Iron & steel casting is a phenomenon that takes place in a foundry, wherein molten iron is poured into a vessel or cast to create a desired shape. Cast materials are usually metals or cold setting materials such as concrete, epoxy, plaster, clay, ceramic or iron in which molten fluid is poured to get various shapes and sizes. Iron & steel castings are used in the production of various intermediate products, which are employed in various application industries. Thus, the performance of this market significantly depends on key downstream markets. Most end-user industries rely on iron & steel casting materials for the production of finished products. For instance, mining, construction, and automotive are some of the end-user industries that rely heavily on the iron & steel casting market for production of finished products such as mining machines, construction equipment, and automotive parts.
Almost all metals such as iron, copper, aluminum, and steel can be cast. However, the most common ferrous metals include grey iron, ductile iron, steel, and malleable iron. Alloys of iron & steel are widely used for casting in high performance application industries such as automobile, heavy equipment, industrial machines, and defense equipment. The iron & steel casting market is expanding steadily due to robust growth in construction and mining industries, especially in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Increasing demand for iron & steel casting in automobile and electrical industries is anticipated to propel the growth of the market. Furthermore, demand for steel plates in the construction industry is expected to rise significantly in the near future due to increase in infrastructure-building activities.
Replacement of iron & steel casting with aluminum-based alloys casting in several applications such as aircraft body and automotive body is likely to meet the demand for iron & steel casting to some extent. Additionally, iron & steel casting requires intensive energy. This is a restraining factor in the market. Upgrade of technology to felicitate manufacturing process and development of low weight iron & steel casting plates and pipes is projected to provide potential opportunities in the market.
The iron & steel casting market can be bifurcated into application segments such as automotive & transportation, construction, machine tools, defense, plant machinery, households, and others. The iron & steel casting market can also be bifurcated based on product forms such as pipes and tubes, plates and sheets, semi-finished cast products, and others.
The plates and sheets segment holds a significant share of the iron & steel casting market. Construction along with automotive is the largest application of the iron & steel casting market. Rise in future demand for low weight metal casting for use in the construction and automotive industries are anticipated to provide growth in the near future. Iron & steel casting offers significant properties that enable the production of ultrahigh strength materials with substantial shear strength. This, in turn, provides large opportunities for the growth of the iron & steel casting market. Increase in space exploration programs is estimated to propel demand for lightweight aircraft. This, in turn, is projected to boost demand for iron & steel casting in niche application such as aerospace.
Asia Pacific and Europe are major markets for iron & steel casting. China constitutes the largest market for iron & steel casting due to robust industrialization in the country. This has resulted in strong growth of the construction industry in China. Thus, Asia Pacific is expected to witness remarkable growth in the iron & steel casting market during the forecast period. Rise in construction activities and automobile purchase in Asia Pacific is likely to boost the iron & steel casting market in the region. Aerospace and defense are the major application segments in the iron & steel casting market in North America.
Several players operate in the iron & steel casting market. These include Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), ArcelorMittal S.A., ThyssenKrupp AG, Tata Group, The voestalpine Group, SSAB AB, Hebei Iron and Steel Group Co., Ltd., Shanghai Baosteel Group Corporation, and POSCO.
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