The keynote address at the opening of the MIM2018 International Conference on Injection Molding of Metals, Ceramics, and Carbides, was given by Dr Benedikt Blitz, Managing Director of SMR Premium GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany. Blitz’s firm, part of a small group of companies based in Austria, specializes in market research and analysis, focusing on three industry sectors: remelted/special steels, forging products, and high-value metals, including PM, titanium, etc. In his speech, Blitz broadened the scope of his remarks to put the metal powders, PM, and MIM industries in the context of the specialty steel world, touching on markets, applications, and trends. 

Global steel production is running at about 1,600 million metric tonnes per year. Of this, steel castings represent about 11 million tonnes, open-die forging ∼5 million tonnes, and closed-die forging ∼20 million tonnes. Compared with these figures, PM is running at about 1.3 million tonnes/year, of which MIM is less than 1%. From a revenue perspective, low-margin plain-carbon steels represent 80% of the global steel output, the rest being specialty or remelted steels. Blitz showed the breakdown of specialty steels on what he called the “alloy steel triangle”. Here the various segments are stacked in order of production volume with the smallest sector by volume at the top. Alloy steel production in 2017 was 155 million tonnes, or 11% of the world total. By contrast, titanium was about 175,000 tonnes in 2016, growing at 5%.

This article appeared in the May/June issue of Metal Powder Report. Log in to your free profile to access the article.

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