Aluminum powder, as the name suggests, is a fine granular and crushed aluminum powder. Several processes are used to make this powder. One of the prominent methods entails molten aluminum sprayed under very high pressure to yield a fine granular powder. Two types of aluminum powder – spherical and nodular – can be manufactured depending on the type of atomizing gas used to “blow” the molten aluminum from a nozzle tip. Another way of producing aluminum powder is dry ball milling and stamping operations. These methods produce different powders. The former is used to make granular and nodular powder, while the latter is employed to produce flaked and flattened powder. Aluminum powder can be manufactured in a various particle sizes, ranging from 5 microns to more than 1000 microns. Unlike solid aluminum metal, powdered aluminum exhibits flammability; hence, it is used in applications such as pyro-technique, fuel for launching rockets, and explosives. Furthermore, this powder can be converted into paste form by mixing powder and other mediums.
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Global Aluminum Powder Market: Drivers
Aluminum powder is used in varied applications. Substantial amount of aluminum powder is used in pyro-technique, rocket fuel, and explosives. Aluminum powder is also majorly used in additive manufacturing and powder metallurgy. Aluminum powder is employed in various component manufacturing, which employs several powder metallurgy techniques. Furthermore, the use of aluminum powder as coloring pigment is common; the powder provides luster and silvery finish to paints and coatings. Aluminum powder is also used in bricks and slabs. This helps in reducing the weight of bricks. Thus, versatility of powdered aluminum is one of the major drivers of the market. The aluminum powder market is driven by factors such as rise in demand in the building & construction industry for brick manufacturing. It is also a preferred metal powder of choice in rapid prototyping and powder metallurgy, aluminum powder is also a key ingredient in solar cell fabrication.
Based on type, the aluminum powder market can be divided into atomized aluminum powder and flake aluminum powder. Each type is manufactured with different processes, namely forcing molten aluminum through nozzles at high pressure and by dry ball milling. Based on application, the aluminum powder market can be segregated into pyro-technique & explosive, rocket fuel, pigment, powder metallurgy, refractory, solar cell manufacturing, and others. In terms of end-user industry, the aluminum powder market can be classified into automotive, aerospace & defense, building & construction, chemical, electronics & semiconductors, and others.
In terms of geography, the global aluminum powder market can be split into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the key region of the aluminum powder market. Rise in additive manufacturing and expansion in several industries such as automotive, equipment manufacturing, and building & construction are key factors driving the demand for aluminum powder in Asia Pacific. Furthermore, demand for aluminum powder in solar cell manufacturing is high in the region, as several countries such as China, South Korea, and Japan, along with other developing economies are focusing largely on solar and other renewable sources of energy. Similar trend can be witnessed in developed parts of the world such as North America and Europe.
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Global Aluminum Powder Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global aluminum powder market include The Metal Powder Company Limited (MEPCO), ECKA Granules, AMG Alpoco UK, Rusal, and Alcoa.