The unexpected shifts in the global markets because of the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus have brought many major and minor tremors to industries of all sizes including the Metal Bellows Market.
It was estimated prior to this unanticipated outbreak that the Metal Bellows Market was expected to cross the landmark figure of US$ 1.0 billion by 2025. However, the gradual slowing down of industries will undoubtedly impose limits on the previously estimated growth rate.
Metal bellows are a type of flexible seals used in pipe joints. The bellows help in mitigating movement caused by thermal fluctuation, equipment movement, and vibration or pressure pulsation by converting movement into linear or rotational motion in any piping system. They also reduce the chances of leakage of any fluid or pressure in pipe joints. The performance of bellows depends on several factors including the type of raw material used and its properties, design factor, manufacturing process, etc. Metal bellows are used in a diverse range of applications ranging from the aerospace & defense to pharmaceutical, industrial automation, semiconductor manufacturing, solar power generation, water & wastewater treatment plant, and oil & gas industries.
The demand for metal bellows is highly subjected to the growth as well as the health of the end-use industries where these bellows are used. Major end-use industries were already under immense pressure and were struggling hard in order to rebound their demand. Several industry-specific regional factors were behind the truncated industry growth or decline. Aerospace & defense and automotive were the major industries that recorded a decline in the year 2019. The outbreak of COVID-19 further aggravated the industry concerns to an unprecedented level.
The market is segmented based on the material type as titanium alloys, stainless steel alloys, nickel alloys, and others. Titanium alloys are likely to remain the most dominant material type and are likely to witness the highest growth over the next five years. Growing composites content in the aerospace industry supported by excellent compatibility of titanium with composites, increasing penetration of lightweight materials, growing usage of titanium alloys in the high-end cars to reduce weight and to gain high strength, and desirable properties of titanium concerning corrosion resistance and thermal expansion are some of the factors behind the superior growth of titanium alloys in the market.
Based on the product type, the market is segmented as edge-welded bellows, mechanically formed bellows, electroformed bellows, and others. Edge-welded bellow is likely to remain the most dominant product type and is likely to register an excellent CAGR during the forecast period, whereas mechanically formed bellow is likely to remain the second-largest product type over the same period. Edge-welded bellows are preferred for high-temperature applications, such as aircraft engines, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, oil & gas instruments, and medical device.
Based on the end-use industry, the market is segmented as aerospace & defense, automotive, oil & gas, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, and others. Aerospace & defense is likely to remain the most dominant segment over the next five years. Despite a downfall in commercial aircraft deliveries in 2019 and the expected decline in 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the market fundamentals remain strong with Both Boeing and Airbus holding huge order backlogs, translating to more than 8 years of production at the current production level. Furthermore, the development of fuel-efficient variants (B777x, B737Max, A320neo, and A330neo) and market entry of OEMs (COMAC and Irkut) in the commercial aerospace business further assure a speedy recovery.
In terms of region, Asia-Pacific is projected to remain the largest and fastest-growing market for metal bellows during the forecast period. The short-term market demand is challenging in the Asia-pacific region with China and South Korea being severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, Airbus has temporarily closed its A320 and A330 completion centers of Tianjin, China. However, the Chinese started showing an early sign of recovery with the reopening of assembly plants by Boeing and Airbus, automotive assembly plants, etc.
North America and Europe are also projected to generate sizeable demand for metal bellows during the forecast period. The USA is the growth engine of the North American metal bellows market. The country is the hub for the aerospace industry with the presence of several aircraft OEMs, metal bellow suppliers, and raw material suppliers. Similarly, Germany, France, the UK, and Russia are the major markets in Europe.
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, metal bellow manufacturers, tier players, and end-users. The key players in the market are Senior Plc., Freudenberg Group, EnPro Industries Inc., Witzenmann GmbH, Eaton Corporation Plc, U.S. Bellows, Inc., AESSEAL plc, Smith Group, Meggitt PLC, and MW Industries. Execution of mergers & acquisitions and the formation of collaboration with OEMs for the joint development of metal bellows are some of the strategies adopted by the major players to gain a competitive edge in the market.