Tantalum is a grey metallic element that is heavy and hard. This rare earth metal exhibits high resistance to corrosion and has a very high melting point making it suitable for use in the electronics industry as well as aerospace industry.
The global tantalum market is charting a good growth trajectory predominantly due to its application in the electronics industry for semiconductor manufacturing. Semiconductors use tantalum powders and tantalum-coated anode wires for various applications. The extensive use of semiconductors and capacitors in the electronics sector is a major growth driver of this market.
According to Chandrakumar Badala Jaganathan, a lead research analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals, “The market for tantalum is also dependent on the aerospace industry and the power industry, which use tantalum as an important element in the blades of heavy-duty equipment.”
Technavio’s lead chemicals and materials market research analysts have identified the following three factors that will drive the global tantalum market:
- Growth of the electronics industry
- Growth of the aerospace sector
- Growth of the power industry
Growth of the electronics industry
The electronics industry is experiencing rapid growth on account of newer innovations and the miniaturization of products. The computer market and handheld devices such as tablets, portable storage devices, and consumer electronics are the major factors propelling the growth of the electronics industry. As a result of the growth of the electronics industry, the use of capacitors and resistors is increasing which in turn boosts the market for tantalum.
“Apart from the consumer electronics industry, the wearable electronic devices category such as wrist watches and fitness bands and the increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles across various consumer segments such as e-commerce and food delivery, are factors that will drive the growth of the tantalum market on a global scale,” says Chandrakumar.
Growth of the aerospace sector
The aerospace sector is experiencing rapid growth due to increased investments by the defense and the civil aviation sector in procuring better aircrafts to suit their requirements. The aging of aircrafts is prompting these sectors to order new aircrafts that have better technical capabilities.
In addition, the entry of more and more companies into the aerospace sector is also expected to propel the growth of the tantalum market as an increase in the manufacture of aircraft will lead to the increased manufacture of vital components such as gas turbines, which are made from tantalum. All these factors are expected to drive the growth of the tantalum market.
Growth of the power industry
The increased demand for power across the globe is leading to increased investment in power generation. Most conventional methods of power generation such as thermal power plants, hydro power plants, and gas-based power plants employ huge turbines that drive the generators, thereby increasing the use of tantalum.
Tantalum is used in the manufacture of turbine blades due to its resistive capacity in high-temperature environments. This factor will boost the growth of the global tantalum market to a great extent.
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