By Kari Williamson

“The global PM industry regained its growth momentum in 2010 and 2011 after the turbulence caused by the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing economic recession. Ferrous PM part production was set to break through the one million tonnes barrier in 2011 and the prospects for 2012 remain very positive,” Williams says.

“The powder metallurgy industry is on a positive footing not only because of volume growth in existing applications, but thanks to continuing technological innovations that are helping to push the boundaries of how and where PM can be used. From new high performance automotive gears to complex components for hybrid vehicles and fuel cells, the technology is proving to be invaluable for the development of the next generation of green vehicles.”

The report, published by Inovar Communications Ltd, also features an inset review of the current status of metal injection moulding (MIM) and ceramic injection moulding (CIM). Powder injection moulding has enjoyed dramatic growth over recent decades and is estimated to have reached record global sales of US$1.2 billion in 2011.

“The PIM industry has shown itself to be capable of significant annual growth, which has averaged 13% per annum over the past 10 years,” Williams adds.

“This high growth rate is expected to continue in the years ahead with some forecasts predicting Asia to double sales from 2009 levels by 2014. North America forecast to achieve sales of around US$425 million in the same timeframe. Europe is expected to have the lowest annual regional growth rate but still at a healthy 11.6%. This will take global MIM sales close to the US$2bn mark by 2015.”