Shape memory alloys are a class of alloy which displays a thermal and mechanical memory effect. These are alloys that have memory. This material can be deformed at low temperature and can recover their original shape when heated. The shape memory alloys market is witnessing a good growth in the recent years and anticipated to witness the significant growth during the forecast period. This can be attributed to its increasing application such as adaptive structures, actuators, medical devices, heat detection devices, high temperature automotive, oil/gas down-hole, aeronautics, military, and others. However, currently, the applications of these materials are limited because of their low transformation temperatures.
Insight by Type
On the basis of type, the shape memory alloys market is classified into nitinol, copper-based, iron-manganese silicon, and others. Among all these, nitinol alloys category holds the largest share in the market and also expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is attributed to their extensive use in the manufacturing of implantable medical devices, automotive actuators, surgical instruments, and others. Hence, the increasing of these materials is increasing in the medical, automotive, consumer electronics and other industries, contributing towards the market growth.
Insight by End-User
Based on end-user, the shape memory alloys market is segmented into biomedical, aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer electronics, home appliances, and others. The biomedical industry category is dominating the market by holding the largest market share, owing to the use of these materials in various applications which includes orthopedic screws and wires, dental archwires, cardiovascular & endoscopic stents, dental archwires, and other. However, along with biomedical industry, consumer electronics industry category is anticipated to witness the fastest growth in the market.
Growing medical implants industry and increasing demand from end-user industries are the major factors driving the shape memory alloys market growth. These materials provide various benefits to the users, for example, they provide high force that allows lightweight compact actuator designs, eliminates extraneous systems (hydraulic, pneumatic, and others), responds to temperature change that eliminated the need for electronics and sensors, enable simple, frictionless designs which require less maintenance, and others. All these benefits are contributing in the increasing demand of these materials in the various industries, resulting in the market growth. Also, they are ideal for large stroke, high force, and modest frequency response operations.
High cost of raw material is the major challenge that can hinder the shape memory alloys market growth during the forecast period. There are only few industries which can afford the cost and research required to develop new markets such as medical industry. For instance, the price of Nitinol is tremendously high and the content extremely low. Manufacturers use it by the inch and not by the pound, which is among the major concern in the market.
Various companies are investing into the research and development of new alloys with higher transition temperatures and narrower temperature hysteresis to widen the application areas of these materials. The industry is facing major competition from established technologies such as direct-current motors.
Asia-Pacific shape memory alloys market is expected to register the highest CAGR in the market during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the increasing demand of these materials in the various industries including consumer electronics, biomedical, and others. Along with that, the major factors that are driving the market growth in the region are rapid economic expansion, rapid industrialization of countries such as India and China. Further, increasing manufacturing activities along with the region’s emergence as a cost-effective manufacturing hub is projected to drive the shape memory alloys market in the region.
Some of the key players operating in the global shape memory alloys industry are Saes Getters, Nitinol Devices & Components, Johnson Matthey, G.Rau Gmbh & Co. Kg, Ati Wah-Chang, Furukawa Electric, Fort Wayne Metals, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, Nippon Seisen, Ultimate Niti Technologies, Metalwerks Pmd, Dynalloy, Peier Tech, Saite Metal, Smart, Grikin, and Baoji Seabird Metal.