niobium, and tantalum. The major advantage of these metals is their heat resistance. All of these metals have a melting point of more than 2000°C. These metals have a wide range of applications such as in incandescent lighting utilized within houses, strengthening steel alloys in pipes and tubing, greases and oils, phone circuits, nuclear reactors, electric components, and gyroscopes.

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