Welding is a manufacturing or assembling process used to join materials such as metals and thermoplastics. Metals and thermoplastics are joined together by fusion of the intersecting materials. Welding is an evolving technology. Commonly implemented welding technologies include shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), and submerged arc welding (SAW). Materials used in the welding process are collectively termed welding consumables. Usage of consumables depends on the welding technology implemented. However, commonly used welding consumables are stick electrodes, solid wires, flux-cored wires, and SAW wires and fluxes. Stick electrodes and filler materials such as solid wires are used during the welding process, while flux and welding gases are employed to prevent the oxidation of base materials. Welding consumables are used in various applications in end-user industries. Different types of welding technologies are implemented according to the needs of end-users. The usage of products depends upon the nature of the application.
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Specialty welding consumables are welding consumables made of expensive nickel, copper, and tungsten as opposed to cheaper alternatives made of mild steel. Specialty welding consumables help improve productivity and offer superior weld quality. This ultimately reduces repair and maintenance costs. Specialty welding consumables are used to support many welding applications, especially in diverse industrial applications, wherein weld quality is critical.
Specialty Welding Consumables Market: Key Segments
In terms of product, the specialty welding consumables market can be classified into stick electrode, solid wires, flux-cored wires, saw wires & fluxes, and others. Stick electrodes was the major segment of the specialty welding consumables market in 2017. It accounted for more than 50% share in 2017. This can be ascribed to the low cost and high usage of the manual welding process. However, the welding industry has been experiencing a shift from electrodes toward solid wires and flux-cored wires owing to their higher production efficiency. Wires and fluxes are gaining popularity over electrodes. Demand for specialty welding consumables in the welding industry is driven by factors such as less wastage, suitability for automatic welding systems, higher productivity, and wide usage among different welding technologies. Flux-cored wires and SAW wires and fluxes are anticipated to be among the rapidly growing product segments during the forecast period.
Based on application, the specialty welding consumables market can be divided into automobile & transportation, building & construction, marine, power, oil & gas, and others (repair & maintenance). Growth in end-user industries is likely to augment the demand for welding technologies. Expansion in the automobile & transportation sector is anticipated to be a major factor driving the specialty welding consumables market. Production of cars is set to outpace sales during the forecast period, as global carmakers are strengthening domestic output.
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The specialty welding consumables market is expected to benefit from this, as automotive is one of the key end-user industries of the market. Various materials such as steel, glass, rubber, copper, aluminum, and plastics are used in different parts of a vehicle. Metals employed in the manufacture of automobiles are joined through different methods. These include temporary methods such as bolts, screws, and rivets, and permanent methods such as welding. Automotive & transportation was the prominent end-user segment of the specialty welding consumables market in 2017.