The global electrical steel market was valued at more than US$ 20 Bn in 2017 and is anticipated to reach approximately US$ 35 Bn at a CAGR of above 6% from 2018 to 2026 according to a new report titled ‘Electrical Steel Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026’ by Transparency Market Research (TMR). The global automotive industry is highly dependent on electrical steel based products such as motor, rotor, stator, and inductor. The automotive end-user industry segment held major share of the global electrical steel market in terms of consumption in 2017. Increase in demand for electric and hybrid cars is anticipated to boost the demand for electrical steel in the next few years.
Increase in demand for super or high speed cars to propel demand for electrical steel
Increase in demand for electrical steel for applications in supercars or high-speed cars is primarily driven by various advantageous properties that enable reduction of hysteresis loss in high-speed electric motors. High horsepower, speed, and aerodynamics are crucial to ensure efficient performance and safety at considerably high levels of acceleration, which exceed 200 km/hr, in supercars such as racing cars and and other high speed cars. Hi-Lite electrical steel material is used in electric motors, not only to minimize magnetic losses, but also to improve the magnetic flux and torque. These electric motors are capable of 30% lower losses at desired high rotational speed. They also provide higher mechanical strength and improve torque by 6%. These new electric motors can operate at speeds of 1,600 rpm.
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Challenges in processing of electrical steel to remain key restraint
Large amount of mechanical stress and strain is generated during the processing of cold-rolled electrical steel. The process includes bending, cutting, and punching operations. This, in turn, deteriorates the magnetism of electrical steel; the degree of deterioration depends upon the width of the sheet being punched. For instance, if the width decreases 10X, then the total magnetism loss is around 40% that of the initial loss. Hence, there is need for stress-relief annealing in supercars before installing the component in the motor core in order to retain the original magnetism of the electrical steel. Reprocessing of electrical steel is a critical and delicate process. This may act as a factor hampering the global electrical steel market to a certain extent during the forecast period.
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Currently, non-grain oriented segment dominates global electrical steel market; however, its share is expected to decline
In terms of type, the non-grain oriented segment dominated the global electrical steel market with more than 70% share in 2017. This can be ascribed to the high demand for non-grain oriented electrical steel in the manufacture of transformers, motors, and other electrical components used in various industries. Non-grain oriented electrical steel (NGOES) is manufactured to enable uniform magnetic properties in a sheet in all directions. Grain oriented electrical steel (GOES) is processed carefully under a controlled method to develop optimum magnetic properties in the rolling direction. Hot rolling, cold rolling, pickling & annealing, laser scribing, and high temperature annealing are some of the processes utilized to manufacture grain oriented and non-grain oriented electrical steel.
Utilization of electrical steel in manufacture of motor to remain dominant compared to other applications
In terms of application, the motor segment dominated the global electrical steel market in 2017. Motor is an electrical machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Growth in infrastructure projects and year-on-year increase in demand for automotive are expected to boost the demand for electrical steel employed in the manufacture of motor, rotor, and stator.
Countries in Asia Pacific, especially China, to lead electrical steel market in terms of supply and consumption
Asia Pacific accounted for nearly 55% share of the global electrical steel market in 2017. China is a major consumer of electrical steel in the region. The electrical steel market in Asia Pacific is expanding at a significant pace due to the increase in demand for electrical steel in various end-user industries in developing economies such as China, India, and ASEAN. Demand for electrical steel in China and India is estimated to be high during the forecast period due to economic growth, rise in urban population, and development of industries such as construction and automotive in these countries.
Highly competitive market with domination of top players
The global electrical steel market is highly competitive. Leading players dominate the market. Key players operating in the electrical steel market are Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC) Group, Shandong Iron and Steel Group Co Ltd, JFE Steel Corporation, SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited), Shagang Group Inc., ArcelorMittal, Ansteel Group Corporation, Baosteel Group (Baowu Steel Group Corporation Limited), POSCO, Voestalpine Group, Tata Steel Limited, United States Steel Corporation, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, and HBIS Group.