The global magnetic materials market is projected to reach USD 96.00 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 9.6% between 2015 and 2020. The growth of the market is primarily driven by the automotive industry. Automobile uses magnetic materials in various parts, such as motors, sensors, actuators, and switches. Increasing concerns to enhance the fuel economy of vehicles force manufacturers to extensively reduce vehicle weight and increase combustion efficiency.
The materials that respond to the applied magnetic field either in the form of attraction or repulsion by generating magnetization or demagnetization property are known as magnetic materials. There are three categories of magnetic materials, namely, soft, semi-hard, and hard/permanent. These are used in various applications such as automotive, electronics, power generation, industrial, and others.
The automotive application dominated the magnetic materials market in 2014; however, the application is projected to register the highest growth rate in the overall market between 2015 and 2020. The increased need for high-quality magnetic materials used in processing automotive bodies and use of advanced technologies boost the market.
The magnetic materials market is classified on the basis of type into semi-hard magnet, soft magnet, and hard/permanent magnet. The market is dominated by semi-hard magnet owing to global demand for technological systems & devices providing innovative products. Some of the related products are antitheft articles, electronic systems, automotive devices, and smart electronic bank cards. Semi-hard magnet is estimated to register high growth during the forecast period.
The industry is highly fragmented in terms of segments to which the products are offered, which increases the market competition for small players. Moreover, the players are focusing on developing innovative products to meet the growing demand from end-use industries.
Currently, Asia-Pacific is the largest and fastest-growing market for magnetic materials owing to high demand from major markets, such as China, India, and Japan. The growing automotive industry in the region is also driving the market for magnetic materials.
Magnetic materials have vast applications in the automobile industry. The automobile contains magnetic materials in various parts such as motors, sensors, actuators, and switches. The concerns regarding the fuel economy of vehicles lead the manufacturers to reduce vehicle weight and to increase the combustion efficiency. This has resulted in an elevated use of magnetic materials in automobiles. Magnetic materials are increasingly used in electric motors for various functions such as electric steering, electric braking, electric throttle actuation, auto-clutch, and gearbox actuation.
A computer, its peripheral devices, and electronics are the traditional application markets for magnetic materials. Magnetic materials are used in magnetic heads of hard disk drives (HDD), CD, as well as in motors of peripheral devices such as printer, fax machines, scanners, and photocopies. The increasing usage of cloud computing and related development resulted in the growing demand for data centers to store enormous data volumes involved. The mounting demand from data centers for HDD pushes the demand for magnetic materials. Consumer electronics such as air conditioner, washing machines, dryers, and lawn motors use magnetic materials to enhance the efficiency of appliances.
The increasing automation in various industries leads to the growth of magnetic materials. The magnetic materials are used in various magnetic assemblies such as metal detectors, magnetic material handling equipment, conveyor belts, and separation equipment. These magnetic assemblies are an essential part of various processing industries such as chemical, food, and ceramic. Industrialization is the back bone of the economic development of any economy. Several developing countries such as China, India, and Brazil are focusing on accelerating industrialization for the economic development of their country. This rapid industrialization drives the demand for advanced magnetic materials.
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The major factor restraining growth of the magnetic materials market is volatile raw materials prices in North America and Western Europe. However, Asian countries such as, China and Japan have increased the production and utilization of magnetic materials.
Some of the important magnetic materials companies are Hitachi Metals Ltd. (Japan), Daido Steel Co. Ltd. (Japan), Molycorp Magnequench (Canada), Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd. (Japan), and TDK Corp. (Japan). The players in this market need to compete with each other with respect to prices and offering wide product range to meet the market requirements.