Following several years of declining shipments of Powder Metallurgy (PM) parts, mainly due to deteriorating production of light vehicles and cars in North America, the PM industry returned to a growth track in the first half of 2010, reported Michael Lutheran (Royal Metal Powders Inc), president of the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) at the 2010 International PM Conference in Florida, June 27-30.
Lutheran stated that iron powder shipments in N. America had increased by 29% in the second half of 2009 but still declined by 25% for the whole year to reach 244,839 short tonnes, a level not seen since the early 1990s. First quarter 2010 iron powder shipments soared by 64%, compared to record low levels in the same period of 2009, thanks to a recovery in demand from the car sector. Lutheran said that there was optimism for the future of PM in the automotive sector with PM parts finding applications in new engines and transmissions introduced by GM and Ford.
Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) was reported to be bucking the downward trend in N. America last year thanks to the growing firearms and medical markets, said Lutheran.
A similar picture emerged in Asia where the Asian Powder Metallurgy Association (APMA) reported that Japan’s ferrous PM production fell by 33.4% to 72,221 metric tonnes in 2009. However, China, Korea, and India managed to stay in positive territory with China’s PM production overtaking Japan for the first time with reported output of 95,950 mt for ferrous and non-ferrous PM parts.
The European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA) reported at its General Assembly held in Brussels in April that ferrous powder shipments fell by 29.1% to 125,203 mt in 2009 despite a strong recovery in shipments in the second half of the year, when car scrappage schemes were introduced in a number of EU countries. The EPMA reported an 84% increase in iron powder shipments in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the same period last year.
For more information visit: