Metal feedstock use 2020 and 2025
Decline in consumption in 2020 met by positive outlook
In 2020, the metal Additive Manufacturing material market consumed 4,790 tons of powder and wire feedstock. Compared to 2019, the industry reported a decrease of -8.3 % in overall material consumption. The momentarily decline is, however, met by a positive outlook. It is projected to grow due to an increasing system productivity and a growing system base to 18,296 tons in 2025, which equals an annual growth of 30.7 %.
The most processed feedstock are titanium alloys at 1,175 tons. The aviation and the medical industry are the main users of this material group due to its use as lightweight alloy and its excellent biocompatibility. While the travel ban hit the aviation sector, medical experienced a drop in demand due to cancellations of elective surgeries. Thus, the use of the material experienced a significant decline. The market projects to grow to consume titanium alloys totaling 3,677 tons in 2025.
Nickel-base alloy consumption increased to 1,099 tons. The material is used for components that are exposed to high temperatures, thus major users are turbines, space and the energy, powerplant industries. These industries, especially space, have largely extended their activity in 2020 and increased the use extensively.
The largest gain for the coming year is expected for copper alloys with an annual growth of 46.6 % and stainless and tool steel with growth of 41.0 % and 42.3 %, respectively. AM components out of copper are currently considered in electric motors and its systems as well as in heat conductors. Additionally, they are used as heat sinks in engine parts of space components. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is expected to soar due to the high-volume sinter-based technologies Binder Jetting. Automotive, tooling and especially the mechanical engineering industry are expected to adopt the technology over the coming years to become heavy users driving the total material consumption to a total of 4,614 tons of stainless steel and 2,734 tons of tool steel in 2025.