NORTHFIELD, IL, Feb. 7, 2007 -- The market for corrosion resistant materials is now capacity limited. New applications and growth in demand in Asia are causing shortages and extended delivery times for stainless steel, FRP, and other corrosion resistant materials and fabrications. This is the conclusion reached in the online, "World Market for Your Products," published by the McIlvaine Company.
The investment in new facilities is very capital intensive. Material suppliers therefore face the challenge of correctly anticipating future demand and expanding appropriately.
The power industry has greatly expanded its purchases of stainless steel, FRP, resin and rubber coatings and is even making use of glass blocks and ceramic tiles to substitute for less available materials.
Gas turbines present challenges because of temperature and pressure as well as corrosion. Coal-fired power plants are the source of the current demand surge for corrosion resistant materials. They are required in the boilers and steam cycle systems. The pollution control equipment including the desulfurization systems require large quantities of corrosion resistant vessels, piping, pumps, stacks and ductwork.
The world's gas reserves are mostly distant from the point of use. Therefore the liquefaction, transport, and regasification are necessary to exploit the reserves. The demand for LNG carriers is growing rapidly. The tanks that hold the LNG at temperatures of 163°C are lined with low-expansion nickel alloys.
The world's population is growing while the supply of uncontaminated water is shrinking. The result is increasing demand for materials used in the transport and treatment of water. The purification of drinking water, the treatment of industrial and municipal effluents, and the desalination of seawater all require corrosion resistant materials.
There is extensive use of FRP piping in desalination plants in the Middle East. Stainless steel is required for distillation as well as reverse osmosis separation.
Many soft drinks and food flavorings are highly acidic and capable of attacking a wide range of materials, including many metals. In the food and drink processing industries, stainless steel is widely used in the processing of milk and dairy products, beer and wine making, confectionery, cooked meats, and many other food applications.
Many of the metal fabricators that build equipment for the dairy industry and food processing companies are now filling their shops with work from the ethanol industry. Ethanol equipment manufacturers are building storage vessels, heat exchangers and evaporation equipment from stainless steel. Demand for corrosion resistant materials in the ethanol industry will grow rapidly over the next decade.
High performance resins are in great demand in the microelectronics industry and specifically in ultrapure water systems. PVDF has gained increasing popularity recently as an ultrapure polymer used for the processing of semiconductor and pharmaceutical high-purity fluids. The flat panel display industry has greatly accelerated its purchases of ultrapure water systems.
China is the leading purchaser of corrosion resistant materials for industrial applications. Their purchases will grow at double-digit rates over the next five years. U.S. will be the second leading purchaser. These two countries will account for the majority of purchases of corrosion resistant materials for coal-fired boilers.
The McIlvaine Company (www.mcilvainecompany.com) is based in Northfield, IL, with a staff of 35 people that includes engineers, scientists and market researchers.