The silicon metal market has seen vast demand in the steelmaking and iron industry due to vast consumption of ferrosilicon. Substantial uptake of ferrosilicon in steel smelting is the one of them most prominent revenue generators in the silicon metal market. Advent of new methods of metallurgical grade silicon has helped in the production of higher quality products for end users in the silicon metal market. Revenues come from a range of applications, notably in making silicon chips, solar cells, and aluminum alloys. Over the past few years, rising consumptions of silicon metal in paints and coatings industries has helped propel growth of the market.
The automotive manufacturing industry has harnessed the attractive mechanical and physical properties of silicon metal such as structural durability and dimensional stability. Widespread application of silicon-based aluminum alloys boosts the silicon metal market. In recent years, the market has seen new growth avenues from the demand for heat and corrosion resistant ferrous silicon alloys.
The silicon metal market stood at US$ 6.53 bn in 2018 and is projected to clock a CAGR of more than 4.98% from 2019 to 2027.
Vast Demands for Solar-grade Silicon Metals Open New Avenues
Rising automotive sales in numerous Asian countries over the past few years have led to the fuel consumption of silicon metals. Producers of silicon-based aluminum alloys have been able to meet the rising consumption of lightweight and high-strength materials for vehicles bodies, This has spurred the demands for silicon metal. The automotive industry has thus emerged out one of the key revenue contributors of the silicon metal market.
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Another sizable growth potential has come from the strides made in solar energy generation. High-purity polycrystalline silicon or polysilicon, solar-grade silicon metal, has been increasingly being consumed in making solar cells. Chemical companies have been benefitting from various processes in making solar-grade silicon metal, thereby catalyzing the prospects of the silicon metal market. Growing inclination of governments to transition to renewable energy products has led them to offer several stimulus to the solar energy production, immensely benefitting manufacturers of silicon cells.
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Meanwhile, the consumptions of electronics grade silicon in the semiconductor industry has helped catalyze large chunks of revenue generation. The application segment is expected to rise at a prominent CAGR during 2019 – 2027”, notes observers.
Asia Pacific Key Regional Market
Among the various regions, Asia Pacific accounted for the major share—more than 42.0%–in the global silicon metal market. A large part of the growth impetus has come from countries such as India and China. Growing demand for automobiles in various parts of the Asia Pacific has also reinforced the uptake of silicon alloys. Strides being made by semiconductor manufacturing to meet the burgeoning demands for consumer devices have helped in the expansion of the silicon metal market. Advent of new methods of manufacturing and advancing nanofabrication technologies have added momentum to that growth.
Some of the key players in the silicon metal market are RW Silicium GmbH, Wynca Group, MINASLIGAS, China National Bluestar (Group) Co, Ltd., Simcoa Operations Pty Ltd, RIMA Group, Wacker Chemie AG, Ferroglobe, RUSAL, Elkem ASA, and The Dow Chemical Company. Of these, Dow led the global silicon metal market in 2018. The company has been actively expanding its production technology to meet a wide cross-section demands in various end-use industries.
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